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
A fascinating film, it's difficult to watch at times because there's so much loss and so much risk that we never really thought about that lead us getting there.
This is a movie that - flag or no flag - doesn't need to take a political stance to make a political statement. ●
A long, draining, almost painful film that commands admiration more than love.
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.
It's a movie where the technique matches the ambition, one that moves from tragedy to grandeur to personal drama without becoming bombastic or even worse, falsely patriotic.
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.
Audience Reviews for First Man
There is, about society, a nonchalance about things that involve risk and take effort outside of ourselves: "Aww, that wasn't nothing!" The point of this retelling of Neil Armstrong's first step on the Moon is to remove that nonchalance, and so we are treated to a close-up look of the extreme effort and undeniable risk, and the creeping toll that took on the souls involved. Stripped away are the token patriotism and grandstanding, flag-waving, and we are left with a singular human achievement that touches our lives still. An intelligent and understanding effort.
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.
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