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Netflix’s Spaceman is slow, sad sci-fi — with a lovable space spider

A photo of Adam Sandler in the Netflix film Spaceman.
Image: Netflix

Truly alien creatures are hard to relate to because they’re so, well, alien. The best-realized ones have different cultures and biologies and belief systems that make them distinct from humanity and, thus, hard to understand. The alien in the Netflix film Spaceman is one recent example: a giant spider with squirming tentacles, a disturbingly human mouth, the calming voice of Paul Dano, and the ability to experience time nonlinearly. And yet, the weird critter is also very relatable. He’s nosy and perceptive and prone to creature comforts to ease stress; he’s creepy, sure, but I kind of love him. And paired with a remarkably restrained Adam Sandler as a burned-out astronaut, his presence makes for some sad and soothing science fiction.


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