Movies that should be on Netflix: Another Earth

The clever mix of drama and sci-fi raises Another Earth to rare cinematic brilliance.

Netflix is great. It’s cheap. And it has tons of movies of all genres - blockbusters, indie, foreign-language, documentaries, even TV shows. Yet, some great movies just don’t make it out there. I watched Another Earth last summer at the Cedar Lee.

What would happen if there was another Earth out there? One that was that was exactly the same as this very earth that we inhabit. One where there’s a possibility of another ‘you’. Another Earth is about Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling), a 17-year old whiz-kid who has just been accepted to a space program at MIT. Her life changes when she is at fault for a drunk driving incident. The victims are Professor John Burrough (William Mapother) and his family. Rhoda and John survive, but the accident shatters them in seemingly irreparable ways. Now that Rhoda has served her 4-year sentence, she seeks inner peace through redemption.

The entire film takes place against the backdrop of the discovery of another Earth. The second Earth looms in the skies throughout the film, making itself more visible as time passes.

Brit Marling is quite brilliant as Rhoda. There are times when you just can’t look away. Not just because she’s pretty, but also because she emotes Rhoda so very poignantly. The fact that she co-wrote the film somehow makes her performance seem even more impressive. Mapother is also very good as the forlorn John. Both are superbly directed by Mike Cahill. The themes of forgiveness and redemption are cleverly explored.

So is Another Earth a sci-fi flick or is it drama? Primarily, it’s drama. But the addition of sci-fi elements raises the film to rare brilliance.

Watch it if you like: movies about drama with a backdrop of sci-fi. It's available on DVD, but I hope it finds its way to Netflix soon. 

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sarah July 09, 2012 at 01:33 AM
yes, Netflix should have it on stream-in for all the people who wanted to see this brilliant limited release masterpiece that made it into so few cities and theaters thanks to Fox Searchlight's penny-pinching marketing.
Betsy Muller July 09, 2012 at 11:37 AM
I agree, Another Earth is a fantastic movie. The good news is that it IS ON NETFLIX! That's how I saw it, so I know. It may not be on live stream, but you can order it through the standard service.
Pratik Patel July 09, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Glad it's available on DVD on Netflix. I'm just not sure if it's still a popular service. I guess I ignored those Netflix subscribers. Did anyone see Sound of my Voice? I have heard great things about it. It also stars Brit Marling (co-written again). Unfortunately, I missed it at the Cedar Lee.
Joe Banks July 09, 2012 at 02:43 PM
This movie uses science fiction merely as a starting point for a poignant story. Superb character development.
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