‘Gravity’ is a ride, like Space Mountain

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With “Gravity,” it’s as if director Alfonso Cuarón (“Y Tu Mama Tambien,” “Children of Men”) racked his brains to come up with a peril so extreme it’s nearly existential -- a lone astronaut free-floating, tiny and untethered, in the vastness of outer space. And then he put America’s Sweetheart in the spacesuit. Every so often George Clooney zips by on a sputtering rocket pack, but “Gravity” is primarily Sandra Bullock’s show in front of the camera and Cuarón’s show behind it.

The movie’s an astonishingly detailed, visually painstaking state-of-the-art production that advances what the cinema can show us—even as the human story at its center feels a little thin after a while. Some screenings are in 3-D IMAX; they’re worth it.

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