Oxygen 2021 Movie Review (1)

Oxygen 2021 Movie Review

Introduction to “Oxygen”

In the landscape of cinematic adventures, “Oxygen” stands as a pinnacle of captivating storytelling and immersive filmmaking. Directed by the visionary Alexandre Aja, this 2021 science fiction thriller plunges viewers into a world where every breath is a precious commodity and each moment is fraught with tension.

Brief Overview: Set in a future where Earth’s oxygen levels have plummeted to perilous lows, humanity teeters on the brink of extinction. Within this dystopian backdrop, “Oxygen” follows the gripping tale of a woman awakening in a cryogenic chamber, devoid of memory and with only 90 minutes of oxygen remaining. Her race against time to unravel her identity and escape her icy prison forms the crux of this thrilling narrative.

Plot Summary

Setting and Characters: The story unfolds against the backdrop of a world ravaged by environmental catastrophe. Our protagonist finds herself confined within a high-tech cryogenic chamber, her only companions the icy embrace of stasis and the relentless countdown of her dwindling oxygen supply.

Synopsis of the Story: As she grapples with fragmented memories and eerie hallucinations, our heroine embarks on a desperate quest for answers. With each revelation, she uncovers layers of deception and intrigue, hurtling toward a shocking truth that threatens to unravel her very existence.

Acting and Performances

Melanie Laurent’s Portrayal: At the heart of “Oxygen” lies Mélanie Laurent’s tour-de-force performance as the enigmatic protagonist. With a nuanced blend of vulnerability and determination, Laurent breathes life into her character, captivating audiences with every whispered revelation and silent scream.

Supporting Cast: Complementing Laurent’s stellar performance is a talented supporting cast that adds depth and complexity to the film’s ensemble. From Mathieu Amalric’s enigmatic scientist to Malik Zidi’s mysterious stranger, each actor imbues their role with a sense of urgency and authenticity.

Direction and Cinematography

Alexandre Aja’s Direction: Under the skilled guidance of Alexandre Aja, “Oxygen” unfolds with a palpable sense of tension and unease. Aja’s keen eye for detail and mastery of suspense keep viewers on the edge of their seats, as he deftly navigates the labyrinthine twists and turns of the narrative.

Visual Elements: From the sterile confines of the cryogenic chamber to the desolate landscapes of a world in turmoil, the film’s visual elements are nothing short of breathtaking. Each frame is meticulously crafted to evoke a sense of atmosphere and mood, drawing viewers deeper into the immersive world of “Oxygen.”

Themes and Message

Exploration of Isolation: At its core, “Oxygen” delves into the profound effects of isolation and confinement on the human psyche. Through our protagonist’s harrowing journey, the film examines themes of loneliness, desperation, and the indomitable will to survive against all odds.

Survival and Human Resilience: As our heroine battles against the relentless march of time, “Oxygen” offers a poignant reflection on the resilience of the human spirit. Even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, our capacity for survival and adaptation shines through, serving as a beacon of hope in a world consumed by darkness.

Soundtrack and Sound Design

Impact on the Atmosphere: The haunting soundtrack and immersive sound design of “Oxygen” play a pivotal role in shaping the film’s atmosphere and mood. From the eerie hum of the cryogenic chamber to the pulsating score that underscores moments of tension, each auditory element adds depth and texture to the cinematic experience.

Contribution to the Narrative: Beyond mere ambiance, the film’s sound design serves as a narrative device, heightening the tension and emotional impact of key moments. Whether it’s the ominous throb of a heartbeat or the whispered echo of a memory, each sound cue propels the story forward, drawing viewers deeper into its enigmatic embrace.

Critical Reception

Review Aggregators’ Scores: Upon its release, “Oxygen” garnered widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, earning high scores on review aggregator sites. Praise was heaped upon the film’s gripping plot, standout performances, and immersive atmosphere, cementing its status as a must-see entry in the science fiction genre.

Critics’ Consensus: Critics lauded “Oxygen” for its originality, suspenseful pacing, and thought-provoking themes. While some noted pacing issues and narrative twists, the overall consensus was overwhelmingly positive, with many hailing it as a triumph of visionary filmmaking.

Audience Response

Social Media Reactions: In the digital age, “Oxygen” sparked a flurry of discussion and excitement across social media platforms. Audiences praised the film’s gripping storyline, stunning visuals, and memorable performances, with hashtags and trending topics spreading like wildfire.

Fan Discussions: In online forums and fan communities, discussions about “Oxygen” flourished, with fans dissecting every aspect of the film’s plot and symbolism. Debates raged over the true meaning of its cryptic ending and the nature of reality within the narrative, fueling speculation and analysis for months after its release.

Comparison with Similar Films

Similarities and Differences: While “Oxygen” shares thematic similarities with other science fiction thrillers, its unique premise and execution set it apart from the crowd. Unlike conventional dystopian tales, which often focus on grandiose battles and epic conflicts, “Oxygen” takes a more intimate approach, exploring the inner turmoil of its protagonist as she grapples with existential questions of identity and purpose.

Unique Aspects of “Oxygen”: What truly sets “Oxygen” apart is its unflinching exploration of memory, identity, and the nature of reality itself. As our heroine delves deeper into the mystery of her past, she uncovers unsettling truths that challenge her understanding of who she is and what she believes. It’s this existential journey of self-discovery that elevates “Oxygen” from a mere sci-fi thriller to a profound meditation on the human condition.

Analysis of Success Factors

Factors Contributing to Its Success: The success of “Oxygen” can be attributed to a combination of factors, including its compelling storyline, stellar performances, and expert direction. By tapping into universal themes of survival, identity, and resilience, the film resonated with audiences on a deeply emotional level, leaving a lasting impression long after the credits rolled.

Audience Engagement: From the moment “Oxygen” premiered, audiences were captivated by its tantalizing mysteries and thought-provoking themes. Whether through social media discussions or fervent fan theories, viewers embraced the film’s enigmatic narrative with open arms, forging a deep connection that transcended the screen.

Controversies and Debates

Controversial Elements: While “Oxygen” received widespread acclaim, it was not without its share of controversies. Some viewers took issue with the film’s ambiguous ending and open-ended narrative, sparking heated debates over its true meaning and interpretation.

Responses from Filmmakers and Cast: In response to these controversies, the filmmakers and cast of “Oxygen” offered insights into the creative process behind the film’s narrative choices. While remaining cryptic about specific plot details, they encouraged audiences to form their own interpretations and engage in spirited discussions about the film’s deeper themes.

Awards and Nominations

Recognition in the Industry: “Oxygen” received accolades from critics and audiences alike, earning nominations for its innovative storytelling and technical achievements. From prestigious film festivals to industry awards ceremonies, “Oxygen” garnered recognition for its exceptional contributions to the world of cinema.


Notable Nominations: The film received nominations in various categories, including Best Actress for Mélanie Laurent’s captivating performance and Best Original Screenplay for its imaginative storytelling. These nominations underscored the film’s impact and influence within the industry, cementing its status as a standout entry in the science fiction genre.

Impact on the Film Industry

Influence on Future Projects: “Oxygen” left an indelible mark on the film industry, inspiring filmmakers to explore similar themes and storytelling techniques in their own projects. Its innovative approach to narrative structure and visual storytelling paved the way for a new wave of science fiction cinema, pushing the boundaries of what audiences thought possible.

Contributions to the Genre: By challenging conventions and defying expectations, “Oxygen” revitalized the sci-fi thriller genre, injecting fresh ideas and perspectives into a cinematic landscape often dominated by formulaic blockbusters. Its success served as a rallying cry for filmmakers seeking to push the boundaries of storytelling and create bold, visionary cinema that resonates with audiences on a profound level.


“Oxygen” is more than just a movie—it’s an immersive cinematic experience that transcends the boundaries of genre and storytelling. With its gripping plot, stellar performances, and visionary direction, it captivates audiences from start to finish, leaving them breathless with anticipation and awe. As our heroine struggles against the forces of fate and time, we’re reminded of the power of resilience, the resilience of the human spirit, and the enduring quest for truth in a world shrouded in darkness.


What genre does “Oxygen” belong to?

  • “Oxygen” falls into the science fiction thriller genre, blending elements of suspense, mystery, and existential drama.

Is the film suitable for all audiences?

  • While “Oxygen” is suitable for most audiences, it contains intense scenes and themes that may not be suitable for young children.

How does “Oxygen” compare to other sci-fi thrillers?

  • “Oxygen” distinguishes itself from other sci-fi thrillers through its unique premise, intimate storytelling, and thought-provoking themes of identity and survival.

What makes “Oxygen” stand out from similar movies?

  • What sets “Oxygen” apart is its unflinching exploration of memory, identity, and the nature of reality itself, elevating it from a mere thriller to a profound meditation on the human condition.

Can “Oxygen” be considered a thought-provoking film?

  • Absolutely. “Oxygen” challenges viewers to ponder existential questions about identity, memory, and the nature of reality, inviting them on a journey of self-discovery and introspection.

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