I.S.S. Review

Cast: Ariana DeBose, Chris Messina, John Gallagher Jr., Masha Mashkova, Costa Ronin, Pilou Asbaek

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite

In Cinemas: 26th April 2024


Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s indie sci-fi thriller “I.S.S.” offers a promising premise set aboard the International Space Station (I.S.S.), turning it into the stage for a proxy war amid a nuclear conflict between the United States and Russia. The film boasts a stellar ensemble cast led by Ariana DeBose and Chris Messina, who lend gravitas to their roles.

The six-member crew, comprised of astronauts and cosmonauts, finds themselves entangled in the geopolitical tensions between their nations. Dr. Kira Foster, portrayed by DeBose, brings depth to her character as a biologist grappling with the moral implications of their situation.


The dynamics among the crew members, including their hidden romances and conflicting loyalties, add layers to the narrative. The film effectively builds tension through foreshadowing and ominous interactions, hinting at the inevitable escalation of conflict.


However, while the performances are exceptional, the characters feel somewhat derivative, and the storyline treads familiar territory. Despite a strong start, the film’s resolution may leave audiences wishing for a more original and satisfying conclusion.


DeBose shines as an audience surrogate whose disbelief mirrors our own as events unfold. Her performance anchors the film, but even her talent can’t fully elevate the familiar narrative beats.


Overall, “I.S.S.” offers a compelling premise and solid performances but falls short of fully realising its potential. While it doesn’t crash and burn upon reentry, it lacks the impact needed to stand out in the crowded sci-fi genre.

Overall: 6/10

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