I.S.S. Movie Review

Though I.S.S. isn’t the biggest disappointment I’ve ever had at the theaters, it surely wasn’t as good as I had expected it would be nor as exceptional as the trailers made it out to be.


The I.S.S. is the International Space Station, a collaboration between the United States and the Russians after the Cold War. It’s used as a research facility. Advancements in medicines, cancers especially, and technologies have been made by crew members on the space station. There are three Astronauts and three Cosmonauts. I’m not sure I’d be clear thinking floating as I slept, but they’ve managed to make a wonderful life for themselves up there. They do work out and play games. They both have their own sides of the International Space Station and their own labs with equipment and shipments arriving from their specific countries. Also, they get along well, working on projects as scientists there to improve life on Earth and in our universe.


At one point, you hear “Winds of Change” by the German rock band The Scorpions playing in the background. I loved that because the reason they wrote the song was after a visit to Moscow. They were actually one of the first rock bands to play in Russia after the end of the Cold War, returning soon after to give a performance at the Moscow Music Peace Festival. They were loved and were shocked when Russian fans were applauding a German band. Their guitarist Rudolf Schenker said of the song that it’s “A kind of message soundtrack to the world’s most peaceful revolution on earth.” It’s a wonderful song. Once you hear it in the film, you won’t forget it. It’ll be stuck in your head. It set the tone of the movie for me.  The Space Station itself does, too, but then becomes something altogether different.


Kira happens to be looking out the window when she sees something unusual happening below. It’s apparent that there’s war breaking out down below. What does that mean for them? Half of the space station could now be one another’s enemy. What do you do with that? Gordon (Messina) notices a message come through for them to remain silent about the information they’re about to receive. That information is that war has occurred between the two countries and that the I.S.S. has now been deemed a priority foothold. All US citizens aboard must now follow the order to “take control” of the I.S.S. by any means necessary. Believing each received the same message, everyone is paranoid about who was a moment before this, their friends. The Americans have a problem with their antenna outside. Christian (John Gallagher Jr.) suggests Gordon go out and fix it, or they’re doomed.


The same type of conversation is going on the other side. Alexey (Pilou Asbæk) cuts a communication wire, and Kira and Gordon, who are floating outside the station, no longer have a way to communicate. Some things happen that keep you on the edge of your seat but not necessarily deeply absorbed. The station is now falling toward the scorching earth, but they don’t work together to help one another. It’s terribly confusing, not put together well, and isn’t all that exciting when it’s set in the tiniest place possible. It has a few twists, but they’re not even particularly practical. I must say that what tense and dreadful moments there are, just don’t warrant you making a trip to the theater to watch.

I’d see it at home for a thinly veiled rush. It’s just not what you were assured you were getting from it when you first learned of its existence.



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Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Writer: Nick Shafir
Starring: Ariana DeBose, Chris Messina, John Gallagher Jr., Maria Mashkova, Costa Ronin, Pilou Asbæ

Rated: R
Run Time: 1h 35m
Genres: Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller, Action

Distributor: Bleecker Street



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tmc.io contributor: ShariK.Green tmc
I'm the Sr. Film Writer and Community Manager for tmc.io. I write, direct and produce short films with my production company, Good Stew Productions. Though it's difficult to answer this question when asked, I'd say my favorite movie is “The Big Chill.” I enjoy photography, poetry, and hiking and I adore animals, especially elephants. I live in Arizona and feel it's an outstanding and inspirational place to live.

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