Alfonso Cuaron's new sci-fi movie Gravity has received glowing reviews following its screening at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday (August 28, 2013).

The world premiere kicked off 11 days of screenings at the festival, though it appears it may have peaked on day one. 

Shot in stunning 3D, Gravity tells of two astronautsplayed by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock who are cast into deep space when a debris shower destroys their shuttle, putting their return to Earth in jeopardy.

Early reviews have been unanimously positive, with the Hollywood Reporter describing it as a "jaw-dropping space thriller" boasting "breath-catching tension and startling surprise."

Variety's senior critic Justin Chang said: "All in all, it would be impossible to overestimate the difficulty of what Cuaron and his top-of-the-line crew have pulled off, or to guess at the staggering number of decisions that were made regarding specifics of camera placement and movement."

Mark Adams of Screen Daily wrote: "A genuinely tense and exciting lost-in-space thriller, Alfonso Cuaron's exhilarating and often spectacular 3-D film is a real pleasure."

David Jenkins of Little White Lies continued the praise, writing, "It's been 7 years since Children Of Men, and bar the odd production gig, Cuarón has not directed a film since. Yet within the first three minutes of the film is plain to see that no time has been wasted and that the director and his cinematographer were beavering away creating something a bit new and a bit different."

Check out the Gravity trailer:

Upon hearing of the strong reviews, Hollywood actress Thandie Newton - who does not star in the movie - tweeted, "Thrilled and proud for various friends of mine for the Gravity reviews coming out of Venice. Can not wait."

Elsewhere at this year's festival, Terry Gilliam's fantasy The Zero Theorem, with Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz, gets its world premiere, as does Scarlett Johansson's Scottish set tale Under The Skin.

Nicolas Cage stars in Joe, the story of a violent ex-convict, while Parkland is a historical drama set on the day that President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Gravity hits theaters in the U.S. on October 4, 2013.

Alfonso CuaronGravity Could Be Alfonso Cuaron's Strongest Movie Yet