An early screening of the sci-fi film Gravity just got RAVE reviews

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Aug 28, 2013, 1:20 PM EDT

If you weren't already convinced by the trailers, these reviews might prove that Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity is a film you simply must see.

The film, which tells the story of two astronauts fighting to survive after a catastrophic accident leaves them floating in space, just had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where Deadline reports it "drew loud applause" and had people using words like "brilliant." Numerous prominent film critics were on hand to finally get a glimpse of the long-gestating flick, and they were just as impressed.

So, how impressed? Well, here's Todd McCarthy, writing for The Hollywood Reporter:

"At once the most realistic and beautifully choreographed film ever set in space, Gravity is a thrillingly realized survival story spiked with interludes of breath-catching tension and startling surprise."

Variety's Justin Chang perhaps went even further, calling it "at once a nervy experiment in blockbuster minimalism and a film of robust movie-movie thrills, restoring a sense of wonder, terror and possibility to the big screen that should inspire awe among critics and audiences worldwide." So basically, this is a movie that should revitalize our faith in the power of movies.

As for Cuaron's direction, Chang hailed him as a "rare virtuoso capable of steering us through vividly imagined worlds and into deep recesses of human feeling," while The Playlist's Oliver Lyttelton proclaimed that "almost every decision is inspired."

The performances by stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are also apparently stellar work. Chang wrote that Clooney "gets one particularly audacious scene that perhaps only a star of his stature could have managed, pulling the viewer through various states of shock, disbelief and finally bittersweet understanding." As for Bullock, Lyttelton called her performance "about the best she’s ever been in a dramatic role" 

But all that praise doesn't mean there was no room for criticism. McCarthy, for one, was disappointed that the film "shies away from proposing anything metaphysical, philosophically suggestive or meaning-laden," and handed down the verdict that "its refusal to acknowledge the eternal mysteries, to be anything more than a thrillingly made, stripped-down suspense drama, will relegate it to good-but-not-great status." Another criticism came from The Independent's Geoffrey McNab, who noted that "The one problem with Gravity is that the plotting never quite matches its visual imagination."

Still, criticism aside, this film is getting an incredible reception so far. What do you think? Is Gravity going to live up to the hype when it hits theaters on Oct. 4?

(Via The Atlantic Wire)