First Man (2018)
Critic Consensus: First Man uses a personal focus to fuel a look back at a pivotal moment in human history - and takes audiences on a soaring dramatic journey along the way.
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as Neil Armstrong
as Janet Armstrong
as Edward Higgins White
as Deke Slayton
as Buzz Aldrin
as Gene Kranz
as Dave Scott
as Elliott See
as Pete Conrad
as Mike Collins
as Gus Grissom
as Jim Lovell
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Critic Reviews for First Man
This is a movie that - flag or no flag - doesn't need to take a political stance to make a political statement. ●
As long as First Man is airborne, it's a marvel. I can't recall another movie that conveyed with such punch the perils and exhilarations of spaceflight. It's when the film is earthbound that it falls down.
Ryan Gosling's impassive visage must have the gravitational pull of a black hole, because Chazelle can't seem to keep his camera from being pulled loose from its moorings and drawn in thisclose for more than one or two scenes at a time.
What the movie does do is give you a hair-raising feeling of what it really felt like inside the space craft, where every hour was life-threatening and the outcome was always perilous.
"First Man" never quite connects at a gut level. For a story that shoots for the moon, it has trouble leaving the ground.
Audience Reviews for First Man
Sure, there was The Right Stuff about the beginning of manned space exploration and there is Apollo 13 of course, but it comes as a bit of a surprise there hasn't been a movie about Neil Armstrong yet. But here it is and it very evenly balances a very private family drama and the most intense and realistic space action on film to date. It starts out with quite the emotional bang and doesn't let go over the admittedly long running time. The acting is top notch and the soundtrack one of the best of the year. Great work by everyone involved.
Relying on a beautiful score, an amazing technology and an intelligent direction that emphasizes the character's lack of anything to anchor him in his life, this is a poignant character study about a man who wants to isolate himself not only from his family but from the rest of the world.
This is a hard left turn for Damien Chazelle, who is arguably the best director working today in my opinion. Completely different from his previous films, it seems his goal with this one is to impress rather than entertain, and he succeeds in that. The directing, acting, cinematography and personal story creates what is probably the most realistic space movie ever made, but at a price. There are some boring stretches between occasional moments of humor or intrigue. The monetary, physical and personal cost of space travel and its difficulties are illustrated perfectly, but it doesn't make for the most exciting movie.
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