Three crew members are on a mission from a future Mars colony to a failed Earth, and along the way they start acting strange. After a close call with an asteroid, they discover something unusual in the cargo hold.
Overall, Earthrise is a huge disappointment. Even judging it by its low-budget indie peers, nothing in the film rates above a 510. The sets, lighting, cinematography serve their purpose, but noting notable. The only highlights are that the actors' performances occasionally raise above the material they're given. Also the score sometimes hits the right emotional note to heighten the tension, but other times misses it entirely. What most defines Earthrise is editing and plot. Non-linear storytelling is an artform rarely done well. In the hands of a master, it adds an extra dimension to the film, but generally it's just a tacky veneer to distract from an otherwise thin plot--and the plot of Earthrise is as hollow as a cracked bell.
One thing that becomes clear early on is that some of the events are put together out of order. For instance: between scene cuts, Marshall suddenly has a band-aid on his forehead without explanation. The actual scene where the accident occurs comes later. Also throughout the film are recorded interviews with the three crew members prior to their mission, and others who completed it. Though the interviews provide an interesting contrast between what the crew believe themselves to be and who they really are, the latter serves better as a Three Stooges revival. They're lucky that their ship is on autopilot, because it would be a smoking crater if they had to land it.
The core elements of a thriller are tension and payoff--Earthrise almost never does. The opening summary might sound like an interesting movie, if a bit cliché. However, Earthrise manages to take anything noteworthy and blows it out an airlock.
If you read everything up till now and still have a vague twinge of curiosity, you can stop reading...and maybe smack yourself with a frying pan till the feeling subsides. If I've otherwise managed to dissuade you from watching this slow-burning train wreck, you'll soon thank me.
The part about Mars and Earth is merely pretense; none of that really affects the plot. Much of what we learn about the crew through the interviews is largely tossed to the cold vacuum of space as well--they all equally go nuts by the end. They start acting strange and having hallucinations, but never investigate why. A collision with an asteroid would usually be a disaster, but the trio make it through with merely a scratch. Nothing a band-aid can't fix. (Not even Johnson & Johnson could save this plot.) The broken crate they find in the cargo hold looks more like an animal cage, but all that's left inside are Mars rocks. What was really in it? No idea, they never follow up on that one either. In fact, their only concern is not reporting anything back to Mars out of fear of the mission being called off. In the real world, they'd be judged more by how they deal with the situation than the crisis itself.
Why did Mars pick these three stooges for this mission? I honestly don't care.
Review by Semicharm from the Internet Movie Database.