It’s been a big summer for science fiction movies, both in the sense of the number of options, as well as sheer size and spectacle. We’ve had giant robots (Transformers: Age of Extinction), giant prehistoric monsters (Godzilla), and giant movie stars like Tom Cruise (Edge of Tomorrow). And this isn’t even taking into account a swarm of super smart monkeys (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) that recently arrived, or the gang of adolescent turtles (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and the talking raccoon in deep space (Guardians of the Galaxy) that are yet to arrive.
If you’re looking for something a little more on the low-key side of things, something with way more ideas than explosions and animated creatures, you definitely need to check out Mike Cahill’s indie sci-fi feature I Origins. Building up to the movie, I had concerns. I’m not a fan of Cahill’s last esoteric take on the genre, Another Earth, and all of the trailers make this look like one of those stories where science and fact are brushed aside by airy, unfounded assertions and annoying hippie, but-how-can-you-really-know spiritual nonsense. While this is definitely a science versus faith movie, Cahill who both wrote and directed, strikes a solid, sensible balance between the two sides, letting you reach your own conclusions. The result is worth your time, and likely to inspire spirited, intelligent conversations long after you leave the theater.