Hello, my name is Leslie, and I’m addicted to disaster movies. I have literally seen every incarnation of Airport, both Poseidon Adventures. I’ve even seen Beyond the Poseidon Adventure. For me, watching them offers the perfect cinematic mixture of schadenfreude, catharsis, and hope. So regardless of the fact that my chosen beat is to amplify the independent works of female filmmakers, I can’t resist a well-orchestrated apocalypse. For that reason, I’ve been very excited to see Moonfall, not least as a palate cleanser after watching the sad, appropriately alarmist documentaries that were my focus at Sundance 2022.

Moonfall is the new release from writer/director Roland Emmerich, nicknamed the Master of Disaster in Hollywood. Emmerich came by his name honestly, by bringing us mega hits Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012. These are three films I turn to expecting distraction, the thrill of CG, and bombastic speeches by predominately white dudes saving the world.

Moonfall is no different in that respect. It offers copious amounts of all three. You will not think about COVID for two hours unless the guy behind you coughs into your hair.

The story begins in Earth’s orbit, where NASA flight commander Jocinda Fowl (Halle Berry) is joking with longtime friend Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) as he and a fellow astronaut do repairs out in space. If you’ve ever seen a disaster movie, you already know this space walk won’t end well. Something comes at the ship, causing wreckage and death, and destroying Harper’s reputation. He can’t prove what happened up there. Cut to 10 years later. Fowl is a NASA executive, and Harper is a washed-up loner scraping money together by doing astronaut appearances. But uh oh! Fowl and her NASA team have just discovered the moon is off its course!

Bearer of bad news and outsider geek genius KC Houseman (John Bradley from Game of Thrones), confirms that assessment when he tracks down and tells Harper, and Houseman has THEORIES about it. Theories you’ll hear about in detail if you see the movie. Regardless of why or how, everybody has about a week before the world ends, and in the meantime, the moon is going to wreak havoc as it circles closer and closer to Earth. We are talking 10+ magnitude quakes, tsunamis, and magnetic, swirling tornadoes full of moon debris that suck people up into them. Fowl, estranged friend Harper, and Houseman have to figure out a way to stop the moon from falling into Earth, so they can save their loved ones, which in this case include Fowl’s pre-teen son, Harper’s inordinately capable yet broody 19-year-old son Sonny (Charlie Plummer), and Houseman’s kitty and aging mom.

To read the review in its entirety, go to AWFJ.org HERE.