Life

Critics Consensus

Life is just thrilling, well-acted, and capably filmed enough to overcome an overall inability to add new wrinkles to the trapped-in-space genre.

67%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 252

54%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 33,562

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Movie Info

Astronauts (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds) aboard the International Space Station are on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As members of the crew conduct their research, the rapidly evolving life-form proves far more intelligent and terrifying than anyone could have imagined.

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Critic Reviews for Life

All Critics (253) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (170) | Rotten (83)

  • This sci-fi shocker sticks closely to the Alien playbook, down to the intimately acquainted, flatly characterized crew and the scenes of chaos, panic, and overlapping dialogue.

    March 26, 2020 | Full Review…
  • The horror lies in watching the monster grow while dreaming up a variety of grisly attack techniques.

    March 29, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie reduces its fear factor to simple suspense that's not insignificant but is pretty insubstantial.

    March 27, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Those who have seen Alien will have a pretty good idea what's coming, at least to a point. Once things reach that point, however, all bets are off.

    March 25, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Here is a story that knows how to put the nihilism in the vast nothingness of space. If you're into that sort of thing.

    March 24, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Life has cool effects, real suspense and a sweet twist. It ain't rocket science, but it does what it does well -- even, one might say, with a kind of genius.

    March 24, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Life

  • 15h ago
    It's best to see Life with zero expectations and knowing very little about the premise (e.g. don't watch the trailer). A tense thrill-ride with an excellent acting assemble.
    Mark B Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 2019
    Really well executed and partially exciting sci-fi horror that doesn't manage to reinvent the wheel nor even tries to. While the look of the space station is close to the realism of Gravity, the trope in which every tense situation kills off one crew member is old and not particularly surprising. The creature is pretty cool, at least. Unfortunately they went with a real shitty shock ending. If I ever wanna see pretty well known actors die rather horrible deaths I would....oh wait, no I don't, ever. Too bad about the really good first half.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 09, 2018
    I've often wondered how humanity would react to the knowledge of there being life on other planets, even if that life-form is a single-cell organism. Even discovering that, as minor as it might seem to some of the more uneducated sectors of the world, would be the greatest accomplishment of humanity's short, in the grand scheme of things of how long the universe has been around, existence. I've always been of the belief that I would love to be able to live to be, even, 10,000 years old. When I think of all the advancements in technology, science, society, etc, etc, that I'm gonna miss due to the fact that this stupid body is only good for, at the most (in my case at least), 80 years is one of the greatest disappointments of my life. It's not that I would want to be immortal, it's just that I wish humanity could extend their lifespan exponentially than it currently sits at. That's neither here nor there, the point is that, again, discovering life on other planets would be a monumental accomplishment. Of course, this is a theme that has been explored in numerous other films. But, in these cases, it's always framed as a 'be careful what you wish for' type of scenario. And, I suppose, there's a kernel of truth to that. I mean, if you really think about it, if we discover life on other planets, especially if it's as complex as human beings are and not, necessarily, a single-celled organism, who knows whether they'd be hostile to us or not. We know nothing about them. This is just me speculating based on films I've seen, which is obviously not real life. But it is still something to think about. Though, of course, I've always been an ask questions first kind of guy. I don't want to make an impulsive decision based on what my instincts tell me because, it could very well turn out that those instincts are wrong. I suppose that's relevant to the film that we're talking about here. If I was one of the international space crew, I suppose I would have been one of the first to die, given, again, my predilection for assessing the situation before making a decision. Though, let's be fair, the moment Calvin latches on to my arm like he did to Hugh (and proceeded to break it), my survival instincts would kick in. And, yes, the life-form in question really is named Calvin (some kids at this elementary school got to pick it). The crew is hunted down, and some are killed, by an alien named Calvin. Anyway, we're getting ahead of ourselves here. The movie sees the crew discovering a life-form from this Mars capsule. Of course, there's a lot of science talk that I'm not even gonna bother going into, because I would just fry everyone's brain. Essentially things started to go wrong once they start to notice that Calvin quickly grows into a multi-cell organism, is uncommonly smart and is able to survive in temperatures similar to ours, though with obvious...differences, in that he can survive outside in space, where there is no oxygen, longer than he probably should. Regardless, every time he consumes a living being, starting with a lab rat, he gets bigger and bigger. Not to mention that he gets bigger, seemingly, every time the crew sees him, it's also that the fucking thing seems to be unkillable and adapts itself to whatever situation he is put on. Having said that, I suppose I should mention that I definitely enjoyed my time with this movie. Of course, I suppose that I should also mention that there is literally no original bone in this film's body. It's every trapped in space movie you've ever seen. The comparison to Alien is, quite frankly, almost way too obvious. And, sadly, as great as Alien is, comparing this to that high standard is always gonna end up going badly for this film. I mean, really, it doesn't always have to be unfavorable. Like I said, there's no original bone in this film's body, but I still felt that it made for an entertaining horror movie. First of all, Calvin the alien feels like a an actual threat. But there's also something that a character mentions and that's that Calvin doesn't hate the humans he's attacking, he just needs to eat them to survive. And, of course, it's a throwaway line, but it's not something that you normally think about in films like this and, sadly, it's not something that's explored further than this line. I mean, I guess I wouldn't know exactly where you go with that concept, but I'm just wondering aloud as to how interesting it would be if done correctly. The movie is also very nice to look at. While, obviously this is not the technical masterpiece that Gravity was, the special effects in this movie are really strong. And, honestly, as far as special effects are concerned, I always seem to gravitate more towards these set in space films. What I mean by that, is that I always seem to get into the visual aspects of those films more than, say, a Guardians of the Galaxy, which still has impressive effects, but it just doesn't grab me as much. If that makes sense. The film is also very well cast, there are strong performances from, pretty much, everyone in the cast. There's not much character development, for sure, since it's concerned more with the survival of the crew and getting them out of this situation, but I liked the characters. There's enough personality to them for their deaths to not feel meaningless. And, of course, the horror is just strong all around. It's obviously not gonna change the world, but, as I mentioned, Calvin feels like a real threat here. He feels like that simply because, no matter what you do to him, he withstands absolutely everything that is thrown his way. No kind of extreme heat or lack of oxygen can really stop him from accomplishing his goals. I'm not saying that Calvin is a supervillain like The Joker or, for a more recent example, Thanos, but he is a good enough monster for this type of film. There's also a good amount of gore here. Perhaps nothing too extreme, but it is definitely good as well. I liked the ending as well, given that it is appropriately bleak. I mean, in short, this is just a solidly-made movie where, while it doesn't master any of its individual elements, it shows enough mastery over all of them for it to add up to a good horror movie. This is obviously never going to be a horror classic, nor was it really meant to be. What it does offer is a solid, enjoyable entry into a subgenre that we are all familiar with. Good movies, really, are hard to come by (even if you pick and choose) and this is, in my opinion, a good movie (whether it's a horror or not). Obviously, the arthouse crowd isn't gonna gravitate toward this, but genre enthusiasts should find something to enjoy here.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 25, 2017
    This movie was given the wrong single-word title. It should’ve been called “Amateurs”.
    Super Reviewer

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