Europa Report (2013)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Claustrophobic and stylish, Europa Report is a slow-burning thriller that puts the science back into science fiction.


Movie Info

A unique blend of documentary, alternative history and science fiction thriller, EUROPA REPORT follows a contemporary mission to Jupiter's moon Europa to investigate the possible existence of alien life within our solar system. When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean could exist underneath Europa's icy surface and may contain single-celled life, Europa Ventures, a privately funded space exploration company, sends six of the best astronauts from around the world to confirm the data and … More

Rating: PG-13 (for sci-fi action and peril)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Philip Gelatt
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 8, 2013
Box Office: $0.1M
Runtime:
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site

Cast


as James Corrigan

as Andrei Blok

as Daniel Luxembourg

as Dr. Unger

as Dr. Solokov

as Rosa Dasque

as Katya Petrovna

as Willam Xu
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Critic Reviews for Europa Report

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (21)

There is something refreshing in the decidedly downbeat "Europa Report," a science-fiction film with the emphasis on science that doesn't cheat on the tension.

Full Review… | August 22, 2013
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Low key and earnest, Sebastián Cordero's "Europa Report" makes compelling use of familiar genre material to create an intelligent science fiction thriller.

Full Review… | August 15, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

There are scenes of unutterable beauty in Europa Report, a low-budget space exploration sci-fi suspenser from Ecuadorian director Sebastián Cordero.

Full Review… | August 9, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

What isn't straightforward about the plot is either hackneyed, implausible, or both.

Full Review… | August 8, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The idea that life evolved independently on Europa is perfectly plausible-and that makes what would be a fun and exciting film in any case all the more worth watching.

Full Review… | August 8, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

I'm not qualified to judge the accuracy of the scientific detail, though the filmmakers convey a genuine respect for hard science instead of the cursory interest shown by most science fiction movies.

Full Review… | August 7, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Europa Report

This is basically the Blair Witch Project of space movies.

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Julie
Julie B

Super Reviewer

½

Being released in the same year as the big-budgeted and visually stunning "Gravity" would normally hinder the successful chances of any other film in the science-fiction genre. However, Sebastien Cordoro's "Europa Report" actually manages to find it's own niche and invigoration by relying purely on a strong premise and confidence in it's delivery. It will, most certainly, not pull in the revenue or audience of "Gravity" but it's proof, yet again, that coughing up the green isn't always necessary when venturing into the cosmos.

Aboard Europa One, a crew of six astronauts embark on a privately funded mission to search for life on Jupiter's fourth largest moon. After six months all communication with mission control is lost but the crew carry on regardless and discover an unexplained bioluminescence underneath the moons surface. When mission control finally regain contact with the ship, they discover what actually happened to the crew and what the mysterious lighted object was.

The first thing that strikes you about this film is it's excellent use of atmosphere and it's foreboding music that captures a suitably sinister tone from the off-set. Even though it's running on a cheaper budget than the aforementioned Alfonso Cauron blockbuster, it still manages a strikingly crisp appearance. The most impressive aspect to it, though, is it's simple yet entirely feasible concept. Europa (Jupiter's fourth largest moon) actually does have an ice surface and scientists hypothesise that there is a water ocean beneath it, meaning extraterrestrial life is entirely possible and it's through this, that screenwriter Philip Gelatt succeeds in relating his story.

In bringing Gelatt's story to the screen Cordoro's decision to use the found footage approach not only suits his budgetary constraints but also the the material itself. It plays out like a Nasa documented mission, interspersed with interviews of the crew and in doing so, achieves the desired sense of realism. Having a multinational (and relatively unknown) cast also adds this, much in the same way that Danny Boyle's "Sunshine" benefited from not knowing which crew member will perish at any given time. The found footage approach is so understated that it's easy to forget that the film falls into that sub-genre. It's intimacy also contributes to clever use of tension that builds slowly and effectively and any reliance on CGI is kept to a minimum.

Despite some ponderous moments that make the film feel longer than it actually is, the only real issue I had was the payoff: like so many films of this type - particularly in the horror genre - it's when the big reveal is delivered that it falters and detracts from the tension and the unknown, which made the film so strong in the first place.

Other than that, this is a highly impressive endeavour and, for the most part, a solid indie science fiction thriller. It won't have you in awe like "Gravity" but it will have you pondering the credible possibilities in our solar system.

Mark Walker

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MrMarakai
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

½

Fear. Sacrifice. Contact.

Mediocre Film! The plot in Europa report is boring, unoriginal and copies a lot from other films, the Abyss included. The fact the director takes the film out of chronological order only adds to the boredom and confusion. The actors appear to be actors pretending to be astronauts, none of them come across as believable. The only plus is the director tries to create real space footage, and this does give some believability, until you see the giant gray bin lined space suits. Not bad effort for a low budget film, but its lacks an original plot.

An international crew of astronauts undertakes a privately funded mission to search for life on Jupiter's fourth largest moon.

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MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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