Wasn't inclined to watch this as I dislike movies where the people in charge are being idiots. Thankfully, it turns out to be about competent people in a world where incompetent people have all the power, so that is a bit less annoying, mainly because it's easily relatable in these times.
The story is highly USA-centric and there are a lot of exaggerations for effect (see marked spoilers below), but the insanity the movie is pointing out is clear and doesn't feel too far removed from real life. Basically politics and capitalism causing the world's problems, as per usual.
Lots of big names here, but I think Leo and JLaw had pretty good performances. A lot of the side characters too, though they had much less screen time.
I didn't think I'd enjoy the film, but I did.
The film has a (kinda funny) mid-credits scene.
Spoilery notes / nitpicks
- Russia, China, etc would have verified the astronomical data almost immediately if the US gov chose to keep silent
- any mission would necessarily be a multilateral one due to timeframe and lack of resources
- the media response is really only portrayed through a single show; IRL the media coverage would surely be significantly more varied
- President Orlean is never openly described as Republican, but I think we all know who she represents, right down to the nepotism!
- I especially liked the final scene with the scientists and their friends and family around the dinner table pretending the world isn't about to end all around them. Seemed an appropriate way to end the film.