Moonfall is a popcorn film full of dumb fun – the moon falls (and that’s not even the craziest part), things get spectacularly destroyed, and the US tries to nuke the moon (of course they do).


Director(s) Roland Emmerich
Screenplay By Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser, Spenser Cohen
Date Released 2/4/2022
Where To Watch In Theaters
Genre(s) Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Duration 120 min
Content Rating PG-13
Noted Cast
Jocinda ‘Jo’ Fowler Halle Berry
Brian Harper Patrick Wilson
KC Houseman John Bradley
Sonny Harper Charlie Plummer
Tom Lopez Michael Peña
Jimmy Zayn Maloney
Michelle Wenwen Yu

Film Summary

The moon is out of orbit and on a collision course with the Earth that will end life as we know it and NASA’s reconnaissance mission gets destroyed by a highly advanced technological alien force inside the moon. So humanity’s last hope is a disgraced astronaut, a lunar conspiracy theorist, and the woman left in charge of NASA after its former director quits in the face of the oncoming apocalypse. The three must work together to launch a low-tech rocket into space and stop the moon – before the US military nukes it – to save their loved ones and all of Earth.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  • Reason(s) for Film Rating: violence, swearing, brief drug (pills) use

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

What would Elon do?
— KC Houseman

Save the moon. Save Earth.
— Brian Harper

Review

Highlights

It’s a Lot of Fun

Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) and Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) heading into space
Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) and Jo Fowler (Halle Berry)

“What if we had to fight the moon?” is undoubtably a dumb premise, but Moonfall leans into it, delivering in full on its promise of spectacular disaster and “science” fiction entertainment.

Whether it’s the Earth getting torn apart by the moon’s gravity or a rag-tag team shooting up the moon, it’s clear Roland Emmerich is not interested in realism. It’s pure escapist fun, and if you can switch off your brain for a couple of hours, you’re in for a wild ride.

Gravity Hijinks on Earth

As the moon comes closer and closer, things on Earth get weird. The ocean floods, the oxygen thins, and every time the moon “rises,” people get pulled into the sky by its gravity.

If you’ve seen the trailer, you already know there’s a car chase across chunks of land floating upward and a rocket launch through a huge tidal wave. The opportunity to watch civilization break apart and collapse in such crazy scenarios is the best reason to see Moonfall in theatres.

Low Points

You Really Need to Suspend Your Disbelief

If you’re always on the lookout for plot holes and have a hard time turning off your sense of logic, this is not the movie for you. There are so many ridiculous moments, like when the NASA launch site is evacuated in a matter of minutes after the launch is deemed inadvisable – leaving only our three protagonists to man the mission when it’s almost immediately re-approved.

And although it might be difficult to believe, the movie gets even crazier halfway through. I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say the movie makes a bold choice about what the moon really is – a choice that totally flies in the face of all logic and science.

A Conspiracy Theorist’s Fantasy

KC Houseman (John Bradley) prepping to head into space
KC Houseman (John Bradley)

KC Houseman is a conspiracy theorist that NASA has a restraining order against and so much of Moonfall is validating his crackpot views. Sure, “the moon is a megastructure” is a rather harmless conspiracy to peddle, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that this movie is sure to appeal to a certain anti-establishment demographic.

KC discovers the truth about the moon’s orbit through his own underground investigation, only for no one in authority to take him seriously. It’s clear to see the parallels between KC’s story and those in our society who decry “fake news” and urge people to “do your own research” – making KC’s heroic arc a bit concerning at times.

I Was Queerbaited

I really thought that Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) and Michelle (Wenwen Yu) were married at first – it wasn’t until Michelle expressed concerns about the military bunker accepting exchange students that I realized they weren’t together.

I mean, the two live together and are practically raising a son together. Jo reminds Michelle of Jimmy’s schedule before she leaves for work, and she leaves Michelle in charge of him when she goes to the moon.

But I guess I overestimated Moonfall (and mainstream Hollywood) because the end of the movie seems to suggest a pairing between Michelle (played by a 32-year-old) and canonical 18-year-old Sonny Parker. Too bad.

Overall

Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) presenting an argument
Jo Fowler (Halle Berry)

Moonfall is over-the-top and doesn’t make any sense – and that’s precisely why it is so much fun to watch. As long as you know what to expect (astronauts shooting up the moon, gravity pulling people into the sky, and some very questionable physics) and what not to expect (any scientific accuracy or deeply compelling characters), then this flashy sci-fi popcorn flick is sure to be a blast.

Movie Directory

An old school film reel drawn by artist Dean Nelson.

On The Radar


Ratings

  • Recommended: Some of the best-seen movies we have ever watched and mentioned to friends, family, and strangers as films that need to be seen.
  • Positive (Worth Seeing): Whether you’ll have to go to the movies, download, or stream, movies of this category are worth your time and money with few, if any, qualms from us.
  • Mixed (Divisive): Due to this movie having a few quirks, of which may work for some and for others be a problem, we believe your enjoyment of this movie will depend on your taste.
  • Negative (Acquired Taste): While one or two elements kept us going until the end, unfortunately, we’re of the opinion this film never reached the potential it was marketed to have.

Special Categories/ Tags

  • Indie: By our definition, independent films are films you have to seek to find due to limited availability or lack of a marketing push.
  • Film Festival: Featured in this tag are films and shorts which were discovered thanks to various film festivals, so some of the productions may not have wide availability but still may deserve to be on your watch.
  • Shorts: Be it ten or fifteen minutes, or a half-hour, these quick teases or films get right to the point, often show the potential of filmmakers and the actors who have joined them in their journey.
  • Ending Spoilers: Trying to remember how a film ended, or want a different take on the ending, then check out the "ending spoilers" category. 
The IMAX poster for the movie Moonfall
Moonfall (2022) – Recap/Review (with Spoilers)
Who is This For?
Fans of disaster movies who couldn’t care less about scientific accuracy and anyone who believes a conspiracy theory about the moon or space.
Highlights
It’s a Lot of Fun
Gravity Hijinks on Earth
Disputable
You Really Need to Suspend Your Disbelief
A Conspiracy Theorist’s Fantasy
I Was Queerbaited
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Avatar of Sophie Underwood

Film and TV enthusiast who could talk about Marvel for days on end. My three main hobbies are binge-watching comically long video essays on Youtube, scouring the library for hidden cinematic gems, and taking naps with my two little dogs.

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