Another Earth

Another Earth

4.2 5
Director: Mike Cahill, Brit Marling, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, D.J. Flava

Cast: Mike Cahill, Brit Marling, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, D.J. Flava


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Director/co-writer Mike Cahill (Boxers + Ballerinas) teams with producer/co-writer Brit Marling to challenge our concepts of reality and redemption with this romantic sci-fi drama about a radiant astrophysics student who endeavors to travel to Earth 2, a newly discovered mirror of our own home planet. Rhoda Williams (Marling) was


Director/co-writer Mike Cahill (Boxers + Ballerinas) teams with producer/co-writer Brit Marling to challenge our concepts of reality and redemption with this romantic sci-fi drama about a radiant astrophysics student who endeavors to travel to Earth 2, a newly discovered mirror of our own home planet. Rhoda Williams (Marling) was driving in her car and listening to the radio when the DJ announced the discovery of Earth 2, which had just appeared from the other side of the sun. Gazing out her window at the newly discovered planet, Rhoda neglectfully careens into a minivan carrying a small family. Everyone but the father is killed instantly, and Rhoda is sentenced to four years in prison. Upon emerging, the repentant reckless driver finds herself drawn to the lone survivor. Meanwhile, Rhoda learns of an essay contest to win a seat on a civilian space shuttle to Earth 2. Perhaps, on that strangely familiar planet, an alternate version of herself exists -- one that has made different choices, and followed a different life path. The only way she will ever find out is to win the contest and secure her seat on a ride into the great unknown.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Science fiction is as popular as ever at the movies, but only a certain kind of sci-fi movie tends to get made. If it involves angry aliens, massive spaceships, and interstellar battles with plenty of CGI, then Hollywood is eager to open its checkbook. However, the film equivalent of the work of writers like Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, or Philip K. Dick -- who used science-fiction concepts as a backdrop for stories that investigated how changes in technology and society would impact human emotions and behavior -- is something that has generally been left to independent filmmakers, if anyone approaches such themes onscreen at all. Director Mike Cahill's first dramatic feature, Another Earth, is only tangentially science fiction, but it strives to make something intelligent and philosophically compelling out of the notion of an alternate world, and it's written and acted with an intelligence and sincerity that's genuinely admirable. In Another Earth, Brit Marling plays Rhoda Williams, a bright and pretty 18-year-old girl who is fascinated with astrophysics and has just been accepted into MIT. Rhoda is driving home from a high school graduation party when she hears a news report on the radio about the discovery of a planet that seems strikingly similar to Earth. The announcer says the planet is visible in the night sky, and Rhoda sticks her head out the window to get a look. This distracts her just long enough to swerve into an oncoming car; the driver survives the crash, but his wife and child are immediately killed. Rhoda serves five years in prison for vehicular manslaughter, and when she's released she feels too emotionally wiped out to return to the world of academics. Rhoda takes a job as a janitor at her old high school, and learns that the survivor of the crash, John Burroughs (William Mapother), is living nearby. Hoping to apologize, Rhoda pays a visit to John's house, but lacks the courage to tell him who she is once she meets him face to face. Instead, she says she's from a new cleaning service and is willing to give him a free trial. John grudgingly lets her in, and Rhoda sees firsthand what's become of John -- he numbs himself with alcohol and pain pills, barely leaves the house, has little communication with the outside world, and has given up on his career as a composer, musician, and educator. Wanting to help (and noticing the filthy condition of his home), Rhoda keeps coming back to John's house to clean up and keep him company, and in time they strike up a close friendship that works wonders for him. Meanwhile, research on the second Earth has produced fascinating results: it looks identical to our planet and supports human life, and efforts to communicate with its residents lead to the startling discovery that each earthling appears to have an identical counterpart on Earth II. A private space-travel service announces they'll be offering flights to the new planet and stages an essay contest in which the winner will travel to Earth II, all expenses paid. Rhoda enters the contest, and to her surprise she wins; however, the media scrutiny she receives troubles both her and her parents, and she realizes that she'll have to tell John the truth about who she is and what she has done -- a situation made all the more painful when they become lovers. Another Earth isn't much interested in the nuts and bolts of life on another planet that's an apparent duplicate of our own, and the film's special effects amount to little more than a planet digitally matted into the sky. However, director Cahill and leading lady Marling, who co-wrote the screenplay together, are deeply fascinated with the philosophical possibilities of a second world that's visible in the sky at all times and seemingly matches our own home in every detail. The soundtrack crackles with television and radio commentators speculating on the implications of Earth II, and it provides a mirror of sorts to the larger story of two people struggling to come to terms with the lives fate has handed them. If there's more than a little goofball pop psychology in Another Earth, there's also plenty of exploration of the human heart and soul, and Cahill's sincerity overwhelms the movie's occasional moments of pretension, studiedly shaky camerawork, and two-dimensional supporting characters. Brit Marling gives a brave, emotionally powerful performance as the young woman desperate to make amends for a brief but tragic error in judgment, while William Mapother is nearly as impressive as the widower looking for a reason to give life another chance, even if the film makes his emotional recovery seem conveniently speedy. Another Earth is a movie filled with little flaws, but what's good works well enough to more than compensate for its shortcomings. This is a film that valiantly tries to speak to the heart and the head, and it hits the former target well enough that you're likely to forgive its slightly faulty aim at the latter.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Deleted Scenes; Music Video: "The First Time I Saw Jupiter" by Fall On Your Sword; The Science Behind Another Earth; Creating Another Earth; Fox Movie Channel presents Direct Effect with Mike Cahill, in Character with Brit Marling and In Character with William Mapother

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brit Marling Rhoda Williams
Matthew-Lee Erlbach Alex
D.J. Flava Himself
William Mapother John Burroughs
Meggan Lennon Maya Burroughs
A.J. Diana John's Son
Bruce Colbert Symposium Speaker
Paul S. Mezey Symposium Speaker
Ana Valle Symposium Speaker
Jeffrey Goldenberg Symposium Speaker
Joseph Bove Symposium Speaker
Jordan Baker Kim Williams
Flint Beverage Robert Williams
Robin Lord Taylor Jeff Williams
Bruce Winant Keith Harding
Natalie Carter Career Counselor
Richard Berendzen Himself
Shannon Maliff High School Girl
Stéphane Leblanc High School Girl
Jasmine Andrade High School Girl
Kara Tweedie High School Girl
Kumar Pallana Purdeep
Ana Cruz Kayne Claire
Yuval Segal Television Reporter
Diana Ciesla Dr. Joan Tallis
Robert Phillips Radio Reporter #1
Hollyce Phillips Television Anchor
Luis Vega Federico
Richard Habersham Radio Reporter #2
Jennifer Jaramillo Nurse
Ari Gold Conspiracy Theorist
Steve Giammaria Television Interviewer
Rebecca Price Keith Harding's Secretary

Technical Credits
Mike Cahill Director,Cinematographer,Editor,Producer,Screenwriter
Will Bates Score Composer
Tyler Brodie Executive Producer
Mike Cahill Cinematographer,Editor
James Calleri Casting
Paul Davis Casting
Aileen Diana Art Director,Costumes/Costume Designer
Fall on Your Sword Score Composer
Hunter Gray Producer
Brit Marling Producer,Screenwriter
Paul S. Mezey Executive Producer
Darsi Monaco Production Designer
Phil Mossman Score Composer
Phaedon Papadopoulos Associate Producer
Ryan M. Price Sound/Sound Designer
Brian Rzepka Art Director
Nicholas Shumaker Producer


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Another Earth 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ClayMonkey More than 1 year ago
Thought-provoking and engaging.  I'd read reviews that the movie was too "silent" but it played perfectly with the story.  I wouldn't change a thing.  Perfect ending.
Nadina85 More than 1 year ago
Another Earth revolves around Rhoda and John and the relationship they develop in the aftermath of the accident. Both have become estranged from the world around them, mere shells of their former selves. She being wracked with guilt, decides to visit John and express her deepest regrets and sorrow. What she finds is a total mess of a man, and in a moment of weakness, she buckles. Instead telling him who she is and why she's there she can only offer, in the smallest of gestures, to help him clean up his life. Eventually, Rhoda becomes his salvation and John, hers. The two broken souls become involved in a torrid love affair until an unexpected opportunity leaves their relationship at a crossroads. Rhoda is now faced with the decision to tell John who she really is and what she's done. And if she does, can he still love her? Another Earth isn't really about another Earth. Another Earth is about redemption, forgiveness and the impact of second chances. It's a powerful film that captures both the imagination and the heart. This little indie film was born of grandiose vision while simultaneously facilitating deeper introspection which renders this particular viewer at a loss for words. It'll punch you in the gut, leave you conflicted and wondering what if. The entire time I was stuck in a love/hate battle with Rhoda and her situation, but at the same time, I couldn't help but care about the poor girl. She's got a good heart despite some of the questionable choices she makes. By the end, you learn to not judge as you ask yourself what would you do if you were in her shoes. A little more drama than sci-fi, Cahill has done the impossible in making us realize you don't need millions of dollars accompanied by a frenzy of CGI SFX to leave a lasting impact. By the end of the movie, left open to interpretation, the one thing we learn is that forgiveness and truth lay in the inner spaces of our hearts rather than an entire universe away.
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