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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Think The Butler Did It
This is a film with not much in the way of resolution but lots of possibilities as to what we are, when we are, and where we are. Set in a space station orbiting the planet Solaris there are plenty of odd happenings as the crew begin to react to something. Given that the film concerns our imaginations and ability to manufacture memories you will not be surprised to find...
Published 4 months ago by Charles Vasey

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you liked 2001 Space Odyssey you might like this ...
This is the story of a space station where the crew has cut off communications with earth. A security force is sent to investigate but disappears - unfortunately we never find out where they disappeared to or even if they came to harm. George Clooney plays Chris Kelvin, a civilian psychologist on earth. He is approached and asked to go to the space station to investigate...
Published on 31 Oct 2007 by Mary Chrapliwy


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Think The Butler Did It, 16 Feb 2014
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Solaris [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a film with not much in the way of resolution but lots of possibilities as to what we are, when we are, and where we are. Set in a space station orbiting the planet Solaris there are plenty of odd happenings as the crew begin to react to something. Given that the film concerns our imaginations and ability to manufacture memories you will not be surprised to find it is hard to determine what is "real" or even what "real" might be. If you like a firm end to a film you'll be spitting nails over this one, if you like to build your own resolution (though one is suggested) then I think you'll enjoy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open your mind!, 2 Jun 2014
By 
W. A. Armstrong "W.Armstrong" (North East England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Solaris [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
I have to admit to being amazed ! The exact number of reviewers (38) gave this movie a one star rating as also gave it a FIVE star rating. It's seldom that a movie can divide an audience so clearly. I have to admit that had I been in a different mood when I began to watch this, then my rating could have been very different.
I think the level of your enjoyment of a movie often depends on your mindset when watching the movie, and I have to say the fact that I paid only 75p (no, that isn't a typing error) made me approach the movie with an open mind and willingness to give it a chance. Certain reviews I read said the film was slow and nothing happened, however I found that it unfolded at a good pace and in doing so , dragged you further and further into the mystery of a manned space station orbiting the recently discovered planet Solaris.
George Clooney is one of a handful of actors who never fails to give a good performance and here is no different.In this, Clooney plays a psychiatrist who is sent a desperate message from an old friend aboard the troubled space station asking for his help. From that point on we see Clooneys life in a series of flashbacks and dreams but these themselves have serious and disturbing consequences for the men and women on the station.
I won't tell you any more of the plot as I don't wish to spoil your enjoyment but I will say that the movie drives at it's own pace, which is very deliberate and methodical. Each scene revealing more of Clooneys character and that of his love interest, Natascha McElhone , time which is well spent , as you find yourself more and more interested in both characters and the sometimes difficult choices they are forced to make.
What sets this aside from other Sci-Fi movies is not just the great acting , but the attention to detail of all the sets, sometimes claustrophobic and minimal but lit in such a way that they become an integral part of the overall story, this is especially true of the mysterious planet Solaris.
The only other movie that bears some comparison , in that it constantly makes you ask questions is 'moon' , a similarly intelligent and thought provoking film.
Invest the time in this movie, watch it with an open mind and you won't be disappointed.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing., 18 Mar 2006
By 
Lixma (Earth...usually) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Solaris [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
While Solaris is inevitably labelled Sci-Fi its core themes are distinctly human. Loss, regret and the realization that memory tends to simplify events, people and places. While the original film allows the viewer to muse on the overall, Soderbergh's take focuses on the main protagonist's (Clooney) experience with the strange 'planet'. With only a standard 90 minutes to play with the director has done a good job of explaining the power Solaris wields without having to constantly remind us with new and more bizarre consequences (and special effects).
The visuals sway from the ethereal (Solaris), austere (Earth) and utilitarian (Space Station). On the commentary track, Soderbergh tells us he wanted Solaris to have a 'synaptic' quality to it and the effect is beautiful. Cliff Martinez's score, too, will follow you around for months.
As for the cast, Clooney is excellent as ever. While his performance doesn't require histrionics he makes believable a shrink thrown into a situation where his vocational skills are rendered useless by minds becoming matter. Natascha McElhone is charged with an incredibly difficult role. Her character on Earth is confident, sexy, playful, remote and ultimately suicidal; on Solaris she has to play whatever Clooney's character has in mind...hard work, but admirably done. It's unfortunate that in one weak scene of un-necessary exposition the focus is on McElhone but it's a fault of the screen-writer, not her. Jeremy Davies' Snow is perhaps the character that deserved more attention than was given. Considering his unique 'situation' it would have been worth an extra half hour to explore it. Viola Davis is okay but ultimately pointless. The removal of her character wouldn't have affected the film in anyway and her presence really only fills an authority vacuum on the station.
It's good to see adult themes being explored in the Sci-Fi genre and being embraced by Hollywood heavyweights....and not a LaZer BeAm in sight. Obviously this film won't appeal to the 'action' based wing of Sci-Fi fans and the polarity of opinions shown here is evidence of this. But as a serious slice of "what if", Solaris rewards attention and multiple viewings.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 9 Feb 2005
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This review is from: Solaris [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
I don't often write reviews, but after seeing the disparaging 'review' from the 'sci-fi fan' I had to wade in and give my two pennies worth.
I admit to not having seen the original... yet... but this film is, in my humblest opinion, sublime. Maybe you either get it or you don't... I would count myself amongst those that get it, but have yet to really fathom it. It delves into the psychology of the story rather than in the science fiction of the setting itself, which I love. The conflict in the characters up to the final acceptance of Clooney's character builds and culminates perfectly. And helped along by the amazing, subtle soundtrack it really is a firm favourite of mine.
Also, forget that this was produced by James Cameron... if you're expecting The Abyss or Aliens you're going to be as disappointed as the sci-fi fan! However, if you're after an intelligent, thought provoking and beautiful film in a science fiction setting then it's perfect for you!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film to tickle your brain cells, 17 Oct 2005
This review is from: Solaris [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
If you're not particularly a fan of science fiction, don't be put off seeing this film. The fact that this masterpiece is set in space simply adds visual interest to a timeless story about love and loss and reconciliation. George Clooney is simply superb and Natascha McElhone is a radiantly beautiful choice as his is-she-or-isn't-she partner. With haunting music permeating the intriguing plot, and delicately lit and moody camerawork giving subtle clues to the storyline, Solaris is mysterious, gripping, charming and dreamy. It is also ultimately philosophical, leaving it up to you to decide what has happened as the final credits roll. Every so often it really is good to see a film that entertains while also respecting the viewer's intelligence. This surely belongs in the Top 100 movies of all time, and the soundtrack is worthy of any music collection.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untouchably stunning..., 18 Dec 2009
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This review is from: Solaris [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
Perfect filming, acting & music in this stylish, mesmerisingly surreal & moving watch. Quite simply one of my favourite movies of all time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you liked 2001 Space Odyssey you might like this ..., 31 Oct 2007
By 
Mary Chrapliwy (NJ, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Solaris [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
This is the story of a space station where the crew has cut off communications with earth. A security force is sent to investigate but disappears - unfortunately we never find out where they disappeared to or even if they came to harm. George Clooney plays Chris Kelvin, a civilian psychologist on earth. He is approached and asked to go to the space station to investigate what is happening with the crew and, since one of the crew members is a close friend of his, they think he may be able to assist the crew from a psychological standpoint and save the mission. Okay, so you can see we're already on pretty shaky ground here. Civilian with no training and trips to outer space don't mix well.

Anyway, When he arrives on the ship there are just two crew members left. His friend has already committed suicide by the time he gets there and there is no mention of anyone else or anything else regarding what may have happened to other people. Anyway, the two remaining crew members don't appear in the movie much after the initial opening. The remainder of the movie is focused on his relationship with his dead wife who mysteriously appears on the ship in his locked room. That's just the opening, and it doesn't get much better.

There are lots of scenes where they just stare at each other without speaking. Everything is dark - you feel like saying "why doesn't anyone turn on the lights!" You wonder if anything is ever going to happen. It was one of the quietest, darkest movies I've ever watched - highly reminiscent of 2001 Space Odyssey. Some people may like this movie, but I'm willing to bet a higher percentage will be on the fence like I am, or just plain dislike it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what expected, 24 Dec 2005
By 
E. WISE (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Solaris [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
It should be noted that this film is far from your average Sci-Fi, so in that respect if your a Sci-Fi fan you will not get what you expect & will prehaps be dissappointed.
I'm not a Steven Soderberg fan, espically when i look at oceans 11 and 12, nor am i a George Clooney fan either. This film was different, intriguing and beautiful. It was wonderfully shot, and i was captivated by the cuts, and particualrly aware of how awesome the sound was.
Natascha McElhone who has never really made an impression on me that much before, she was always that woman in Ronin in my mind but even she really grabbed me in this, and felt i really saw the beauty that george's character initial saw.
It is a thought provoking film about life and people, with a sci-fi back drop instead of a sci-fi plot. It was really an unexpected suprise, and a pleasent one at that.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars excellent film but terrible DVD, 25 April 2004
This review is from: Solaris [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
This is an excellent film, but on watching the DVD I was immediately putin the wrong frame of mind for such a laid back movie.
The reason? TEN MINUTES of unskippable trailers for dreadful films and copyrightwarnings before the first menu is reached. Totally unacceptable for apurchased DVD.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adult sci-fi at last!, 26 Feb 2006
This review is from: Solaris [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
Many have dismissed George Clooney as nothing more than a leading man with presence - by doing so they're missing the point entirely...sure he's handsome and charming with a patented grin but he's also one of the few actors in Hollywood willing to take a chance.Solaris shows a willingness to work outside convention that has typified Clooneys work for some time now (Three Kings being a prime example)- it's demanding and lyrical with an atmospheric feel augmented by the brooding and minimal soundtrack.Don't expect any easy answers - the whole point of the film is that it makes you question the reality of what we see and asks you to think beyond your average sci-fi flashiness...there are no CGI battles or talking furry aliens only a couple of powerhouse leading performances , masterful direction and some of the most beautiful uses of lighting and mood you'll see.
In a nutshell, Clooney is forced to investigate strange events aboard a scientific space station orbiting the planet Solaris...all is not what it seems however as the spectre of his recently deceased wife begins to take on a life all of its own outside his thoughts.
Solaris is one of the few modern films that stayed with me after I first watched it... something that's incredibly rare in these days of sequels and quick fire remakes (sure I know that Solaris is a remake but only an ardent masochist could sit through the original!). Challenge yourself and watch this film.
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Solaris [2003] [DVD]
Solaris [2003] [DVD] by Steven Soderbergh (DVD - 2003)
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