I really enjoyed Gravity. In some ways it's a standard Hollywood movie. Two big stars, a fast pace that keeps the characters rather dimensionless, and the usual cliched attempt at human interest.... something about having no will to survive because a young daughter died previously in a tragic accident.
All of this is secondary, because the movie makes us experience something for the first time, something we may have thought we knew. Other movies have shown humans orbiting in space. But Gravity presents space-walking with a reality and authenticity that sucks us right in.
Many great movies have done this. Presented us with an experience of some reality that totally captures us. Das Boot was not the first movie about submarine warfare, but it was the first one that drew us in so powerfully because it conveyed an authenticity that hit us in the gut. The chariot race in Ben Hur no doubt performed the same function. Platoon first showed some sense of the real Viet Nam war. The first horrific twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan, the Omaha Beach scene, is a masterpiece of film making, tacked on before just another Hollywood war movie.
This is the achievement of Gravity, we have a new experience because of the authenticity and reality the film makers have managed to convey. I mean Holy Shit !!
And in the last minute, gravity never felt so good!