The Midnight Sky: A Journey to K-23



Netflix poster of scientist Augustine Lofthouse, played by George Clooney (right) and Iris played by Caoilinn Springall (left) on the trek in the Arctic.

By Emily Chin, Staff Writer

The George Clooney sci-fi drama, “Midnight Sky,” had huge expectations when it first hit Netflix on Dec. 11. 2020. In recent years we’ve seen a lot of directors take the outer-space trend with movies like “The Martian,” “Interstellar,” “Arrival,” and “First Man.” Directed by Clooney, I felt as if the film had so much potential but lacked the emotion and intensity that’s present in other sci-fi dramas.

First, let me start off with the whole digest of the film. Based in 2049, after a disaster that left Earth with half its population in an uninhabitable state. Scientist Augustine Lofthouse played by Clooney has spent his whole life trying to find a new planet where humans can safely settle to expand humanity. On the Arctic base, conditions have become horrible, and people are starting to evacuate. Lofthouse finds himself refusing to evacuate with the other evacuees knowing his life-span isn’t long, due to a serious unknown illness he suffers from.

Thinking he’s alone, he finds a young girl who doesn’t speak. Due to the conditions, the base is too far out of range to alert the evacuees to come back and get her. After a while, they create a close bond, and eventually set off to another base up North to find a stronger antenna. While in space, a group of astronauts is on their way back to Earth after exploring Jupiters habitable moon K-23. Losing all sorts of contact with the real world, they have absolutely no idea how bad the living conditions have become. Lofthouse now races to contact the crew about the conditions on Earth before it’s too late.

All in all, the movie isn’t that bad. I would rate it a 6.5/10 but knowing that Clooney directed and starred in the film, plus, having other cast members like Felicity Jones, Kyle Chandler, Sophie Rundle, and David Oyelowo, you would definitely expect much more.

Starting with what I did like is that the graphics were stunning. The colors made me feel like I was there in the film in the cold icy weather in the Arctic, to the crisp warm mountain landscapes on Jupiter’s moon K-23.

I would say there’s a splurged number of moments that were thrilling and exciting. I knew that the story was meant to be heartwarming and emotional, but I felt that there wasn’t enough “screen time” for each character to really express their personality. At times, I felt like I was so close to really feeling the emotion that I was supposed to feel, but I just couldn’t feel bad or happy for any of them.

The ending built up to such a big moment, but in the end, my response was just, “Is that all?” If you decide to watch the film, my warning is that it’s really slow (especially the first forty minutes). The majority of the scenes were not worth remembering. Maybe that’s just me or the lack of dialogue in certain parts of the film. I paid a whole hundred percent of my attention to the film and still got bored because of how slow it was. I’ll say the ending was unexpected, but throughout the movie, there was still a lot of questions left unanswered, which I didn’t like.

I’m not saying that the film was terrible because I know that there are people who really loved this movie. If you do want to give it a try, just keep in mind that you better have the patience to make it through this two-hour film.