On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 84% based on 369 reviews, with an average rating of 7.56/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Ad Astra takes a visually thrilling journey through the vast reaches of space while charting an ambitious course for the heart of the bond between parent and child." On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the film has a score of 80 out of 100, based on 56 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale, while those surveyed at PostTrak gave it an average 2.5 out of 5 stars, with 40% saying they would definitely recommend it.
On January 26, 2006, while driving down a winding canyon road in Hollywood, Phoenix veered off the road and flipped his car. The crash was reportedly caused by brake failure. Shaken and confused, he heard someone tapping on his window and telling him to "just relax". Unable to see the man, Phoenix replied, "I'm fine. I am relaxed." The man replied, "No, you're not." The man then stopped Phoenix from lighting a cigarette while gasoline was leaking into the car cabin. Phoenix realized that the man was German filmmaker Werner Herzog. While Herzog helped Phoenix out of the wreckage by breaking the back window of the car, bystanders called an ambulance. Phoenix approached Herzog to express his gratitude, but Herzog downplayed his actions and returned to his home nearby.More Info
In May 2018, the film was re-announced initially as Rambo V, which was scheduled to begin filming in September, with its plot focusing on Rambo taking on a Mexican drug cartel. Stallone confirmed the release date for the film, which he would also be co-writing with Matthew Cirulnick, but seemed unlikely to direct. In August 2018, Adrian Grunberg was announced as the director. In September 2018, Adriana Barraza was added to the cast. In October 2018, Paz Vega, Yvette Monreal, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Oscar Jaenada, and Joaquín Cosío were cast. In May 2019, Louis Mandylor, Sheila Shah, Dimitri Vegas, and Genie Kim (aka Yenah Han) were revealed to have been cast without prior announcement.More Info
Phoenix starred in four movies released in 2018: In the first, Phoenix portrayed Jesus in Mary Magdalene, written by Helen Edmundson and directed by Garth Davis, opposite Rooney Mara. It was released in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2018 to mixed reviews. The film's original distributor has been the cause of the film's delayed U.S. release. Later, Phoenix starred as Joe, a former FBI agent and Gulf War veteran suffering from PTSD, in the Amazon Studios thriller You Were Never Really Here (2017), written and directed by Lynne Ramsay. The film premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received wide critical acclaim, and won Phoenix the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor. The film began its US release on April 6, 2018. Many critics agreed the performance is one of Phoenix' best to date, with Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times describing it as "the most rivetingly contained" work of his career. In his third feature of the year, Phoenix portrayed quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan in his second feature with director Gus Van Sant, the biopic Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot. The film was released on July 13, 2018 and Phoenix's lead performance received critical acclaim. His last film role of 2018 was as Charlie Sisters in Jacques Audiard's English-language debut, an adaptation of Patrick deWitt's historical novel, The Sisters Brothers. The film was released on September 21, 2018. This same year, he also collaborated with Rooney Mara, Sia, Sadie Sink and Kat von D to narrate Chris Delforce's animal rights documentary Dominion. For his contribution to the documentary, he was granted the 2018 Award of Excellence for Narration by Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.More Info
Phoenix has long been a social activist, lending his support to a number of charities and humanitarian organizations, such as Amnesty International, The Art of Elysium, HEART, and the Peace Alliance (which campaigns for a United States Department of Peace). Phoenix is also on the board of directors for The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organization which provides daily meals to students of township schools in Soweto, South Africa, which was founded by his ex-girlfriend, South African model Topaz Page-Green.More Info
The script by Stallone and Matthew Cirulnick attained unfavorable reactions. In a negative review for The Hollywood Reporter, Frank Scheck said it "feels utterly tossed-off and generic, more resembling the pilot for a Rambo television series than a proper send off", but credited Stallone with "[keeping] a franchise afloat". Katie Walsh of the Chicago Tribune, who gave the film 1 out of 4 stars, called the script "barely a script at all" and the writing lazy; she added that story writers Stallone and Dan Gordon "trade on charged imagery rather than, you know, actually writing characters that fully express the spectrum of human morality". William Bibbiani of Bloody Disgusting said the script "has been reduced to its lowest common denominators, establishing characters quickly and then shoving them into a simplistic plot (that is to say, simplistic even by Rambo standards)", and rated the film 1.5 out of 5. Grading the film a D+ for IndieWire, Eric Kohn said Stallone as a co-writer "does a decent job at generating empathy for Rambo through furtive gestures, but Last Blood goes overboard to prove that he's tried to be a better man". While many called the plot of Last Blood derivative of Taken, web-based critic James Berardinelli called it "a Death Wish variant with a few callbacks to the trap-building of First Blood".More Info
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