SPACEMAN on Netflix is a Sci-Fi Drama Adventure starring Adam Sandler. It’s based on a book and is a slow-burn story about self-discovery. Also, there’s a giant ancient creature on a spaceship. And it can speak. Read our full Spaceman movie review here!

SPACEMAN is a new Netflix movie that takes place mostly in space. In the title role, we see Adam Sandler in one of his few serious portrayals, and he delivers everything this character needs. It’s a true genre hybrid in the sense that while this is a sci-fi movie, it’s also very much a drama, an adventure, and even part romance.

At its core, this is a story of self-discovery. It’s about the very human concept of not knowing (or appreciating) what you have until it’s gone. What makes this a true genre movie is also the giant ancient creature on board the spaceship. It looks mostly like a spider and a little like an octopus. Also, it can speak and is both eloquent and insightful.

Continue reading our Spaceman movie review below. Find it on Netflix from March 1, 2024.

Set in an alternative universe (or just world)

In Spaceman, we meet the title character when he’s already six months into a solitary research mission. It’s a mission that will take him to the edge of the solar system before he can return home. He’s almost there which means he’s nearly halfway through his mission.

Unfortunately, he’s gone from being good at solitary work to missing his wife desperately. The astronaut – or rather, he refers to himself as Cosmonaut in the movie – is Jakub (Adam Sandler). He’s the pride and joy of his country as this mission will have the Czechs reach a strange purple cloud of stardust just ahead of the South Koreans.

The cloud can be seen from Earth, and everything from this purple presence in the sky to the spaceship is clearly set in an alternative world. One where we just send someone out on a solitary mission, and it surprises no one that the Czech and South Koreans are fighting to get there first. As opposed to the classic USA or Russia situation. Or maybe China?!

A very lengthy solitary space mission

In any case, Jakub realizes that this mission might have been a terrible mistake when he can no longer get a hold of his wife. He is getting the feeling that his marriage might not be there when he returns to Earth. And he would be right, as his wife, Lenka (Carey Mulligan) has decided to leave him.

After all, he went on this mission knowing she was pregnant and now she’s all alone and has had time to think. Specifically, she’s come to realize that Jakub always puts Jakub first. No matter what Lenka might need – or how she needs his presence.

However, Jakub doesn’t know that his wife has left him. He just knows that she isn’t answering his calls. Yes, they can call each other whenever they want. So, Lenka has left a message for him about wanting a divorce. Only, Jakub never received this message due to Ground Control holding it back.

They understandably fear his mental health might further deteriorate if he knows Lenka has left him.

Spaceman (2024) – Review | Netflix Sci-fi Drama

The spider alien, Hanuš, to the rescue!

Just when Jakub is about to give up all hope, a mysterious creature appears. It’s been on board the spaceship for a while and has been studying Earth and human beings even longer, so he offers to help Jakub. The spider-like alien creature, Hanuš is voiced wonderfully by Paul Dano.

In that very calm voice of Paul Dano (that can be creepy, but is only kind here), Hanuš works with Jakub to help him understand where it all went wrong.

While the relationship between Jakub and Lenka is the heart of the Netflix movie Spaceman, it really is Jakub’s story. He needs to understand why it is he always misses Lenka the most when he’s not with her. To do this, he needs to go back even further in his memories, and Hanuš can help him do this.

Together, they go through the memories of Jakub. At first, it’s all about Lenka and wanting to go to space. Then it’s also about the childhood, he suffered, and what made him shut off emotions instead of using them as a strength.

This might all sound way too fluffy and soft, but it does make for a very heartwarming movie. Sort of like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty but set in Space. Including an amazing supporting cast that includes Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory), Lena Olin (Hunters), and Isabella Rossellini.

Also, having a score by Max Richter (Arrival, Ad Astra) never hurts!

Watch Spaceman on Netflix!

Spaceman was directed by Johan Renck (Chernobyl) and was finished years ago. It’s just been waiting to be released, but when test screenings weren’t satisfying, the studio clearly panicked. I can see test screening would be difficult as this is a unique movie. It’s not a bad movie, by any means, but the style is different from most movies. In good ways!

Also, if you watch it for a big ol’ spider-like alien that can speak, you may be expecting something more sinister. While Hanuš clearly has power, he isn’t evil by any stretch of the imagination. Voiced by Paul Dano (Okja), he is first and foremost comforting while also being demanding. But only to better understand – and to help – Jakub.

This movie is based on the novel “Spaceman of Bohemia” by Jaroslav Kalfař. I love that they kept the geography of the movie – yes, even though the characters do speak English, which is a pet peeve of mine. The screenplay comes from Colby Day, who managed to create a movie that made me very curious about the book. Kudos for that!

For the record, Colby Day’s next screenplay is also in the sci-fi and drama genres. The title is In the Blink of an Eye, is directed by Oscar-winner Andrew Stanton (Stranger Things, Tales from the Loop), and stars Rashida Jones and Kate McKinnon. It’s currently in production.

Interestingly, the novel’s author has stated that it began as a short story. It had a story about “an American astronaut who was stranded in orbit when he received a call from his wife asking for a divorce”. Instead, it became a novel that focused on his own Czech family. This is what has stayed the core subject of the movie. As it should!

Bonus fact: Channing Tatum is one of the producers of this movie.

Spaceman is on Netflix from March 1, 2024.


Director: Johan Renck
Screenplay: Colby Day
Cast: Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan, Kunal Nayyar, Lena Olin, Isabella Rossellini, Paul Dano


Six months into a solo mission, a lonely astronaut confronts the cracks in his marriage with help from a mysterious creature he discovers on his ship.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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