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Mitchell's Top 20 Films of 2013: #11 "Gravity"

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11. “Gravity” – In the most technically elaborate film of 2013, director Alfonso Cuarón (“Children of Men”, "Y Tu Mamá También") built an extraordinary piece of science fiction art starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

First time astronaut Ryan Stone (Bullock) teams up with veteran space walker Matt Kowalski (Clooney) to make some repairs on the Hubble Space Telescope.

As Kowalski playfully banters and circles around the station via a thruster strapped to his back, Stone tries to focus - without getting sick - on the repairs.

Even while wearing burdensome spacesuits, they work instant on-screen chemistry, and we like these two people right away.

With lots of good feelings and completely incredible shots of our bright blue planet and the blackest of space in the background, trouble unfortunately approaches around the horizon.

Actually, trouble approaches around the Earth’s orbit in the form of space debris traveling at maniacal and deadly speeds.

Gravity” is a lump-in-your-throat thriller, and Cuarón places our heroine and hero in impossible situations in their unforgiving environment.

Spectacular sequences frighten and dazzle.

The movie moves at a 9,100 mph pace in a scant 91 minutes, but the action does pause at some key moments.

It is at these moments when Stone - a brilliant NASA scientist - finds the courage and strength she did not know she possessed, and with all due respect to Bullock’s work in “The Blind Side” (2009), she gives the performance of her career here.

Don’t be fooled, “Gravity” is not just a special effects picture, but yes, I also constantly wondered, “Wow! How did they do that?”

Follow me on Twitter: @MitchFilmCritic

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