The George Clooney Sci-Fi Thriller On Netflix That Will Tug At Your Heartstrings

By Jessica Goudreault | Updated

george clooney midnight sky
George Clooney in The Midnight Sky

Over the course of his long and impressive career, George Clooney has starred in all sorts of films that will make you laugh, cry, and cringe. One of his most recent films is The Midnight Sky, a science fiction thriller that offers plenty of adventure and drama while pulling at your heartstrings. If you have two hours to spare, we recommend watching the film while it’s available to stream on Netflix.

George Clooney stars in The Midnight Sky, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi film currently streaming on Netflix.

The Midnight Sky takes place in the year 2049, shortly after an unknown catastrophic event has made the planet unlivable for the human race. Dr. Augustine Lofthouse, a scientist living in the Arctic, is presumed to be the only person left alive on the planet. He soon discovers that a spaceship is returning to Earth, and he must stop the astronauts onboard from landing on the unlivable planet.

As Augustine races to try and save the astronauts, he also finds a young girl who has accidentally been left behind. Together, they brave the post-apocalyptic world and try to survive as best they can.

George Clooney stars in the lead role as Augustine, bringing heart and humor into the character in a way that only he can. While the Academy Award-winning actor is known for his charming good looks and suave demeanor, he plays a completely different role in The Midnight Sky, sporting a shaved head, a long grey beard, and sunken features as he battles against an unknown serious illness. To prepare for his role as a dying, depraved man, he actually lost 25 pounds.

George Clooney stars in The Midnight Sky, but he also directed the film.

The rest of the limited cast includes Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone, Demián Bichir, and Kyle Chandler. Additionally, Caoilinn Springall made her acting debut in this film as Iris, the young girl who gets left behind and forms a friendship with Augustine.

Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) plays Sully, a pregnant astronaut aboard the returning spacecraft. Initially, her character was not supposed to be pregnant, but after she revealed the news to George Clooney, he rewrote her role to include the pregnancy.

George Clooney in The Midnight Sky

In addition to starring in The Midnight Sky, George Clooney also directed the film. This was not his first time in the director’s chair since he had previously worked on The Ides of March, Leatherheads, and The Monument’s Men, among other projects. Most recently, he directed The Boys in the Boat, which will be released later this year, and is working on one episode of Untitled Confessions of a Dangerous Mind project.

Though The Midnight Sky was released in December 2020, all of its filming took place before the pandemic in 2019. Most of the filming took place in England and Iceland, and the scene where George Clooney and Caoilinn Springall pass through a blizzard was filmed in 50 miles per hour winds and temperatures at −40 °F.

The film had a limited release in theaters during the end of 2020, but it was quickly released to Netflix just 12 days later. In its first five days on the streaming platform, it became the most-watched film, and in its first seven days, it received 72 million household views. With a surprisingly high production budget of $100 million, it only ended up grossing $3 million after its short run at the box office.

George Clooney in The Midnight Sky

Overall, fans and critics have shared mixed reviews for The Midnight Sky, with many agreeing that George Clooney brought an emotional and heartfelt performance to the film.

Following its successful digital release, The Midnight Sky received many award nominations, though George Clooney did not receive any for his acting or directing. With 22 award nominations, the sci-fi thriller ended up winning Best Original Score from the Satellite Awards as well as Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature and Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project from the Visual Effects Society Awards.

Overall, fans and critics have shared mixed reviews for The Midnight Sky, with many agreeing that George Clooney brought an emotional and heartfelt performance to the film. Some critics felt that some of the film’s themes were too reminiscent of other movies. However, George Clooney has shared that his movie is like 2013’s Gravity meeting 2015’s The Revenant, so it’s not surprising if it feels familiar.

So, if you’re looking for a moving sci-fi film that will inspire you to never give up hope, then watch The Midnight Sky while it’s still streaming on Netflix.