D: Joseph Kosinski
Universal/Relativity Media/Monolith (Joseph Kosinski, Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Barry Levine & Duncan Henderson)
W: Karl Gajdusek & Michael deBruyn [based on the graphic novel by Joseph Kosinski]
DP: Claudio Miranda
Ed: Richard Francis-Bruce
Mus: M83 & Joseph Trapanese
Tom Cruise (Cmmdr. Jack Harper), Morgan Freeman (Malcolm Beech), Olga Kurylenko (Julia Rusakova Harper), Andrea Riseborough (Victoria Olsen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Sgt. Sykes), Melissa Leo (Sally / Tet)
If you've not watched this movie, don't read this review. This film is best watched if you go into it blind and know as little of the plot as possible. This is pretty much what I did, but I'm clever and I figured it all out within the opening act...
Tom Cruise is really trying his best to claim action man roles following his jump over Oprah Winfrey's couch and this is certainly his best film since 2002's Minority Report (aside from his cameo in Tropic Thunder).
That being said, I found this movie just as disappointing as I found it technically impressive.
In a nutshell, it takes the driving factors of The Matrix, The Terminator, Independence Day & (mostly) 2009's Moon for the bones of the plot, and if you've seen any of them movies, ESPECIALLY the latter, the big plot twist in this will have you rolling your eyes rather than leave you speechless and mouth agog.
Here's a more concise breakdown of the plot: In the post-Apocalyptic future, Cruise & his English wife (Riseborough) are Earth's babysitters, maintaining drones (terminators) which protect harvesting machines from the baddies... Cruise starts wondering about his existence and discovers that there's more to life than following instructions and his persona from Top Gun comes forth. He intercepts a ship of human survivors just before all but one are assassinated by the robot drones and then Morpheus, I mean Morgan Freeman, tells him to follow the white rabbit to discover the truth. The rest of the film is Moon (qv) with Tom Cruise instead of Sam Rockwell before a climax ripped straight from Independence Day (qv).
Aside from having a completely unoriginal and totally Hollywoodized story and being very slowly paced, the sets are brilliantly designed, the movie is photographed well and the visual effects are incredibly well done. This movie simply fails due to the "seen it all before" issues, but it's worth a one-off watch for any fan of science fiction.
However, I'd recommend Moon as a much better film.