It's terror at 1.34 million feet in the deeply astonishing Gravity. At the tail-end of a routine spacewalk, astronauts Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are beset upon by shards of satellite shrapnel that separate them from NASA and make any chance of survival a virtual impossibility. Clooney's mainly along for his charm, but it's Bullock who will rightfully pick up some awards, acting entirely through her eyes (aside from a couple formidably physical scenes) while stuck in a CGI spacesuit. Director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men) delicately navigates between oppressive cinematography and human resilience as his characters struggle against the black void calmly enveloping them. Some delicate combination of CGI, wirework and probably sorcery allows for a film that looks and feels unlike anything else. Staggering to watch, Gravity earns its powerful ending by way of the slick skill with which it presents a horrific, terrifying ordeal.

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