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YMMV / Gravity

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The film:

  • Acceptable Targets: A Russian anti-satellite missile test triggers a series of Disaster Dominoes that sets back every country's space program by decades. In Real Life, China was the only country (at the time, see Harsher in Hindsight below) to have conducted an anti-satellite missile test that created a space debris problem, it just wasn't as serious as this. Meanwhile the actual Russia's space program is one of its most successful and lucrative programs, so the country is very careful to avoid threatening this status quo.
  • Awesome Music:
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks!: An odd one with Neil Degrasse Tyson, who actually did like the movie but still felt compelled to point out its numerous scientific errors, which many fans couldn't see past.
  • He Really Can Act: As odd as it sounds to say about an actress with a long career before the film that included an Oscar win, many had this reaction to Sandra Bullock, as she was mostly regarded as a lightweight romantic comedy star (with said Oscar being for The Blind Side, prime Oscar Bait of the maudlin kind).
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The disaster depicted in the film came a step closer to reality in March 2019, when India destroyed one of its satellites with a missile and produced hundreds, if not thousands, of new pieces of debris in low-Earth-orbit and beyond.
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  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Extremely high. The film can almost be panic-inducing due to its relentless pacing and intense visual style. The 3D makes you truly feel the terror that comes from the incomprehensible vastness of space.
  • Inferred Holocaust: As pointed out in this Cracked article, the Kessler Syndrome portrayed in the film would disrupt or destroy much of our modern-day technological infrastructure, thus effectively causing the collapse of civilization itself. Even if that doesn't happen, the fact remains that Russia has inadvertently destroyed every single satellite and space station in orbit, killing at least four people, which will have all kinds of nasty political fallout...
  • Narm: Some of the lines can be pretty clunky. "No more just driving", anyone?
  • Narm Charm: Stone howling like a dog could have gone horribly wrong, but instead it's a very emotional quasi-Sanity Slippage moment.
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  • Nausea Fuel: All the spinning camera shots can make a person dizzy.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The disaster depicted in the film is entirely possible in real life: it's called Kessler syndrome, and all it takes is two satellites colliding (or one getting blown up by a missile, as is the case is Gravity) to start the chain reaction. It could happen at any time, and many astronomers believe it's already begun. While a Kessler disaster wouldn't directly hurt us on Earth, and would take a while longer than seen in the film, anything in low-Earth-orbit is going to end up getting shredded, including the thousands of satellites needed for our technological civilization to exist, and launching new ones won't be possible for decades due to the Asteroid Thicket now hanging in orbit.
  • Sci Fi Ghetto: Defied. The film earned high scoring reviews from critics, became a box office smash and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, 7 of which it won (including Best Director for Cuarón). It still played straight (albeit in less degree) in Mexico, Cuaron's homeland. It also showed how pervasive this trope is - many outlets called it a science fiction film, only for others to point out that it's not. It's a Disaster Movie set in space, and aside from some Artistic Licence with the physics (glossed-over orbital mechanics, the ISS and Tiangong being virtual neighbours, etc), it's set entirely in our mundane reality.
  • Tainted by the Preview: A number of detractors and reviewers have decried the movie's "lack of scientific accuracy" based merely on the presence of sound in the trailers, and on using those same, pre-release trailers to make snap judgments about the nature of the emergency, the fact that the ISS, the Hubble, and the Tiangong are in the same orbit, or that an astronaut being flung into outer space could possibly be panicked.
  • Too Cool to Live: Double Subverted with Kowalski. At first he seems to die due to his Heroic Sacrifice. But then, he shows up later while Stone is attempting to get the rocket started. And then it's revealed to just be a dream/hallucination on Stone's part.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: This movie justifies both IMAX and 3D movie-making. It has been advised to see this movie in both formats.
  • The Woobie: Dr. Ryan Stone. Aningaaq isn't having a great day either.


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