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High Life

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Germany, France, United Kingdom

2018

Rated R • 1h 53m

Director Claire Denis

Starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin, Mia Goth

Genre Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller

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Monte and his daughter are the last survivors of a dangerous mission to deep space. The crew—death-row inmates led by a doctor with sinister motives—has vanished. As the mystery of what happened onboard the ship is unraveled, father and daughter must rely on each other to survive as they hurtle toward a black hole.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

100

The Film Stage by

The crew’s suffering is bleak and oppressive, but Denis invites us to witness it so that we truly understand the power of Monte’s conviction in his improvised mission...and Denis is so emotionally in tune with what that might feel like it becomes overwhelming.
70

Screen International by Allan Hunter

High Life offers an uncompromising mind-bender of a deep space journey through destructive desire, faith, trust and the instincts for good and bad that make us merely human.
100

The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Barry Hertz

By twisting around preconceptions of what an outer-space epic should be, French auteur Claire Denis returns to the fertile ground of her Trouble Every Day era, using genre to dig beneath themes that others would only treat as skin-deep.
100

The Guardian by Charles Bramesco

With an achievement of this calibre it’s hard to resist hyperbole: High Life contains the single greatest one-person sex scene in the history of cinema.
75

The Playlist by Jason Bailey

High Life feels longer than it is, and is occasionally so squirrely that it becomes off-putting. But in spite of the aforementioned traceable connections, it’s a true original — sometimes strange, sometimes scary, sometimes kinky.
80

Variety by Jessica Kiang

This kinky, often grotesque melding of genre science-fiction with all-out body horror is an audacious project, but the scope of its ambition is cleverly reined in by the low-key presentation, its more salacious potential muted down to an insistent threatening hum, like the background radiation of Stuart Staples’ score.
60

The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

Without Denis’ typically transfixing aesthetics and with a storyline that lumbers along in places, High Life is not always an easy sit, even if occasional outbursts of violence spice up the action in distressing ways.
88

Slant Magazine by Steve Macfarlane

The film asks down-and-dirty questions about what really resides beneath thousands of years of human progress, a savage and haunting antidote to the high-minded idealism of movies like Christopher Nolan's Interstellar and Ridley Scott's The Martian.

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