Sam Rockwell gives a tour de force performance that requires him to flex his character chops and master more than a few special effects complexities that might otherwise have led to a stiff or unconvincing performance. Most gripping about his work is the common reality he captures in a setting so defined by the surreal and unimaginable. He makes spaceships on the moon seem perfectly normal, the usual daily grind. There’s no question that the whole film hangs on his shoulders, for more than one reason.
Director Duncan Jones adapts a wonderfully minimalist style here that keeps the characters and story at the forefront, a rare achievement in modern sci-fi. Baring the occasional quirk, plot hole, or misstep the film is a real treat that is as fresh as it is familiar, particularly to an audience who recalls an earlier, less CGI-dominated era in American science fiction.