Atlas: Jennifer Lopez’s new sci-fi film is polarising

atlas movie

Atlas, a 2024 sci-fi Netflix movie directed by Brad Peyton.

Photo credit: Pool

As a fan of the Terminator movies, there's a scene in this film earlier on with a character called Casca, played by Abraham Popoola, that gave us one of the best Terminator moments we have seen in a very long time. That's why I felt compelled to talk about Atlas.


Atlas, a 2024 sci-fi Netflix movie directed by Brad Peyton, presents a futuristic story of human-AI cooperation starring Jennifer Lopez as Atlas Shepard. Set in a world where AI threatens humanity, Atlas teams up with an AI named Smith to stop a rogue supercomputer called Harlan, played by Sam Liu.

There are three ways to look at this film since it's on streaming:

The ordinary, everyday Netflix user:

For the ordinary person who is just looking for something to watch, this film blends action, comedy, and commentary on AI very well. It is cohesive, fast paced (the first act) and well-directed.

On AI, the story does a good job in painting a potential coexistence between humans and AI. Lopez's performance as Atlas is central to the film's appeal, delivering emotional depth and believability even in a predominantly digital and green-screen environment. Despite some clichéd elements and a script that doesn't make an effort to go deeper into its themes, "Atlas" offers entertaining, popcorn-worthy action with Jennifer Lopez's compelling performance at its core.

The film navigates familiar territory but stands out for its dynamic visuals and engaging lead actress.

The jaded film enthusiast:

The movie's attempt to explore the consequences of AI gone rogue falls flat due to underdeveloped characters and uninspired dialogue. While Lopez delivers a committed performance, her character's emotional journey feels overshadowed by the film's reliance on formulaic sci-fi tropes. Mark Strong and Sterling K. Brown were underutilised.

Despite its potential, Atlas fails to offer anything substantially new to the genre, leaving film and sci-fi enthusiasts with a forgettable viewing experience.

On a personal level:

This is an okay casual sci-fi movie that will do what a movie is supposed to do, which is to entertain. Gamers will see a bit of Titanfall, and of course, as mentioned earlier, that one scene with Casca might as well win you over.

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