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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7.4/10
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  • Dave Karger and Damien Chazelle at an event for First Man (2018)
  • Ryan Gosling in First Man (2018)
  • Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy at an event for First Man (2018)
  • Ryan Gosling and Connor Blodgett in First Man (2018)
  • Claire Foy in First Man (2018)
  • Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy in First Man (2018)

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First Man director Damien Chazelle's cinematic world is populated by characters driven by singular ambition and framed with technical and stylistic flourishes.

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


3 October 2018 | bobzmcishl
7
| Good, Not Great
I saw this movie at a sneak preview, and I had high expectations given the hype, but sadly, this was no "The Right Stuff." The problem may lie in the main character on which the movie is based, Neil Armstrong. He is portrayed as a colorless technocrat, who is somewhat cold to his family. The movie focuses mainly on his family relationships, and the landing on the moon is somewhat secondary, therefore the movie lacks a lot of drama. This is unfortunate since Armstrong led a very charmed life as a fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. The movie covers three of his serious incidents while flying, and he had at least three more, that could have been covered in a miniseries. A miniseries would have allowed for more in-depth probing of how Armstrong became the man he was. The main characters all suffer from superficial once overs. The astronauts were all household names but you wouldn't know it from this movie. The movie also had a hard time capturing just how terrifying some of the events were. Apollo 13 did a far better job of recounting the terror of that flight. Claire Foy as the wife was ok but she also had a degree of coldness about her. The movie also glosses over the misplaced disdain military pilots had for their civilian counterparts. The complaint was that civilian pilots by virtue of their engineering training were too mechanical and not true flyers. This was not true of Armstrong who got his pilots license at the age of 17. The movie should have started there. He was considered a brilliant engineer by his peers, and he was rightfully selected to be the commander of Apollo 11. That brilliance is not captured on screen. By the end of his career he had flown over 200 different aircraft. He was a giant. I think the movie should have brought that out.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Apollo astronauts were considered government employees, with most at the rank of captain. Regardless of their substantial education the average yearly income of these astronauts in the 1960's was $17,000 ($100,000 in 2012 money) solely based on military rank. They also were not paid any hazard pay. Additionally the astronauts were paid per-diem of $8 extra a day ($50 in 2012 money) for each day they spent in the spacecraft. However their per-diem was "pre-deduction" and they were deducted for living expenses when aboard the spacecraft, as food and a bed was provided for them.


Quotes

Deke Slayton: Why do you think space flight is important?
Neil Armstrong: I had a few opportunities in the X-15 to observe the atmosphere. It was so thin, such a small part of the Earth that you could barely see it at all. And when you're down here in the crowd and you look up, ...


Goofs

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

Universal Parks & Resorts logo at the end


Soundtracks

I See the Moon
Written by
Meredith Willson

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Biography | Drama | History

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