[‘THE TOMORROW WAR’ Review] solid sci-fi terror and tremendous heart combine in Chris Pratt-starring alien invasion thriller


Preston Barta // Features Editor


Rated PG-13, 140 minutes.
Director: Chris McKay
Cast: Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, Sam Richardson, Edwin Hodge, Jasmine Mathews, Betty Gilpin, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Mary Lynn Rajskub and J.K. Simmons

Available Friday to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Chris Pratt moves from dinosaurs to aliens in Amazon/Paramount Pictures’ invasion thriller The Tomorrow War—and he does so with breathless style, heart and vigor. This is not only a tremendously exciting mix of blustering action and sci-fi horror, but it’s an endearing exploration of fathers and their children. So, keep your popcorn and tissues handy because this summer spectacle examines why love and allegiance are qualities that make humanity worth saving.

In the film, Pratt portrays a military veteran, educator and devout family named Dan Forester. When people from the future come knocking on our door to inform us of humanity’s extinction, Dan is recruited to fight in a raging alien conflict 30 years from now. He’s sent to the front lines of a disintegrating Earth and bands together with fellow drafted time-travelers and future fighters (including Yvonne Strahovski, Sam Richardson and Edwin Hodge) to develop a strategy to defeat these vicious otherworldly creatures.

We’ve seen enough invasion films to make our heads spin, but director Chris McKay (of Lego Movie fame) injects The Tomorrow War with a good blend of emotional and visual power. You will recognize elements from such movies as Edge of TomorrowInterstellar, A Quiet Place and Alien (and maybe that Jane Lynch/alien video game in Wreck-It Ralph), but the characters – and the corners they’re backed into – keep you on your toes.

The family dynamics will cause your hearts to swell just as much as the gripping action makes you sweat. It’s a surprisingly terrific piece of popcorn entertainment that will blast off your home screens into a fun space.

Grade: B+

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.