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Europa Report (2013)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 74
Fresh: 59 | Rotten: 15

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

76

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 5

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

audience

56

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 14,892

My Rating

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

Oct 8, 2013

$0.1M

Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (74) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (15) | DVD (1)

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.

August 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

August 15, 2013 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

August 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

August 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop 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.

August 8, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop 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.

August 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the most immediately involving science-fiction films in recent memory.

February 20, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

In most modern science fiction, scientists are not depicted as noble. In the tradition of Frankenstein, they are often depicted as villains. This movie presents real science and scientists at their noble, courageous best.

January 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

An exciting but subdued sci-fi thriller about astronauts on a fouled-up mission to find out if there's life on Jupiter.

December 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

There is an earthbound integrity and deeply respectful approach to the science in Europa Report that imbues the story with a gritty intensity, lifting it beyond its B-movie framework.

November 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Screen-Space
Screen-Space

The best science fiction films have no chases, no guns blaring, no zombies, no prosthetic makeup, and no suspension of the laws of science. This is one of the best of recent years.

October 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Mark Leeper's Reviews
Mark Leeper's Reviews

Its ideas trump its method, a necessity when working in a weary genre.

October 11, 2013 Full Review Source: MLive.com
MLive.com

While it does look and feel genuine at times and you're not ever able to shake that wondrous sensation of potential discovery, Europa Report fails to ever really wow its audience.

October 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

I've never been so engrossed in frank conversations involving landing zones, ice drilling, or hydrazine.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Racket
Film Racket

... maintains an intimacy and a slow-paced authenticity to the proceedings that helps to gradually increase the tension without sacrificing character development.

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com
Cinemalogue.com

Puts a premium on credibility

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Until things go wrong in the last quarter it's like looking at CNN.

August 23, 2013 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

The film is resonant and largely satisfying, but in a smaller, more cerebral way than many of its genre.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

Like many other dull road trips, your response to this one might be a quick nap.

August 15, 2013 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

If it had a torso, it'd be wearing a pocket protector.

August 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

A solidly cast, interesting budget concept is absolutely wrecked by terrible editing and needless voiceover that is at first wearying and then just ire-provoking.

August 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Shockya.com
Shockya.com

A suspenseful drama proving that outer space is a very mysterious and a very dangerous place.

August 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

A small, brilliantly cast sci-fi gem, a riveting piece of minimalist work.

August 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

Audience Reviews for Europa Report

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
December 10, 2013
MrMarakai

Super Reviewer

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.
December 8, 2013
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

We can feel the limitations in the budget by the shots that aren't shown, but the shots we are given are convincing. The story is a "B movie" thriller/horror by design, but it's produced very intelligently with its less than $10 million budget.
November 24, 2013
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

This film isn't too different from Cuaron's "Gravity", to tell you the truth -- although without the stunning zero-gravity technology. It's a quite enjoyable and thrilling space disaster story.
November 9, 2013
cchclaw

Super Reviewer

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