Rated 3.0

Set aboard an international space station orbiting around the earth, Daniel Espinosa’s Life opens with an extended pretitle sequence in which the astronaut crew discovers a new life form floating through the void. They bring the life form, nicknamed Calvin, on board for study, but the seemingly harmless substance quickly reveals a fierce survival instinct, as well as a lethal intelligence. The surprisingly persistent and diabolical Calvin grows at a rapid pace, eventually escaping the laboratory and threatening the entire crew, and possibly the entire world. For all of its chin-stroking pretension, Life is almost endearingly dim-witted, frequently pausing for monosyllabic ruminations on life itself, even as it turns CGI space bacteria into a traditional horror movie antagonist. Considering the Z-movie premise, the film looks shockingly good, but ultimately I was more entertained by the low-rent crud that Life is than the Interstellar highbrow hogwash that it wishes it was. D.B.