The Space Between Us

Certificate: PG

Starring: Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino, Britt Robertson

Release date: 2016

2 out of 5


Young love defies the odds in this weak adventure-romance. When a lonely boy born in NASA’s Mars colony starts Skyping — or whatever it is that lets him chat in real time with a schoolgirl on Earth despite the 250 million miles between them — he starts acting out so dangerously the decision is made to let him go to Earth, even though the effects on his body will probably kill him.

 Once Gardner (Butterfield, sweetly sympathetic) hooks up with the tearaway teen Tulsa (Robertson, obnoxious) they take off across country so he can have the time of his life and search for his unknown father. However, ex-boss of the Mars project and Gardner’s astronaut-nanny (Oldman and Gugino) are in hot pursuit, desperate to return the lad to the Red Planet before his heart gives out.

Futuristic elements are almost non-existent and unconvincing (the Mars colony seems to consist of three people and a crap robot; cars, laptops, phones, etc. are already out of date) while the boy-meets-girl is by-the-numbers. It may do for 11-year-old girls, but adults will weep hardest that the excellent-as-ever Oldman is reduced to such lame, tame fare. 

Is The Space Between Us suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

There’s a dicey moment of oxygen deprivation on Mars but it’s totally tween oriented, although a death in childbirth scene is upsetting.

Sexual content is mild, a scene implying the 16-year-olds get naked in a sleeping bag is reasonably chastely handled.

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