In a recent interview, James Cameron admitted that he’s mildly nervous about the success of his latest creation, but then he went on to say with confidence, “We know we have got the goods with this film.”

And indeed he does. In spades.

Avatar is quite simply the most stunning movie to hit the screen in years.

And it’s more than just visually stunning. It’s a movie with heart, some splashes of humor, and plenty of action and drama.

In the year 2154, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is a paraplegic ex-Marine and part of a team sent to Pandora to infiltrate the native population. The Na’vi, it seems, are currently sitting on an astronomically huge reserve of a rare mineral crucial to Earth’s survival. In order to walk safely among them, however, (and get them to abandon their home so the drilling may commence) Sully must ‘become’ a Na’vi, using an Avatar– a living, breathing look-alike embodied remotely by Sully during a trance-like state. (It makes more sense when you actually see it.)

What follows is truly a cinematic masterpiece for the ages, on par with (Dare I say? Yes I do…) Star Wars. It’s a movie that will be looked back upon as a game-changer for years to come.

Every one of its 160+ minutes will keep you glued to your seat, staring in amazement at what is before you. Whether it’s the simple moment of an ethereal Pandoran jellyfish-lightning bug landing on Sully as he walks through the forest or the more massive moment when we see the floating Hallelujah Mountains for the first time.

Thankfully, though, it’s not all about the visuals. The story is surprisingly well-crafted, and the characters are entirely engrossing thanks to stellar performances by Zöe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, and Giovanni Ribisi, among others.

Cameron takes us to another world and another time. It’s the journey of a lifetime, well worth watching again and again.

And with news that he may indeed be planning an Avatar trilogy, it’s a journey that will, thankfully, continue.

5/5 stars