When I first heard of the movie, I was skeptical of yet another movie that was focused on NASA and the Apollo missions. However, I enjoyed the movie’s unique focus on Neil Armstrong during the Space Race. It gave me a better understanding of and more appreciation for the astronauts who took risks and overcame adversity to satisfy the dream of landing on the moon.  Although the pacing seemed slow at times, it was valuable in understanding Armstrong’s life, and in some ways, any astronaut’s life, from the slow lulls to the sudden changes.


The movie succeeds in bringing out the humanity in Armstrong’s life that is often snuffed out by a superhero visage stemming from the moon landing. It also speaks to the hardships of space travel that have been diminished over time, replaced with rose-tinted views of space travel.


Notably, the decision to explicitly show the astronauts planting the American flag on the moon has been a major source of controversy since its premiere. Some have claimed that the planting of the flag was an essential part of the moon landing that should be explicitly shown, but I believe that the movie was more intended to underline all aspects of the mission, so a brief showing of the American flag on the moon was all that was needed to convey the sense of American pride.


This sweeping space odyssey is very well made, with beautiful cinematography accentuated by incredible visuals and masterful audials. Particularly, the moments of total silence during the movie made the audience feel like they were on the moon or trying to take in the shock of a colleague’s death. Ultimately, the culmination of this and other effects made the movie feel more powerful and impactful, as the viewer left the theater.


Overall, this is a movie that everyone should watch. Not only does it provide a realistic view of space, but it also serves as a universal reminder of the strength of humanity as a whole. I would rate this film 4.5 out of 5 stars.