Moon is the best sci-fi movie in a long time. Duncan Jones, son of David (Bowie) has scripted and directed a wonderful thinking man's space movie. Sam Rockwell, playing the only resident of the moon, handles pretty near the entire movie and captivates you every step of the way. Kevin Spacey voices the computer, Gerty, an obvious homage to Douglas Rain's voicing of H.A.L. Spacey does a fantastic job, and Jones adds the touch of emoticons -- when Gerty says something, his screen displays the appropriate smiley, frowny, or what-have-you. Sometimes these emoticons reveal things that Gerty himself didn't want to communicate. Indeed, Gerty's motives will be questioned the entire movie, thanks partially to Spacey's creepy voice.
Sam Rockwell is Sam Bell, an employee of Lunar Industries over 100 years from now. Poverty on Earth no longer exists thanks to the Moon, and its ample deposits of helium3, which is used in fusion reactors. Sam maintains the equipment and gathers the helium3 from the giant harvesters scouring the surface of the moon. He then sends the helium3 home via capsule. There is no real-time communication with Earth, however, only recorded messages, due to a faulty satellite. Bell is feeling horribly lonely. He has been on the Moon for 3 years and his contract expires in 2 weeks. All he wants is to see his wife and child again. Paranoia and strange hallucinations are starting to set in.
All this sets in motion a story that twists and turns, and weaves information skillfully. Threads and clues are left for the viewers, who must question everything they see on screen. Sam too will question reality, question his surroundings, his existance, and his purpose. Sometimes stirring, sometimes mindblowing, Moon is never boring. Imagine that -- a real sci-fi movie that still has you on the edge of your seat! Are you listening, Michael Bay? The only lapse, and the only flaw with this movie was that there was sound outside. When Sam goes to the surface of the moon, there was sound which is impossible. That is my only complaint.
The idea of mining helium3 on the moon is based on real science. Indeed, astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, the only geologist to go to the moon, discussed the idea in an issue of Popular Mechanics. It had been written about in many science books as well as a way to finance colonization and exploration. Truly, this movie is the sci-fi fan's dream and the many ideas presented (about many other topics that I will not spoil) will give you something to think about for months.
Truly, Moon is one hell of a story. Cudos to Rockwell for manning the whole movie himself, and cudos to Jones for this amazing script. The story is intricate. Every frame on the screen relays important information to the viewer about what is going on, and it is up to you to figure it out before Sam does. There is not a frame wasted, everything in this movie means something.
The sets and effects are simple but effective. This is the moon after all, not Pandora. I imagine that this is what it really looks like up there. It is certainly a convincing film.
Get Moon. Watch it tonight. You won't be disappointed. 5 stars.
==Edit August 2010==
I was given a blu-ray copy of the movie and recently re-watched. While I generally try to avoid re-buying films I already owned on DVD, it was a gift and it was well worth it. This movie is crisp and clear on blu-ray. I can only guess that the 1080p picture is as close to being there as I'll ever get!