First Man (2018)

PG-13   |    |  Biography, Drama, History

First Man (2018) Poster

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

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  • Linus Sandgren and Melissa Fisher in First Man (2018)
  • Ryan Gosling and Connor Blodgett in First Man (2018)
  • Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy in First Man (2018)
  • Ryan Gosling at an event for First Man (2018)
  • Dave Karger and Damien Chazelle at an event for First Man (2018)
  • Dave Karger and Damien Chazelle at an event for First Man (2018)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

12 October 2018 | ccorral419
Continuously shaky camera work and up close camera positioning hindered this film
Director/Writer Damien Chapelle successfully wore both hats in his 2016 "La La Land" and 2014 "Whiplash" endeavores. However, in "First Man," where he carries only the director title, his presentation is hindered and overburdened by continuous and unnecessary shaky camera work and countless close-ups. While the tumble and shaking within the capsule provides a first-hand up-close and personal space travel experience, the moving camera rarely stops, and its proximity to the actors/action makes watching the film difficult and/or hard to understand what is being presented on screen. Ryan Gosling ("La La Land") is young engineer/test pilot/astronaut Neil Armstrong (1961-1969), determined to do what it takes to be the best. At home, his wife Janet (Claire Foy "The Crown" TV) is holding their lives together, especially following a family tragedy. As we progress toward the first walk on the moon, Armstrong must weather several fellow astronaut deaths, distancing himself from himself and those around him. Claire Foy does a nice job with the little she is given, proving the women behind the astronaut is as much a part of the space travel experience as their husbands. The film has a terrific ensemble cast (Jason Clarke "Zero Dart Thirty," Kyle Chandler "Friday Night Lights," "Shea Whigham "Waco," Corey Stoll "House of Cards", Lukas Haas "Witness," to name a few). Yet, the on screen personas of Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (Corey Stoll) that writers Josh Singer and James R. Hansen (whose book "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong" the film is based upon) present are very contradictory to the personas many may know, and ultimately hurt the production. The space race between the US and USSR is given its due here, and the first space docking and the various space tragedies experienced are well represented. I really enjoyed the footage of the Moon's surface, if in fact that was actual real footage. Now, if only proven Executive Producer Steven Spielberg would have taken a strong role in the films overall presentation, "First Man" could have been a more successful production.

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Did You Know?


American flag controversy: On August 31, 2018, it was reported that the film would not include a scene of Armstrong and Aldrin planting the American flag on the Moon. Florida Senator Marco Rubio described the omission as "total lunacy". Damien Chazelle responded with a statement, saying: "I show the American flag standing on the lunar surface, but the flag being physically planted into the surface is one of several moments (...) that I chose not to focus upon. To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is no. My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America's mission to the Moon." Following the film's below-expectations opening of $16 million, some analysts speculated that the flag controversy was in part to blame.


Neil Armstrong: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.


The film makes it seem that there was an enormous amount of public sentiment against the Apollo program. As there were many great social issues on the mind of the public at the time, there definitely were some who were against it, but they were, without question, clearly in the minority. The majority of Americans were strongly in support of it. The public view was so positive that due to the social turmoil, the riots, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, the ratcheting up of Vietnam, racism, and so-on was so intense that the moon landing has been described as "the event that saved the sixties."

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits.


Lunar Rhapsody
Written by
Harry Revel
Performed by Samuel Hoffman (as Dr. Samuel J Hoffman) feat. Les Baxter
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises


Plot Summary


Biography | Drama | History

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