October Sky (1999)



Critic Consensus: Rich in sweet sincerity, intelligence, and good old-fashioned inspirational drama, October Sky is a coming-of-age story with a heart to match its Hollywood craftsmanship.

Movie Info

In Coalwood, West Virginia, all the boys grow up to be coal miners and Homer Hickam has no reason to think he'll be any different. Too small to earn a football scholarship, Homer has no way out of his predetermined life -- until the soviet satellite Sputnik flies over the October sky and changes everything. It's 1957 and Homer's world just got a lot bigger. Though his father is mine superintendent and has no greater wish than to see his sons follow in his footsteps, Homer embarks on a mission to … More

Rating: PG (for language, brief teen sensuality and alcohol use, and for some thematic elements)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Lewis Colick
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 29, 1999
Universal - Official Site


as Homer Hickam

as John Hickam

as Miss Riley

as Quentin

as O'Dell

as Elsie Hickam

as Jim Hickam

as Leon Bolden

as Principal Turner

as Ike Bykovsky

as Dorothy Platt

as Jake Mosby

as Mr. Dantzler

as Valentine Carmina

as Coach Gainer

as Lenny

as Trooper One

as Neighbor

as Neighbor

as Anderson

as Basil Thorpe

as Corvette Guy

as Corvette Girl

as Reverend

as Rescue Worker

as Chemistry Teacher

as Fred Smith

as Moonshiner

as Man at Mine

as Quentin's Mom

as Judge at Welch

as Union Official

as Union Official

as Mr. Morris

as Ivy League Girl

as Ivy League Boy

as Judge at Indy

as Head Judge

as Tom Webster

as Jack Palmer

as Wernher Von Braun

as Miner in Elevator

as Man in Crowd

as Locomotive Engineer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for October Sky

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Critic Reviews for October Sky

All Critics (75) | Top Critics (16)

The TV movie subject matter is infused with genuine feeling for the value of learning as a passport to freedom, and an authentic regard for the honest graft of working men.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Immensely entertaining and unabashedly inspirational!

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

...compulsively watchable...

Full Review… | August 29, 2015
Reel Film Reviews

uplifting family film with great values

Full Review… | February 24, 2011
Old School Reviews

Inspiring tale for older tweens and up.

Full Review… | December 26, 2010
Common Sense Media

...plays like a TV movie made for everyone who subscribes to Reader's Digest. Still, its manipulations are sincere rather than cynical...

Full Review… | April 7, 2006

Audience Reviews for October Sky

This is the true story of Homer Hickam, Jr.- a bright teenager obsessed with rockets and science who, much to the befuddlement of his family and neighbors of his small, working class coal mining town, defied the odds to follow his dreams during the space race years of the 50s.

It's a very inspiring story that is filled with heart, warmth, humor, and does a good job at dealing with issues of family, working class life, and following one's dreams. That, and it's got a notable cast including a young Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, and Laura Dern.

Hickam did eventually become a NASA engineer, but the film primarily focuses on the earliest leg of that journey, and the scenes of him and his friends trying to get into the rocket game for themselves are both funny and charming.

This is Joe Johnston making a nice drama and pulling it off pretty well. He's got a spotty record, but this is one of his better efforts, and one I find my self enjoying quite a bit each time I see it. Sure, there are shades of typical tropes like the father wanting the son to follow in his footsteps, and people interested in a subject that doesn't fit in with what everyone else in their locale appreciates, but it's handled decently, and the performances are nice, too.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Deeply moving with a whole lot of heart. It's something you'll want to believe in because it is something to believe for.

Adriel Lim
Adriel Lim

Super Reviewer

As many have already mentioned, it's just another conventional inspirational story of a boy who doesn't give up his dream, even if he has to fight against his father's will for it. Check it out if you're a fan of inspirational tales; otherwise, nothing extraordinary here. And well, isn't so bad to pass time if you've nothing else to do, and haven't watched it already.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

October Sky Quotes

– Submitted by Sam M (22 months ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Nusfish K (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Nusfish K (3 years ago)

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