PROSPECT – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Cee (Sophie Thatcher) — a really memorable teen-girl protagonist who is badass yet who still feels like kid — and her dad, Damon (Jay Duplass), arrive on a remote moon — which looks green and inviting but don’t try to breathe the air — on the trail of a big gem-prospecting take. Their work isn’t about mining: it’s more like pearl-diving, except the clams are alien creatures; we never even know if those creatures are plant or animal or of some other kind of biological kingdom as yet unknown on Earth. Getting at their valuable treasures is tough work, though. And then, as they’ve barely begun the job, they encounter Ezra (Pedro Pascal), another prospector, who is not the friendliest type…

Best not to know more than this. Where this goes takes an unexpected thread of working-class practicality the likes of which science fiction onscreen rarely deals with. Prospect’s future is not an optimistic, shiny one; it’s a realistic one, at least from today’s perspective, in which grubbing for a living is just what everyone has to do and in which risks — even potentially dangerous ones — are worth it for a chance to escape the grubbing. The characters here are drawn simply but sharply; is anyone truly making poor choices here, or necessarily desperate ones? Continue reading…

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).