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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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France, China, Belgium · 2017
Rated PG-13 · 2h 16m
Director Luc Besson
Starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction

In the 28th century, Valerian and Laureline are young special operatives assigned to investigate disturbances on the space station Alpha, a utopia home to species from 1,000 different planets. However, Valerian and Laureline soon realize that whatever is threatening Alpha may soon endanger the entire universe.

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TheWrap by Alonso Duralde

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets might well represent the apotheosis of Besson’s singularly loony brand of filmmaking. It’s bonkers and gorgeous and confusing and thrilling and tiring and overflowing with ideas.


Village Voice by Bilge Ebiri

Valerian is at times so mind-meltingly beautiful and strange that I’m still not sure I didn’t just dream it all.


Entertainment Weekly by Chris Nashawaty

During the film’s intoxicating first 30 minutes, for example, I couldn’t decide whether what I was watching was brilliantly bonkers or total folly. Then, as the story went on, it came into sharper and sharper focus: Valerian is an epic mess.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

The first 25 minutes of this movie should be mounted as an installation at the Louvre and played on an infinite loop. Only then can our planet know peace.


ScreenCrush by E. Oliver Whitney

The latest from the French filmmaker is a dazzling feast of spectacular visuals and exhilarating set pieces. It’s Besson’s most ambitious film to date, and the most original big-budget adventure you’ll see on screen this season. But such ambition doesn’t always come without flaws.


Variety by Peter Debruge

“Valerian” manages to be both cutting-edge and delightfully old-school — the kind of wild, endlessly creative thrill ride that only the director of “Lucy” and “The Fifth Element” could deliver, constructed as an episodic series of missions, scrapes and near-misses featuring a mind-blowing array of environments and stunning computer-generated alien characters.


The Playlist by Rodrigo Perez

Even if the movie is based on an existing property, a beloved French graphic novel, as a producer and designer, Besson should be lauded; ‘Valerian’ is out of this world. But next time, he might want to reread the comic for its characters, checking the little word bubbles to see if there’s actually something there.


New York Daily News by Stephen Whitty

It never stops for a minute, yet it never goes anywhere. And much as it promises to take you to a thousand planets, it can’t find one sign of intelligent life.


Screen International by Tim Grierson

Twenty years after The Fifth Element, writer-director Luc Besson has once again delivered a widescreen, sci-fi spectacle full of rampant whimsy, lavish effects and creaky social commentary, resulting in a nervy, go-for-broke opus whose audacity is more laudable than its execution.

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