AstroNuts is a 2022 computer-animated science fiction comedy film produced by British animation studio Locksmith Animation for Warner Bros. Pictures. Written and directed by Adam Campbell-Sing (in his feature directorial debut), it stars the voices of John Boyega, Steve Carell, Ana de Armas and Michael Peña as the titular group, with Ben Mendehlson, Ken Jeong, Brian Tyree Henry, Rebel Wilson, Peter Dinklage, and Topher Grace in supporting roles. The film follows a charismatic career criminal as he forms an uneasy alliance with a group of extraterrestrial outlaws to commit heists while under pressure from an evil warlord and powerful crime figures. Animation services were provided by British visual effects company DNEG.
AstroNuts premiered at Thorpe Park on 7 September 2022 and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom in 2D and 3D on 16 September 2022, and a week later in the United States. The film drew mostly praise from critics - especially for its animation, visuals, screenplay, vocal performances, pacing and ambition, though some criticism was aimed its runtime and perceived anti-political approach. A commercial success, it grossed $503 million worldwide on a $70 million budget, becoming Warner Bros.'s highest-grossing animated film.
AstroNuts was selected by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2022. Among its other accolades, the film won three of its four nominations the 76th British Academy Film Awards - winning Best Original Screenplay for Sing, Best Animated Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, also for Sing. It was also nominated for three nominations at the 80th Golden Globe Awards and two nominations at the 95th Academy Awards.
In the 23rd century, Earth has been split into multiple planets, all collectively known as the Galactic Federation. At its center is Alpha: a sprawling sun-soaked metropolis full of self-help gurus, criminals, starlets and fading celebrities, once the envy of the cosmos, now struggling to stay afloat in an era of mysterious dark threats, economic uncertainty and cheap reality TV. Amidst the turmoil, five very different criminals plot their own chances of survival and success: Zayne West (John Boyega), a master thief, whose biggest job is a lot more difficult than it would be; Kowalski (Steve Carell), Zayne's trusted partner in crime; Suarez (Ana de Armas), a pizza delivery girl who finds herself in the middle of the criminal underworld thanks to a predictcament; MC Clip (Michael Peña), a violent bounty hunter driven by the extreme amount of money of targets; and last but not least, the one and only, Teeny-Weeny, the lovable, non-binary partner in crime of Clip. When a dangerous, evil threat emerges, the group risks everything in a series of daring and dangerous heists that could set them up for life.
- John Boyega as Zayne West, an trained thief and leader of the group. He is a descendant of The Great Zayne West, who is regarded as the greatest outlaw in the galaxy.
- Steve Carell as Kowalski, an expert hacker and Zayne's partner and best friend, who raised him at a young age.
- Ana de Armas as Suarez, a pizza delivery girl who joins Zayne's group after being imprisoned for a crime she did not commit, and is the kindest memeber of the group.
- Michael Peña as MC Clip, an hot-headed, hyperactive and overweight bounty hunter and mercenary, who often clashes with Zayne.
- Teeny-Weeny, the accomplice of Clip, a mute, non-binary member of a small, nomadic race. Instead of spoken dialogue, the character communicates through British Sign Language (BSL).
- Ben Mendehlson as Octus the Unhinged, Pierre's foul-mouthed cephalopod lieutenant and Zayne's archenemy, who serves as the film's primary antagonist.
- Ken Jeong as Jasper, a penguin who serves as O.G.M.'s slave and bodyguard.
- Brian Tyree Henry as Mabu the Malicious, a Troll ally of Pierre who is a feared intergalactic hunter.
- Rebel Wilson as Boumbolina the Surprisingly Pathetic, an obese bear-like creature, who is another of Pierre's lieutenants.
- Will Forte as Pierre la Pierre, the supreme leader of the Syriza empire, and Octus' superior.
- Peter Dinklage as the Old Gray Mare (O.G.M.), one of the last surviving members of the original Red Lotus Society, a 1,000-year old, reclusive crime lord.
- Topher Grace as Kurt, a journalist for the Intergalactic Times, who serves as the film's narrator.
- David Burrows as Professor Gunk, a Stephen Hawking-like pile of garbage, who is another of O.G.M.'s slaves.
On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 76% based on 425 reviews, with an average rating of 7.20/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Its persistent anti-political messages are undeniably aggressive to a fault, but given its striking visual appeal, talented voice cast, and unique satirical twist on the crime genre, AstroNuts soars high." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 60 out of 100 based on 57 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported it received an average 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 67% of people saying they would definitely recommend it.