First Man Poster

First Man (2018)

Biography | History 
Rayting:   7.4/10 170.9K votes
Country: USA | Japan
Language: English
Release date: 11 October 2018

A look at the life of the astronaut,

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

Jared_Andrews 16 October 2018

The opening scene will take your breath away. I don't think a single cell in my body flinched for a solid five minutes as I watched Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) fight to keep his craft from floating away into space. The scene is spectacular visually and in every sense of filmmaking execution. It's also a bit misleading.

The rest of the movie, aside from the moon landing, is remarkably tame. It's quiet. There are virtually no loud outbursts or emotional speeches. This story is about people doing their jobs, completing their missions. Gosling understands this and plays to Armstrong's stoicism perfectly. He is often an understated actor, choosing to let his subtle facial movements and glints of the eyes do as much talking as what actually comes out of his mouth. Neil is much the same except even less outwardly expressive. He clearly comes from a generation that did not display emotion. They suffered in silence, which no doubt frustrated many family members, especially spouses.

Armstrong's wife Janet (Claire Foy) is a classic case of a spouse desperate to glimpse beyond his emotional shield. She restrains for the most part, but her building frustration is apparent throughout. When she finally does unleash her emotions, it's startling. Her outbursts stand out in such stark contrast to the silence that we see from the other characters. Foy is smart and measured with every choice she makes, and she never comes across as unhinged or overly supportive to a point of unbelievability. She's strong as a quiet devoted partner and strong when she senses the need to speak up. Look for her to add another award nomination to her resume come that time of year.

For as great as Gosling and Foy are, Damien Chazelle is the star of this movie, just like he has been the star of every one of his movies. I don't mean this as a bad thing. They guy is simply so skilled at what he does that his impact stands out among all the other standouts in his movies. He doesn't take the conventional approach to a space movie, which is to hammer viewers with showy visuals and action sequences. He's careful not to overdo it those areas, instead focusing on Armstrong's psyche and life outside the space shuttle. Chazelle crafts a personal, intimate film and shoots it in a creative way that uses a variety of framing choices so the closeups never feel stale.

This is a giant story told on a deliberately small scale. The choice to focus on Armstrong's objectively less captivating homelife rather than the moon mission is risky. Only the most talented of filmmakers, which Chazelle is, could pull it off. "First Man" is another showcase of Chazelle's mastery. He's one of the best directors currently working. The fact that this film may eventually be considered Chazelle's 6th or 7th best and is still this excellent, is a tribute to his talent.

rac701 14 October 2018

"First Man," the highly anticipated (partial) bio-pic about Neil Armstrong, the commander of NASA's Apollo 11 mission and the first man (thus the title) to walk on the moon, is a muddled mess.

Director Damien Chazelle's film-making choices, from shaky, way-too-close cinema verite close-ups and long, long silences (OK, OK, we know Neil Armstrong was a Silent Sam type) to banging, shaking, roaring and rattling blackout shots where the viewer can't understand what's going on, to lack of exposition (about precisely that -- what's going on), to Armstrong's constantly angry wife, are not only disorienting, but unpleasantly distracting.

This film can't hold a candle to superior films like "The Right Stuff," "Apollo 13," or the excellent made-for-cable HBO series "From the Earth to the Moon."

Neil Armstrong deserved much better than this.

phil-160-338997 16 October 2018

Came watching this with high expectations but was kinda bored by it, actually my wife did literally fall asleep in the cinema.

As many have said there were too many facial close ups and too much shakiness, a lot less would have worked.

The story made Buzz Aldrin out to be very dislikable and totally put Mike Collins into the back ground. Whilst this film is about Neil Armstrong these guys also went to the moon (apparently) too, so a little bit more respect with their characters would have been nice.

This film had great potential but it focussed to heavily in many wrong areas and this was it's ultimate let down.

Save your money and wait for hit to hit the internet.

brianjsmith-86408 13 October 2018

If you are thinking this is going to be a fun, great movie like Apollo 13, well, just rent Apollo 13 and watch that one again.

I've been a 'space-nut' and an aficionado of NASA and the space program since I was a kid in the 70's. I'm not sure how they could have made a movie about Neil Armstrong and the first moon landing more sobby-eyed or depressing. It managed to capture none of the majesty, grandeur, or scope of the undertaking- it was just a wet-blanket of constant angst.

The close ups were so close-up that they made you want to back right out of the theater, and were shot in a way to make them resemble shaky-handed home-video footage shot on a hand-held. The camera just refused to hold still for anything in this movie, and it was infuriating.

I'm sure, at least at a few points in his life, Neil Armstrong cracked a smile. You wouldn't think so from watching this. I know he shunned public attention, but I find it impossible to believe Neil Armstrong could possibly have been as lifeless and wooden as he was portrayed in this film. Foy's portrayal of his wife came across even colder and less joyful than her depiction of Queen Elizabeth.

Sorely disappointing. 6/10, and I feel that's being fairly generous.

bobzmcishl 3 October 2018

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.

fallyhag 14 October 2018

The attempt to make it all feel dated and real worked well. There were no glossy space scenes. Add some interesting sounds and a lot of shakes can and the overal scene approach works.

But then there is the story. We all know what happens. So it was just about the angle they approached it at. Unfortunately they picked the boring angle.

The struggle with grieving was irritating. The lack of substance in the characters was disappointing. The frame was non existent. The length too long. The outcome underwhelming. The ending an anti climatic relief.

I will remember this film for the dirty toilets, great acting and my repeated checking of my watch. If you want to learn a tiny bit then watch it. But it is sadly no masterpiece. Let down but the story telling...

Recommend? Yes. On a Sunday...

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