Movie Review: 65 (2023)

by Joe Holman

Adam Driver is a pilot who drifts off course and winds up on a very alien world (some would alien, although we wouldn’t). With one only one chance at rescue, our esteemed pilot must make his way across an unknown terrain, riddled with dangerous lifeforms, in an epic fight to survive. With him is a young traveler with whom he cannot communicate (Ariana Greenblatt). As their odds of survival seem to diminish each day, their connection gets stronger–and so does the storyline and the audience’s desire to see them succeed.

B-

Judging from the title of the film, it is a very hard sell to set a movie on prehistoric earth and make attacking dinosaurs a thing you’d want to buy popcorn and Mr. Pibb for. And while not a huge success, Driver and Greenblatt keep us more than engaged. There is something to be said for making us the aliens in a movie about aliens–and all the more effective it can be to put those aliens in our past.

The film takes great care to not allow the unwitting viewer to see where the plot is going too early on (for instance, there are no visual clues that show human numbers or an alphabet on the computer screens viewable by the audience), but what is certainly promoted is character development. And it’s a good thing since seeing snippets of attacking dinosaurs doesn’t exactly thrill adult viewers, nor does the film’s somewhat deflated highpoint of a climax.

From the creators of A Quiet Place, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods use the same stylistic filming here over the film’s 1 hour and 33 minutes. What is done in 65 won’t command the lion’s share of great reviews among films this year, but it will earn viewer a good bit of respect as it serves up some worthy viewing material for the year.

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