Story

Ad Astra is set in the near future, after a global power surge on earth causes over 43 000 deaths. The military suspect an extraterrestrial attack, and astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) is sent on a mission to find his missing father, Dr Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), who has been missing for 30 years. At the time of his disappearance, Clifford was leading a team in a search for life near Neptune and he hasn’t been heard from since. The military actually suspect Clifford might be responsible for the attack and want him dead.

Roy’s mission first lands on the moon, where Roy undergoes a psychological examination to see whether he’s fit for the task. The authorities decide that Roy is too emotionally attached to his father and plan to send him home. But Roy manages to get onto the spacecraft that’s heading for Saturn to find Clifford. In doing so, Roy breaches the oxygen supply and accidentally kills all the crew on board.

Roy finally reaches his destination and finds his father. He wants to bring his father home, but things don’t turn out as planned.

Themes

Science fiction; absent parent; father-son relationships

Violence

Ad Astra has some violence. For example:

  • On the moon, bandits in space buggies attack Roy and the Colonel. Shots are fired and an oxygen tube gets punctured. The buggies push Roy’s vehicle, and it eventually goes over a cliff edge.
  • The crew receive a mayday call from a space station and arrive there to find some apes. The apes have killed all the men on the space station and viciously attack the rescue team. A man is seen with blood on his face. Blood is spattered on the window.
  • As Roy enters a spacecraft, another crew member confronts him with a gun. Shots are fired and there’s a fight, which breaches the oxygen supply. All of the crew members die.

Sexual references

None noted.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

None noted.

Product placement

None noted.

Coarse language

There is some infrequent coarse language in Ad Astra, including ‘goddamn’ and ‘hell’.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Ad Astra is a fantasy science fiction movie set in the near future. The dialogue is often muted by spacesuits, and Roy narrates a lot of the story as it goes along. The movie is mainly about the relationship between Roy and his missing father, so it doesn’t have much of a plot and moves quite slowly. Therefore, it isn’t recommended for children under 13 years, and the violence and scary scenes make it unsuitable for children under 12.

The main message from this movie is about the importance of strong bonds between parents and children.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include courage and bravery.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like why a man would choose his career above his family.