Prospect (2018) Poster


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A rare treat: real sci-fi without pretension or the usual stupidities
bogusmcnuts29 July 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It tells a fairly simple but very engaging proper sci-fi story in a way that makes it refreshingly easy to suspend disbelief: no really stupid bad science or cheesy overblown SFX, and very little clunky exposition (apart perhaps from a little by the dad early on).

Others have alluded to a "space western" vibe, and perhaps this is somewhat valid in a good way- it would arguably fit quite comfortably in the Firefly/Serenity universe. It's not full of highly conceptual artifice but the attention to detail is very impressive, bringing to life a believably gritty reality that reminded me of Ridley Scott's thinking about the future not being shiny-new, but old and worn.

The main characters are nicely understated but relatable, the pace is great, and unlike a lot of sci-fi movies that treat the viewer as an utter moron, this one doesn't over-explain or create spurious tensions and conflict for cheap 'drama'.

As a kid I hoovered up EE Doc Smith and old mags like Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, Amazing SF et al, still love the stories and novels of Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Simak, Poul Anderson, LeGuinn, Ellison etc and would still rather watch Bladerunner again than yet another trashy superhero 'blockbuster'. Bearing all that in mind, I highly recommend this movie.
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Recommended! (But obviously polarising)
bOOnish7 February 2019
As you can see by the reviews posted so far, this little gem polarises the audience.

One share of the Reviews is 7-10, the other 1-3. Almost nothing in between.

Probably this his to to with the expections.

Well, if you're looking for some fast-paced space battle pew pew laser action this isn't the movie you want to watch. This isn't a movie about aliens or about high-tech spacecraft. It's a movie about a few people in a difficult situation.

Made using simple means but with love to the detail. Retro in the best sense. Slow but thrilling. Good acting.

To give away too much of the plot would be a shame. So just watch and enjoy. (Or don't watch if you only like movies with tons of explosions and lengthy chases.)
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A side story from a greater universe
Vartiainen13 December 2018
Prospect, directed by Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell, is a tale you could see on the fringes of a larger story. It tells about a young teenage girl, played by Sophie Thatcher, who lands on a distant planet with her dad (Jay Duplass), to hunt and harvest precious gemstones that might be their ticket to better life and prosperity. But, on the outer planets, you run into all sorts of danger.

Prospect is not a large story. Its about a single life, single girl, trying to survive a horrible situation. This story could be told in many ways. It could be a three page short story in a pulp magazine focusing on westerns. It could be a side plot on a TV series. It could be a whole novel, if you padded it and fleshed it out, but even then there's not that much to bite on.

And that's exactly why the film is so refreshing. Because it is such a rare piece, because it chooses to focus on a smaller story. And because it such a well-told narrative, it manages to make such a story feel grander than it is.

It helps that the film is brilliantly made. You can very easily see the limitations of the budget, but fortunately modern effects are so good that you can tell a science fiction story, set on a distant planet, and make it seem real even if you don't have the budget for huge sets and elaborate props.

The acting is also surprisingly good. Thatcher plays her character very mellow, very low-key, but it works. Pedro Pascal as Ezra, a mercenary harvester, is also brilliant. Just the right amount of quirk mixed with world-weariness.

Prospect is an easy recommendation if you're a fan of the science fiction genre. Beautiful visuals, interesting scenarios, great world-building and off-beat story moments. What's not to like?
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Superlative....Science Fiction as was Intended
bbooth-4492610 February 2019
Simple, believable, and without unnecessary fluff, the story draws you into this young girls challenges while coming of age. As if reading an early science fiction short, you are provided just enough information to move the story along, and are left to your imagination to characterize the individuals and draw your own moral implications from their actions. In this age of high budget, force fed conclusions and extravagant special effects....some trust has been placed in the audience. I like that.
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Solid, small-budget sci-fi
El_Jefe11 February 2019
This isn't space battles, explosions, and flashy visual effects. Instead, it's a well-acted story about people, that happens to be set in an interplanetary context. Great aesthetic and prop design, an interesting mix of futuristic and retro.
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Tense & Unique Sci-Fi Tale
umimelectric5 February 2019
I had no idea that this film existed and when I learned of it I had to immediately give it a watch. I'd take true science fiction over an epic space battle or alien invasion any day. I absolutely LOVE the look and feel of this film...obviously futuristic but in a dirty, mechanical way- no polish to be found here. The sound/music is fantastic, and shots from outer space are surprisingly impressive. If you're a big fan of CGI or mind-blowing cinematography then you may feel underwhelmed by this, and that's OK. It's something different though, and it's one of the more intense and gripping stories I've seen in some time. Love the realistic action of the gunplay; these weapons are certainly from tomorrow but there's no pew pew here. They seem unreliable, and difficult to fire, though extremely deadly if your aim is true. Sophie Thatcher provides a breakout turn as an unlikely heroine among a crew of male characters who are all less than noble in their own ways, mostly being driven by greed and desperation. I expect to see more from her as her young career continues. 8/10 overall, but it's a 10/10 if exclusively considered next to other smaller-scale science fiction pictures.
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It being a good movie seems like a bonus.
just_in_case10 February 2019
What floored me the most about this film was the attention to detail. This is how you make small budget scifi. Its a shame that so many indie scifi films are brought low by a focus on story and forgetting immersion. This movie is downright filthy. Every piece of technology looks used and beat up, lived in and thats so important. Whomever was in charge of set design, bravo. Its original star wars, blade runner, MOON, MONSTERS quality set design and costumes. These are poor miners and mercenaries. Every piece of gear should look rusty, hand cobbled and it does. This movie looks soooooo good. Even the main planet scenery, which could easily be a familiar tropic bog has this beautiful filter and light effect over it that makes it stand out as other worldly. They took the time to create familiar yet other worldy music like something out of cowboy bebop. Jazzy, hispanic, asian sounds whether real or not feel foreign. They created a separate written language just for consoles and sketchpads, never even calling it out(they did that in Star Wars, look it up.) The dedication to worldbuilding in this movie is just jaw dropping. I love the cobbled together rifle that uses hand charging batteries. The aesthetic reminds me a bit of these old scifi shows/films from the 80-90 cyber revolution Desert Punk and Zeiram.

and I guess, the movie is also pretty great. The characters are all very believable though Pedro Pascal really carries this movie with his dialog being a unique combination of Mark Twain purpose and Shakespearean adjective style. What I really liked is that for all that work mentioned above its never dwelled upon. Some low budget scifi films, when they know they did something neat, will sit there and make you stare at it while nothing happens for 5 minutes. I promise you this movie has none of that. It moves at a really nice clip to a beautiful bittersweet ending.

I honestly kinda want to give this movie a 10, but I think that would just be too personal. Some people don't take set design and cinematography as serious as I do. I would recommend this mainly to the MOON, Blade Runner(original) audience. If you enjoy small scope noir scifi this is for you. If you need backflips and explosions big pass. Dangit, nvm Im giving it a 10.
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A superb gem within its genre
tokrika1 October 2018
Typing on my phone just out of a film festival viewing so this is not going to be as detailed and organised as I would've liked. But the film deserves some rambling first impressions.

Many major science fiction releases from big studios in the past few years have been horribly cast mistreatments of lovely source material ( Valerian), angsty YA dystopians or wastes of opportunity (jupiter ascending).

Prospect is not a big waste of money, nor is it a waste of the audiences time. It's a beautifuly we'll crafted glimpse into an unknown future where humanity is still just as human as ever. It doesn't utilise the power of its genre to force upon the audience the possible developments of current or imagined social or technological trends. It does however place it there somewhere subtly in the background and gives you the time to pick up the details and read between the lines.

The world building of the expanded universe is beautifully crafted by the props department, and even if costumes do sometimes leave something to be desired, a lot has clearly been achieved with limited means. Along with some cleverly written dialogue with unique speech patterns for each character lets you know of a larger world and richer characters outside of the little scenario we're witnessing

The story of a few cast-away individuals scurrying amongst the dregs of a formerly booming prospecting industry on a soon to be abandoned moon is held together by a simple selection of location scenery. Whenever the relatively slow pacing of the film could let you get bored with the repetitive landscape, a powerful vista of the gas giant the green moon is orbiting reminds you how alien everything really is.

Sophie Tacher delivers a very convincing performance as the young girl afraid to be stranded in a corner of the galaxy soon to be forgotten while Pedro Pascal does a calm delivery of his charmingly unsympathetic rouge.

The score is well crafted, but at times I miss a more aggressive sound.

The high score I've given it isn't because this is the best out there, but because it is pretty much as good as a space-western low budget indie can hope to be while preserving the mold.

Short version is: 'true grit' on an alien moon, with some early George rr Martin melancholic sci fi spice to make everything more interesting.
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Superb Hard Sci-Fi Flick
soundoflight24 May 2019
Modern science fiction films are, mostly, not really science fiction at all. Most of it is really space-fantasy, with laser cannons, explosions, space craft zipping around, fantastic monsters/aliens, etc. None of that is found in "Prospect." This film is grounded in a gritty reality that is extremely believable, more so than in any science fiction film I can remember seeing. In the novel world, stories that stick to some semblance of known scientific fact are known as "hard" sci-fi. Now, to be fair, there isn't a lot of science on display in "Prospect" - it's mostly action, but I will take what I can get! In case you can't tell, I've very much in favour of there being more films like this out there.

I very grudgingly rate this a 7 instead of an 8 or higher mostly for technical / production reasons, that are perhaps in turn due to budget compromises. Special effects, music, and perhaps a bit of the acting was a little b-movie at times. But I quickly got over it and was sucked into the story.

Also Star Wars writers take note: the main female character "Cee" is someone that the audience really roots for by the end of the film. Why? Because instead of being all knowing and all powerful right from the start, her character develops. Some of the characterization was a little lean, and I felt another 10 minutes of screen time devoted to fleshing out the father would have really helped the film, but these are minor nitpicks. Give us more films like this, please!
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Nothing really happens ... in terms of sci-fi
Vic_max13 March 2019
Despite an excellent atmospheric start, the story could have been told in any number of settings and at in any point in time. It hardly calls for a sci-fi setting.

The actors were good, the effects were good but the overall story is pedestrian. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen and it never did. I would have skipped watching this movie if it were under any other genre.
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A breath of fresh air
Eclectic-Boogaloo7 November 2018
Thoroughly enjoyable: a lean, tense, slow burn sci-fi film that builds to an exciting crescendo.

It's a story about a father and daughter who go to an alien planet to do some prospecting. That's all you need to know, and should know, as there are some plot twists that should be left unspoiled. Trust me.

The movie's well directed and written, besides some clunky dialogue in spots, and the world is artfully rendered. It's made on a budget, so there aren't any extravagant sets or creatures, but it does feature lived in, authentic looking technology and an atmospheric alien environment (reminiscent of Annihilation, but a tad more Alien).

The performances were all very good, Sophie Thatcher and Pedro Pascal, being the standouts.

If I had to describe it, I'd say Prospect is an old-fashioned western set in space, with a touch of 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre' (another movie about prospectors). And though it's no Star-Wars, or Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Prospect IS a very good movie. Well worth a watch.
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Hard science fiction, nice place, good cast.
grenage14 October 2019
If you want lasers, explosions, and a fast pace - skip it.

I didn't consider the budget, which means that they did well with what they had. The props are on point and it's quite believable.

The actors are excellent; the female lead is played very well as a young girl who's had to grow up quickly. The male lead immediately reminded me of a toned-down Malcolm Reynolds.

Definitely one to watch.
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High-quality low-budget sci-fi strikes again!
imdb-702-98681312 October 2019
To me, Prospect felt like a Western movie more than a Sci-fi. Twists, turns, shifting alliances, fortune and glory. I never really knew how the story would end. (Actually, I still wasn't 100% sure what had happened when the credits rolled, but I really enjoyed the ride.)

Instead of hitting us over the head with heavy amounts of visual effects, Prospect leaves a lot of the action out-of-frame and lets the viewer's imagination fill in the blanks. Normally I hate this, but it works in this case thanks to a beautifully-executed layer of sound effects. I also really enjoyed the soundtrack, and I thought all the "alien" languages were a nice touch.

Prospect reminds me of 2 movies:

1) District 9, another gritty, dirty, relatively low-budget movie that began life as a short story, later getting a feature film, and 2) Pitch Black, a fun little story we're thrown into without a lot of explanation while featuring some cool mysterious characters.

Both of these had tremendous sequel potential and I feel the same is true for Prospect. I certainly hope this isn't the last we'll see of Cee!
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Good sci-fi that deserved a bigger budget but didn't need it.
thikskin-269-913019 September 2019
Original story and stakes. The best part of this film was the texture of tech. No holograms or touchscreens. No mention of earth. For all we know these characters aren't even human although though they look it, and have human motivation. Even the language, for the short time we see it, isn't English. This is a smart, well done film that relies on good writing, action, and imagination.
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A diamond in the rough. After a long wait for release, it lived upto expectations.
MoistMovies5 February 2019
I am a science fiction fan whole heartedly, and saying that feels like a understatement.

But unfortunately the genre gets very few additions these days - that are truly science fiction. And not more fantasy being labeled as science fiction, or using 'syfy' as a sub-genre.

This is a purely science fiction story, set in its own unique world. Perhaps some plot aspects are a tad lacking, but that leaves you to fill the blanks with your own imagination, which you're provided enough information to do so. It's not totally void of plot. It just suggests a much bigger interesting world that the writers envision this story being apart of.

The acting is really brilliant by all involved. It fits the tone of the film very well. -- The cinematography is wondrous and beautiful, helping create the foreign but familiar world the story is set. Using full advantage of the very small amount of CGI on display, but making it all fluid and natural to look at. -- The themes on display grab your attention, A strained father/daughter relationship steeped in surreal science fiction, of a man dragging his kid with him across the stars, but still relatable to any deadbeat father trope. The compromise and trustless alliance that grows with the two leads. An Uneasy journey from beginning to the end. Both actors along with good writing, creating the reliance on each other in a way that didn't feel forced.

It's a film that these days is seen as risky, and won't get much funding. But it's these types of films that should show large studios, that creative - original ideas can be executed with very good quality. And that risks are worth taking still, so that the medium of film doesn't completely degenerate into by the numbers dramas, unfunny comedies and no substance action/superhero films.

I truly hope in my life time, I see the direction of film studios regress back to taking risks. They already lose so much money on these high budget dung heaps that fail at the box office with increasing frequency. Sticking 20 mil a piece into riskier projects, perhaps someday, will seem like a viable option again... One can only hope.
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Space Western, superbly written
chestburster6 February 2019
The story follows the usual conventions about prospectors in the Gold Rush. Nothing truly groundbreaking here.

Where this movie shines, is that it how it remixes the Gold Rush with gritty, grounded sci-fi world building. There are so many rich details in every scene. The implied story universe is so big that you the audience can let your imagination run wild.
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Surprisingly good
zivg29 July 2019
Refreshing original sci-fi you don't see a lot of anymore. Surprisingly good and entertaining. Kept us for literally hours later searching for all the songs in the quirky soundtrack. Loved it!!
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mikedmurray8 February 2019
I keep reading about a father, daughter story. That part was over in about fifteen minutes. What it is to me is a glimpse into the future of movies. Simple, believable, beutifully crafted and scored, of a common story that could have been just as easily set in the old west during the Gold Rush. I am so tired of the onslaught of CG that the big budget studios release. This is not one of them. If anything, the CG enhances the beauty of some of the scenes. I won't gve any of it away. But it's been a long while that I have enjoyed every second. of a movie, or would want to see it again. That is how impressed I am.
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A real departure from the average sci-fi film.
bbretall-124 November 2018
This is a wonderful "hard sci-fi" film about a father-daughter team that lands on a forest moon in search of gems, but there is a clock ticking. They need to get back into orbit before the big ship that carried them out into this system leaves. Great acting by teenager Sophie Thatcher and Pedro Pascal as the rogue the father/daughter team encounter. The beautifully shot sequences in a forest with lots of particulate "dust" in the air at all times was a great counterpoint to the gritty reality of day-to-day survival without too much advanced pseudo-science gear. It was refreshing to see a film where people are on an alien world (in this case a forest moon) that does NOT have a breathable atmosphere and thus have to wear spacesuits and worry about the attendant issues of being on an alien world and being able to make it home, things most sci-fi just seems to make into a non-issue... where every planet has a breathable atmosphere, or at worst requires a tiny filter actors wear over their mouth/nose.
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Nicely Put Together.
bob_james939716 February 2019
This movie goes to show what is possible on a shoe string budget when you have a good story and great directing/editing etc. Very well put together.
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Movies like this.
scott-7608523 October 2019
Absolutely loved it. A space flick quite different from any other in it's field with some great acting, story and scenery.

Maybe some hate it's pace when compared to your typical fantasy flick, but this was a huge hit in my mind and very well done.
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Under rated
christophervalverde17 October 2019
This is a gem, great screenplay, great cinematography, great acting, great directing. And the score is perfect.
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One to watch out for
robertemerald15 October 2019
Every now and then one comes across a movie that sufficiently impresses, that you tell yourself you'll pay attention to anything else the writers or the Director does in the future. Prospect is one such movie. The story is a clever idea, not totally original, but with an almost a Western feel which certainly works, much like Young Ones (2014). Once dressed up with great planetary graphics, great spaceship sets, cool, if hardy, gadgets, a believable planet (though some more cgi would have helped), great camera work, good editing, good lighting, wonderfully chosen soundscape, and well chosen and highly committed actors......well, it's a cool winner. Great mid-budget sci-fi movie.
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Atmospheric and gripping
carolinelea13 October 2019
If you aren't looking at the screen, most of Pedro's dialogue sounds like it could be coming from Captain Mal, and that's no bad thing.

Quiet, thoughtful, suspenseful. I really enjoyed this little gem.
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simonasmith-4771928 August 2019
9 out of 10, not because this is good for low budget sci-fi or better than most of it's ilk but genuine 9 out of ten from me because it was an intriguing story, really good acting, realistic dialogue and an authentic setup. I really enjoyed this film very much.
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