Robert Pattinson in High Life.

Robert Pattinson, the man who will be Batman, continues establishing himself as one of his generation’s finest actors with High Life, a dark, scarily effective sci-fi thriller.

Directed and co-written by Claire Denis, the film stars Pattinson as Monte, a death-row inmate sent into space with a crew of prisoners, including a murderous doctor played by Juliette Binoche. The prisoners dedicate their lives to scientific experiments rather than rotting in cells back on Earth.

It’s established early that Monte and his toddler daughter are the only survivors of the flight after things went terribly wrong. The deterioration of the mission is told in flashback. Mia Goth and Andre Benjamin play two other members of the ill-fated crew.

Everybody is terrific in this movie, which turns out to be one of the darker, more-effective sci-fi offerings in years. The mission’s ultimate goal is to pass through a black hole and see what is on the other side. Even with his crew gone, Monte forges on as his daughter ages along with him in space. It’s all very eerie, but also moving.

Cool trivia note: The baby is played by Scarlett Lindsey, the daughter of a friend of Pattinson, which explains their amazing rapport.

High Life is available via online sources including iTunes and