The Astronaut's Wife (1999)



Critic Consensus: Despite the best efforts of its talented leads, The Astronaut's Wife moves at a snail's pace and fails to generate enough intrigue to keep viewers engaged.

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Movie Info

Science fiction blends with domestic horror in this thriller. Spencer Armacost (Johnny Depp) is an astronaut on a routine mission in space when something goes horribly wrong and it looks as if he's doomed. However, Spencer is rescued at the last moment and returns to earth a hero. He soon announces that he's retiring from space exploration to spend more time with his wife Jillian (Charlize Theron). Jillian has suffered from depression in the past and would like to start a family, so she's initially thrilled with Spencer's decision. Jillian soon finds herself pregnant, but she starts to notice something odd about her husband, as if the man who returned isn't quite the same person who went away. As her pregnancy advances, Jillian's anxieties increase, but has something really happened to Spencer, or have Jillian's old demons merely resurfaced? The Astronaut's Wife marked the directorial debut of Rand Ravich, who previously penned screenplays for such films as The Maker and Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh.
R (for violence, language and a strong scene of sexuality)
Horror , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
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Johnny Depp
as Spencer Armacost
Charlize Theron
as Jillian Armacost
Joe Morton
as Sherman Reese
Donna Murphy
as Natalie Streck
Nick Cassavetes
as Alex Streck
Blair Brown
as Shelly McLaren
Tom Noonan
as Jackson McLaren
Dawn Landon
as Nurse
Gary Grubbs
as NASA Director
Tom O'Brien
as Allen Dodge
Lucy Lin
as Shelly Carter
Michael Crider
as Pat Elliott
Conrad Bachmann
as Reporter
Jacob Stein
as Calvin
Timothy Wicker
as Wide-Eyed Kid No. 1
Brian Johnson
as Excited Fourth Grader
Sarah Dampf
as Paula
Charles Lanyer
as Spencer's Doctor
Rondi Reed
as Dr. Conlin
Seth Barrish
as Yuppie Shark
Ellen Lancaster
as Dried-Up Socialite
Julian Barnes
as Waiter
Jennifer Burry
as Second Woman
Susan Cella
as Third Woman
Linda Powell
as Fourth Woman
Lyndsey Danielle Bonomolo
as Screaming Girl
Elston Ridgle
as Security Guard
Robert Sella
as Maitre d'
Samantha Carpel
as Reporter
Lahai Fahnbulleh
as Taxi Driver
Michael Luceri
as Waiter at Party
Ben Van Bergen
as Storage Facility Client
Edward Kerr
as Pilot
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News & Interviews for The Astronaut's Wife

Critic Reviews for The Astronaut's Wife

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (20)

All the leads need to be in a better production.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Seattle Times
Top Critic

There is a terribly fine line between nihilism and rampant idiocy, and he hurls himself across it.

December 31, 1999
Miami Herald
Top Critic

In space, no one can hear you snore.

December 31, 1999
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Theron is hardly ready to carry a movie.

December 31, 1999
Boston Globe
Top Critic

It's a real space bomb.

December 31, 1999
Mr. Showbiz
Top Critic

The Astronaut's Wife might not soar, but it delivers a decent payload.

December 31, 1999
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Astronaut's Wife


An easy space flight (if there's ever such a thing, at least as of yet) has an unexplained 2 minute glitch that eventually leads to some curious, ominous questions, both for the astronauts involved and for their wives anxiously awaiting them back at home. Charlize Theron does pretty damn good carrying this Rosemary's Baby, Space Alien edition as she, like Mia Farrow in the original, begins to suspect that something might possibly be rotten in the state of Denmark. Depp adds a little Memphis Elvis spice to the John Cassavetes/caring husband role, while Joe Morton ably handles the thankless job of Cassandra, the prophet no one believes. What's wrong? A slow opening. A too quick payoff at the climatic mano y mano, and not enough dread to carry us through the middle. The coda at the end feels tacked on and unnecessary. On the other hand ... I loves me some Charlize Theron.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


An astronaut returns to Earth after an accident during a space walk, but his wife soon begins to suspect that he is not the man who she married. Rosemary's Baby gets the sci-fi treatment in this hokey supernatural thriller from the Twilight Zone school. The obvious draw for this film is the cast and Charlize Theron's hand-wringing turn as a paranoid spouse in the midst of spooky goings on makes it all very reminiscent of The Devil's Advocate. Unfortunately Johnny Depp's appeal has always revolved around his quirky charm and his serious miscasting here makes all sense of menace disappear; in fact I think that most women would think the idea of Jack Sparrow as their personal stalker would be quite appealing! But by far the biggest weakness of the film is the silly script that gets ever more ridiculous as it goes. The above par cast manage to keep The Astronaut's Wife palatable, but quite why they got involved with this sub X-Files nonsense in the first place is the biggest mystery of all.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


Dull and pointless, Johnny Depp plays a far to run of the mill boring character for his acting style and the sub-par scares won't raise anything apart from your anguish at how much longer of the film is left. Give this one a miss.

Cameron Sherwell
Cameron Sherwell

Super Reviewer

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