Christian Living


First Man: Movie Review

Ryan Gosling in First Man, Neil Armstrong movie
Movie Info


PG-13 for some thematic content involving peril, and brief strong language


Biography, Drama, History


October 12, 2018


Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Pablo Schreiber, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Shea Whigham, Olivia Hamilton, Ciarán Hinds, Christopher Abbott


Damien Chazelle

More on this movie at IMDb.com

CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

"One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong

Those 10 words are forever part of American history. What led to Neil Armstrong's famous phrase is quite the story as well. He's the subject of Executive Producer Steven Spielberg's new movie, First Man.

Commanded by Armstrong, NASA's Apollo 11 mission was the first time mankind set foot on the moon. His space boots tred where no man had gone before and the sight caught the attention of the world. Approximately 530 million fascinated people were glued to their televisions from the Earth below on July 20, 1969.

Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land) does something quite noteworthy with Armstrong's story. He takes us into a pivotal moment of history, making us feel the intensity of astronaut training and the uncertainty of space flight. The cast, led by Ryan Gosling (Armstrong) and Claire Foy (Janet Armstrong), emotes with such clarity that most scenes pack a punch. A film with memorable sequences, sounds, and visually stunning shots, First Man grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go.

What may surprise moviegoers is the focus of the film. More a movie about the man than the mission, First Man zeroes in on Armstrong. It's a personal portrait of a notoriously private man within the context of the Apollo 11 mission. We see, hear, and feel what he and his fellow astronauts and family endured -- every failure, every success. But, we also get a glimpse at the heart of a man who's desperate to explore the heavens all while struggling with the soul-shaking events of his life.

Rated PG-13 for "some thematic content involving peril, and brief strong language", First Man is most appropriate for teens and older. Proceed with caution as the film contains profanity, a few instances when "Jesus" and "Jesus Christ" are used as expletives. The film, at times, also takes on a heavier tone, dealing with death and grief.

First Man will feel slower to modern audiences, as it focuses on a single subject rather than many storylines. What it offers is a powerful look back at an important time in history, the good, the bad, and the ugly of the 1960s. What most will take away from it is a better understanding of the significance of that historic moment and the sacrifices many people gave to make it happen. Still, caution is advised.

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