I rated First Man 5/10 on IMDb


For such a critically praised film, this is one of the dullest stories of one of the greatest achievements.

The narrative runs in a pretty linear fashion, putting together Neil Armstrong’s journey from test pilot to first man on the moon.

Ryan Gosling almost runs the full gamut of emotions from A to B. He stops just short with surprising stoicism. Claire Foy does better with a convincing performance of a grieving mother keeping it all together in a unique situation.

Aside from the linearity, I found the cinematography disengaging. Lingering shots, the relative stillness of the camera, just all very mundane and like I was watching the story unfold in a theatre rather than being immersed in it.

Even the moon landing was dull. Yes, there’s some tension as the lunar lander approaches the ground but it’s obscured by seeing shadows of the landing. Even the iconic ladder climb is made less dramatic in this movie.

All in all, I was disappointed. A shame as there’s some really good material to use. Claire Foy’s real character saved this from being a stinker. If you want space stuff then look to The Right Stuff or Apollo 13 instead.

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