Director and co-screenwriter Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men) has created a sci-fi instant classic that achieves maximum audience involvement by intensifying sound and visuals as well as using omniscient camera shots. We see Ryan Stone’s (Bullock) point of view from within her helmet, looking out the visor. It is a technique only used a couple of times, but it effectively adds to our feeling of Stone’s terror. As well, 3D imagery has the audience literally ducking and swerving. Add directional sound and the use of dead silence, and one's sensory feelings pretty much max out.
While Clooney is very good as the sage astronaut, Bullock is the real focus here, in an Oscar worthy turn as the novice space explorer. Of the 90 minutes running time, Bullock solidly holds solo for at least 30 minutes. It is a credit to both her and the director. There are so many memorable moments throughout, including an awesome finale. Pure genius.