â€œAnother Earth,â€ a cerebral science fiction film from documentary director Mike Cahill, stars beautiful up-and-comer Brit Marling as a teen troubled by her past.
Marlingâ€™s character, Rhoda, is involved in a tragic accident that lands her in prison and leaves her with a lot on her mind.
The same night of the accident, there is sighting of a planet that looks identical to Earth, dubbed â€œEarth 2.â€
Upon her release from prison, Rhoda struggles to start where she left off—bound for MIT and a NASA career—and enters a contest to win a trip to Earth 2.
â€œAnother Earthâ€ is cheap when it comes to narrative, focusing on ideas and noticeably uneventful scenes as the crux of the film.
This is very similar to its sci-fi counterpart â€œMoon,â€ but that movieâ€™s ethical reflections packed a much more powerful punch. The narrative was limited, but there was an eerie sense of instability that kept things interesting and moving.
That is not true with the story of â€œAnother Earth,â€ which dwindles down in the second act and loses a lot of steam that was built up at the beginning.
It is one of those movies where you think about what has happened so far, and you struggle to create even a short list.
That being said, the filmâ€™s premise is interesting and is acted well by Marling. The ending creates one of those hair-raising moments that make the slow middle section worth getting through.
But it is hard to get past the fact that you have to slog through a lot of fluff to get there.
Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.