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This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.

"Aporia is an observational sci-fi film that takes chances with its story and forces viewers to contemplate tough questions, for better or worse."

At first glance, Aporia boasts a frustrating first act that can be almost maddening. You'll recognize it when you come across it: a leading character accepts the absurd premise without any explanation. Some of the decisions might appear perplexing based on the title alone.

However, as the film unfolds, Jared Moshe’s screenplay begins to embrace some daring risks that counter the norms of your typical science fiction movie. Moshe’s creation takes the form of a bottleneck picture and a morality play, which concocts ethical and moral predicaments for the audience to wrestle with.

Not all of these endeavours prove successful, but the mere presentation of such thought-provoking concepts in the first place renders Aporia a film that merits both viewing and contemplation.

Aporia Review and Plot Summary

The story follows a grieving wife, Sophie (Judy Greer, Reboot), a registered nurse who lost her husband, Mal (Edi Gathegi, For All Mankind), when he was struck by a drunk driver while crossing the street. Sophie's daughter, Riley (Faithe Herman), is grappling with school difficulties, missing so many days that a callous and insensitive administrator has expelled her.

Sophie finds solace in Jabir (Payman Maadi, A Seperation), a physicist and a friend of her late husband who has endured the loss of his own family since childhood. Within his home, using what appears to be a school computer from the 1980s, he creates a time machine that seems oversized and has seen better days with its Hemi engine.

However, this time machine exudes a cold and ominous aura. It doesn't facilitate someone's journey back in time but rather enables eliminating someone from the past to safeguard someone in the future.


Aporia, directed by Jared Moshe (The Ballad of Lefty Brown), makes the most of its razor-thin budget and overcomes an almost perplexing first act. For instance, the sight of Jabir bringing Sophie into a spare bedroom to show her a dirty, makeshift engine and claiming it's a time machine raises questions.

Yet, what's even more puzzling is the script's tendency to skip over any explanations. Initially, it's almost laughable, and Greer's Sophie questions the morality of the decision without needing insight into how it might work. There are several instances where Jabir dismisses plot holes with nonchalance.

While I criticize Moshe for this, I admit that a limited budget might explain these missteps.

What Aporia does well is play with the consequences of Jabir and Sophie's actions and the unintended consequences of their decisions. As they bring Mal back, a compartmentalized butterfly effect takes place, significantly altering the lives of those they are connected to.

And that's where Aporia thrives, making the most of its story. As I discussed "real chances" earlier, Moshe's script evolves into a dual metaphor of acceptance, letting go, and healing. The third shift is a stunner that enhances these themes.

Is Aporia good or bad?

Aporia is a good low-budget sci-fi morality play with evident struggles. For example, a large plot hole involving the daughter at the film's beginning punches a hole in the premise. (If the adult characters remember now-erased memories, why doesn’t Riley remember her father was killed in the first place?)

Is Aporia worth watching?

Yes, Aporia is worth watching based on the dramatic turn by Judy Greer, an undervalued actress who has made a name for herself in comedies because she’s so gifted in that regard. However, since her brilliant cameo in the George Clooney film The Descendants, she has held her own in several roles. Greer gives a touching, heart-breaking turn that elevates the movie above its apparent flaws.

Verdict: "Aporia is an observational sci-fi film that takes chances with its story and forces viewers to contemplate tough questions, for better or worse."


Aporia Star Rating


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