Saw it a week or two ago and didn't get around to writing a review.
I read reviews of the plot and science, and didn't seem to have anything to add. It was good, very good, and is one of those rare times Hollywood goes out of its way to try to make the science accurate. It's obviously aimed at Space buffs - showing off every piece of hardware from the decomissioned Space Shuttle to the ISS to Soyuz - and I'm squarely in the target audience so of course I loved it. ~_^
I had some reactions that were... different though. That's what I'll share.
The Debris Field - one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. It was mesmerizing... which might not be a bad reaction if you watch carefully for that one piece headed like a bullet right between the eyes and maneuver out of its way.
Soyuz - I felt sorry for them. I shed tears for them. Underappreciated is that Soyuz are robots - they can autonomously dock with the station with supplies and carry away waste - and this was all done with 1970s electronics back in the days of Salut and later Mir. No they don't look at all like what we think of as "robots" but the shape of their bodies is irrelivant, there is a mind there, albeit a simple one, an innocent one. Like babies, they have 20 different cries (alarms) for different problems. They know something is very, very, horribly wrong... but don't understand why. Like dogs, they are loyal without question, faithfully doing whatever is asked of them... and not all of them make it back to Earth.
Spirituality - To some, to even myself a couple years ago, the themes and spiritual overtones might seem sappy. She doesn't make it back until she finds the right attitude towards life. However, I lived something like this when I was lost in the woods last summer. I didn't start to make it out until I learned how to navigate - there was this Elder Scrolls moment where my Navigation skill went up (though that's another story). The upshot is having to devellop the right attitude towards life to find your way - literally - makes sense to me now.
Knick-knacks - The film accurately captures the quirky, seemingly random stuff Astronauts take with them - the most in-your-face being the floating Marvin the Martian statue in the wrecked space shuttle. This, I realized is part of the film's spiritual themes. I caught 3 objects that symbolize where she is on a path of spiritual growth / 5 stages of grief.
Marvin the Martian - secular character, respresenting lack of spirituality. He also represents fear and anger - what Yoda called the Dark Side. This is how she feels about the loss of her daughter. This corresponds with Anger.
Eastern Orthodox Icon - on the dashboard of Soyuz. Represents faith, hope, salvation, but is a quieter Christianity than its American version. It's at this point she passes through Depression when she shuts off the lights and just sits listening to the few (foreign) radio signals left. She finally comes to terms with the fact life must go on - that she could just drift into oblivion - but chooses not to.
Good Luck Buddha- on the dashboard of Shenzhou. Represents zen, inner peace, but by choosing the fat, happy "good luck charm" version of buddha it also represents having learned to enjoy life again. By now, she has clearly learned Acceptance.
There may be an object I didn't notice on the ISS which corresponds with Bargaining - each of these objects is in the frame only briefly.
...and there's the whole "Let go" message cliche in movie after movie after movie... I'm pleased it's just a part of these other, more interesting themes.
...Now I want to play Kerbal ^_^