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High Life

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Germany, France, United Kingdom · 2018
Rated R · 1h 53m
Director Claire Denis
Starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin, Mia Goth
Genre Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller

Monte and his daughter are the last survivors of a dangerous mission to deep space. The crew — death-row inmates led by a doctor with sinister motives — has vanished. As the mystery unravels, the two must rely on each other to survive as they hurtle toward a black hole.

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What are people saying?

Chichi Tsai Profile picture for Chichi Tsai

There's something deeply alluring about this odd, atmospheric space epic. The haunting mood lingered in my mind for days after, but High Life's length and faintly unsatisfying nonlinear narrative makes it a film not meant for everyone. Intense and unsettling; compelling concept with an artistic execution that doesn't really answer questions a more plot-minded audience would want it to.

What are critics saying?


The Film Stage by

The crew’s suffering is bleak and oppressive, but Denis invites us to witness it so that we truly understand the power of Monte’s conviction in his improvised mission...and Denis is so emotionally in tune with what that might feel like it becomes overwhelming.


Screen International by Allan Hunter

High Life offers an uncompromising mind-bender of a deep space journey through destructive desire, faith, trust and the instincts for good and bad that make us merely human.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Barry Hertz

By twisting around preconceptions of what an outer-space epic should be, French auteur Claire Denis returns to the fertile ground of her Trouble Every Day era, using genre to dig beneath themes that others would only treat as skin-deep.


The Guardian by Charles Bramesco

With an achievement of this calibre it’s hard to resist hyperbole: High Life contains the single greatest one-person sex scene in the history of cinema.


The Playlist by Jason Bailey

High Life feels longer than it is, and is occasionally so squirrely that it becomes off-putting. But in spite of the aforementioned traceable connections, it’s a true original — sometimes strange, sometimes scary, sometimes kinky.


Variety by Jessica Kiang

This kinky, often grotesque melding of genre science-fiction with all-out body horror is an audacious project, but the scope of its ambition is cleverly reined in by the low-key presentation, its more salacious potential muted down to an insistent threatening hum, like the background radiation of Stuart Staples’ score.


The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

Without Denis’ typically transfixing aesthetics and with a storyline that lumbers along in places, High Life is not always an easy sit, even if occasional outbursts of violence spice up the action in distressing ways.


Slant Magazine by Steve Macfarlane

The film asks down-and-dirty questions about what really resides beneath thousands of years of human progress, a savage and haunting antidote to the high-minded idealism of movies like Christopher Nolan's Interstellar and Ridley Scott's The Martian.

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