REVIEW: ‘Moonfall’ plays around with gravity, plausibility in special effects-heavy, sci-fi disaster movie

Feb 4, 2022, 1:06 PM

John Bradley (’KC Houseman’, left), Patrick Wilson (’Brian Harper,’ center), and Halle Berr...

John Bradley (’KC Houseman’, left), Patrick Wilson (’Brian Harper,’ center), and Halle Berry (’Jocinda Fowler,’ right) in the cockpit in the sci-fi epic MOONFALL.

(’Jocinda Fowler,’ right)

SALT LAKE CITY — If there’s one thing that box office receipts have demonstrated over the years: People love a good disaster movie.
Titles like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon, Deep Impact and 2012 have all either earned either a profit above their high special effects budget–two of them even being the highest grossing films of their respective years–or become cult favorites.

Writer/director Roland Emmerich had a big hand in many of those hits, and he’s at it again as a writer/director with Moonfall starring Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson.

MOONFALL, a sci-fi disaster movie starring Halle Berry & Patrick Wilson, opens in theaters on Feb. 4, 2022.


In Moonfall, a conspiracy theorist named KC (John Bradley) discovers evidence that the Moon has been knocked from its orbit around Earth is on a collision course with life as we know it.

With mere weeks before impact and the world on the brink of annihilation, NASA executive and former astronaut Jo Fowler (Berry) has a plan she hopes can save us all – but she needs the help of an astronaut friend from her past, Brian Harper (Wilson).

So Fowler, Harper and KC must leave their families behind for this impossible last-ditch mission into space in hopes of saving humanity before the moon wrecks the earth.


If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know that Moonfall is a special effects smorgasbord.  You get a little big of everything from gravity waves playing havoc with the oceans, meteor chunks hitting the earth, to ships flying through space and the moon not being exactly what you think it is

This movie would have felt right at home as a summer blockbuster in past years.  It might have even succeeded there, too.  Not so sure about how it’ll do with an early February release date during a time when theater attendance is down.

But it does look fantastic on the giant screen.  I recommend IMAX if you’re able.


Story-wise, Moonfall is just OK.  Emmerich could have trimmed quite a bit out to streamline the plot, especially in first half of the film. It felt longer than its 2 hour & 5 minute run time.

It’s biggest problem is trying to be too many different genres of movies all rolled into one.  Yes, it’s largely a disaster movie, but it tries to shoehorn in some family drama, car chases, 2001: A Space Odyssey-style science fiction one minute, Star Wars-type space action the next.  Story threads and characters come and go almost at random.

It’s rated PG-13 for violence, disaster action, strong language, and some drug use.


Moonfall will likely be enjoyed most by those who haven’t seen too many disaster movies.  Most of what it tries to do is done better in other similar movies.



Moonfall is playing only in theaters.  No streaming options yet.
Fires, looting, and destruction across the Los Angeles skyline and Griffith Observatory as the Moon falls to the Earth in the sci-fi epic MOONFALL. Halle Berry (“Jocinda Fowler,” left) and Patrick Wilson (“Brian Harper,” right) as stranded astronauts in the sci-fi epic MOONFALL. John Bradley portrays Moon conspiracy theorist “K.C. Houseman” in the sci-fi epic MOONFALL. K.C. Houseman (John Bradley), Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry), and Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) discuss the fate of Earth in the sci-fi epic MOONFALL. The Endeavor Space Shuttle dodging debris approaching the Moon’s surface in the sci-fi epic MOONFALL. Michael Peña (left) as ’Tom Lopez,’ Carolina Bartczak as ’Brenda Lopez’ (center) and Charlie Plummer as ’Sonny Harper’ (right) in the sci-fi epic MOONFALL. Charlie Plummer (’Sonny Harper,’ left) and Kelly Yu (’Michelle,’ right) peering to the moon in the sci-fi epic MOONFALL. Director Roland Emmerich on the set of Moonfall. Photo Credit. Reiner Bajo

Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth does a weekly “What To Watch” segment for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on

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REVIEW: ‘Moonfall’ plays around with gravity, plausibility in special effects-heavy, sci-fi disaster movie