Monday, May 29, 2023

Crater (2023)

Streaming Service: Disney+
Movie Name/Year: Crater (2023)
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Drama, Family
Length:  1h 45min
Rating: PG
Production/Distribution: 21 Laps Entertainment, Truenorth Productions, Walt Disney Pictures, ABC Television, Disney XD, Disney+
Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Writer: John Griffin
Actors: Ashlan Rowan, Billy Barratt, Brady Noon, Carson Minniear, Hero Hunter, Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Jermaine McTizic, Mckenna Grace, Orson Hong, Piper Rubio, Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi), Selenis Leyva, Thomas Boyce, Viviana Chavez
IMDb Blurb: After the death of his father, a boy growing up on a lunar mining colony takes a trip to explore a legendary crater, along with his four best friends, prior to being permanently relocated to another planet.
Cat’s Point of View:
When I first watched the trailer for Crater, in prep for the May 2023 Top 20 article, I was very excited to see this movie. I’ve been biding my time and now that it has been released, I was not disappointed. It was absolutely fitting for the #4 placement I gave it on my list. 

In the article, I said that Crater looked like it would be a “genuine feel-good family movie that took the ‘kids on bikes’ ensemble concept to a whole new level out of this world.” It gave me the feeling that it would have a similar vibe to movies dear to my heart such as The Goonies (1985) and relatable to younger audiences that are more familiar with Stranger Things (2016-). I definitely got those vibes from Crater and appreciated how the production maneuvered through darker concepts, balanced with the lightness of the kids’ friendship, and tempered the story with hope. 

There were some moments that felt really heavy, but I think there was just enough edge of levity and counterpoint brought out by the kids’ resilient spirits and their character growth that it didn’t seem like the weight was impossible. I got a little misty at one point but was never really pushed over the edge to tears - and am glad for that. This has been a busy holiday weekend and I’m already running on the fumes of exhaustion. Crater’s message was light enough to be uplifting and gave good vibes without being hokey. 

That was one thing I really was concerned about. Direct to Disney movies tend to be a little on the cheesy side. Crater didn’t go that route. This was a film I would have been fine with paying for a ticket at a theater to see - in fact, I wish that had been an option, as the visuals would have been spectacular on the big screen.
That brings me to my next point. The effects and attention to detail were impressive. The Mouse House didn’t pinch pennies when it came to getting things generally right as far as the physics of space and moon travel were concerned. I believed every moment that I watched, completely under the spell of the story unfolding before me. I’m even willing to forgive their apparent lack of airlocks. That was the only thing I could even remotely nitpick about. 

The young ensemble cast worked well together and gelled in a way that shone a light on both their diversity and commonalities. I really hope that this helps launch them into more great things, for those that are just getting started in their careers. Of course, they weren’t all new. I have adored Mckenna Grace (Gifted, Troop Zero, Ghostbusters: Afterlife) in everything I’ve seen her in, and Crater was no exception. 

As I mentioned before, there are some heavier themes within the story that very young kids might have a hard time with, but there isn’t anything explicit or graphic that would be inappropriate for small children. Crater would be an excellent pick for a family movie night and I think I might even be watching it again in the near future with mine.
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 63%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score –63%
Metascore – 65%
Metacritic User Score – 4.5/10
IMDB Score – 5.2/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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