by Alex Jackson Lunar miner Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is nearing the end of a three-year contract with Lunar Industries when an accident lands him in his spaceship's sickbay. Upon regaining consciousness, he meets a facsimile of himself and begins to suspect that his employer and his robot companion Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey) have been keeping something from him. While Moon has some kind of basic dramatic conflict and is centred around an actual story instead of impressive visuals (though Sam Rockwell playing table tennis with himself is a hella neat trick), its vision of the future is surprisingly utopian. Bell is mining helium energy from the moon's surface and this efficient, clean-burning fuel has solved a great deal of Earth's energy problems. Once the truth of Lunar Industries' deception is finally revealed, we implicitly understand that Bell is necessary collateral damage sacrificed for the greater good. The most provocative thing about Moon is that it doesn't bother indulging in sanctimonious outrage or in typecasting Lunar Industries as a monolithic villain. Bell never launches into a moralistic tirade condemning them and they never launch into a diabolical tirade defending themselves. The film in general is a strangely comforting experience. Rockwell may be the most amiable actor working today while Spacey, perfectly cast as the voice of Gerty, slyly sends up both himself and sci-fi movie computer voices. (Perhaps in order to make Gerty's presence genuinely calming and reassuring, the filmmakers had to acknowledge, on some level, the calm and reassuring computer voice as a genre cliché.) If the film is completely unthreatening stylistically, the questions at the heart of the material are not. Like this year's Boy Interrupted, coincidentally enough, Moon forces us to confront the natural ramifications of seeing Man as a biological rather than spiritual entity. When we learn the perfectly logical reason why Bell can see himself, it just fucks with our minds even more. Identity is not something that should be explained scientifically. The film's future epitomizes how science and reason can make our lives better, not only through technological improvements but through a move towards utilitarian ethics as well. And yet, by design, there is something terrifying about it.