Oblivion (2013) ***1/2

Tom Cruise is back in another awesome (almost) Summer flick! This time, it’s a multitude of successful and intriguing Science Fiction films. That’s right, Oblivion pretty much “steals” from every beloved SciFi film that’s ever been made. On the one hand, this film lacks originality and fails to deliver anything really genuine. On the other hand, this is all your favorite SciFi movies and tropes in one movie! So, how does the movie fare?

Tech 49 Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is living in a luxurious pad above the clouds in the year 2077. Along with him, is his partner Victoria Olsen (Andrea Riseborough). Together, they man the last drone repair station on Earth, as they eagerly await the time that they get to travel back to Titan, the massive space station that harbors Earth’s surviving humans.

Why surviving humans? Well, some time ago, Earth was attacked by unknown creatures and while they won the war, they destroyed most of the Earth in the process. Since then, Titan has been gathering Water and other resources from the Earth while Jack and Victoria monitor the drones that protect the extraction devices.

Jack, unlike most of the people in this film, is curious. He remembers stories of Earth and has vague memories about it. He reads books that he finds and even travels to an untouched paradise where he has established a house in the sun and near a lake. One day, however, Jack’s curiosity gets him in trouble when a spacecraft lands and he discovers that a woman named Julia (Olga Kurylenko) is the only person on board that survived. Her very presence and questions drive Jack to the edge of the boundaries to uncover the truth about what really happened when Earth was invaded.

Right off the bat, I’ll say that this is one of the most beautiful and visually striking movies that I’ve ever seen. The ruined Earth and spacecrafts look amazing and they’re enough to captivate your attention for the whole film. Cruise is awesome in this film and gives us action, a sense of adventure, and a bit of dramatics as well. He’s one of my favorite actors and he delivers another great performance! As do Kurylenko and Morgan Freeman. Also, this film is full of awesome tropes that I think were handled well. So, if you love SciFi movies, chances are that you will like this film.

Unfortunately, this film is incredibly unoriginal. There are way too many tropes to count on one hand and some of them don’t mix to well. The lack of originality and story kind of dulls the movie, but the visuals and amazing soundtrack by M83 keep you hanging in there. This film is one of the better Summer Blockbuster’s and is quite a bit of fun. I certainly enjoyed the “twists” and most of the tropes. If all this isn’t enough reason to see this movie, I’d suggest continuing with your reading and checking out my Top Ten Thought’s on Oblivion!


This movie is even more proof that Tom Cruise is one of the best action heroes of all time!

This movie is even more proof that Tom Cruise is one of the best action heroes of all time!

What I Enjoyed

What I Didn’t Enjoy

This movie is visually breathtaking.

This movie steals from just about every SciFi film.

Tom Cruise delivers another awesome Summer movie!

The pacing of this film changes from very slow, to very fast in a confusing manner.

The film’s premise, while not original, is still a very intriguing one.

Morgan Freeman isn’t as involved in this movie as I would have liked him to have been.

The soundtrack for this film is phenomenal. Kudos to M83!

Andrea Riseborough doesn’t do too much for me. Her performance seems flat.

The little twists in this film amount to a lot of surprise and wonder.

Some of the twists in this movie are really predictable and lessen the would-be impacts.

This is a fun and engaging SciFi movie that doesn’t have to rely on lots of mindless action.

The film relies way too heavily on other SciFi films to keep itself afloat and to distract you from its less than dense script.

Olga Kurylenko proves to be much more than a Bond girl!

The script in this film is pretty thin. It never goes deep enough to where you begin to care.

The action in this film is pretty awesome and is timed well.

The dialog in this film is a bit choppy for my liking.

Flashbacks (which I love) help provide an interesting backstory.

The movie could have been 15 minutes shorter and it would have conveyed the same message.

All in all, Oblivion is one of the more interesting and better “big” movies of the year.

While the film incorporates elements from most every SciFi film, it doesn’t do the best job when trying to combine those elements into a great story.


Oblivion is most every SciFi film condensed into one. That works well on some levels, but also falls flat on others. The visuals are enough to suppress the lack of a well-written script, but the over 2 hour runtime may have you itching to leave. Tom Cruise adds another great performance to his collection in a film that is nice on the eyes, but a bit hard on the heart.

Oblivion Trailer

3.5 Stars

3.5 / 5 stars     

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