October Sky Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 11, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2011
Deeply moving with a whole lot of heart. It's something you'll want to believe in because it is something to believe for.
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2010
October Sky ins the best feel good movie ever made. One of the things thats great about the film is the film doesn't go over board in it's sentimentality. Never does it feel overly sentimental, corny or embarrassing. This is the type of film that you will definitely feel good right after watching it. You really sympathize with the characters because they are brilliantly played by the cast. I can't recall the number of times I've seen this film, but it's at least over a dozen times. Unlike other family films that try to be overly sentimental just for the sake of being family friendly and to appeal to a bigger audience. October Sky has something that separates it from other feel good films, and thats a very good story, and I mean good. October Sky is the true story of Homer Hickam a teenager who spots the Sputnik satellite and who decides to built his own rocket and enter the science fair. His dad is highly against it, and wants him to work in the mine. Homer has other ideas. October Sky is really a story about accomplishing your dreams, and achieving the impossible. This is simply an incredible story about perseverance and determination and unlike other feel good films, this is a true story, and the way it's told on film is beautiful. The film is brilliantly directed by Joe Johnson, director of Jumanji, and he crafts yet another great film. October Sky is a well acted film, the actors here are incredible and this was one of Jake Gyllenhaal's first staring roles, and is just the right person for this role. Also a performance that is equally great is Chjris Cooper as Homer's father who opposes Homer's dreams. Both actors electrifying as they butt heads on screen as we see their conflicting ideas unfold. Chris Cooper is fine and underrated actor, and this is the first film that I've seen that exposed me to his work. October Sky is a solid feel good film and like I said, this is one of the best too. A fine cast upholds this film, and Johnson has got a fine script at hand. and because of that, the film works very well. The beauty part about this film is that this is the type of film that will stay with you long after you've seen it, and everyone can take something positive away from it. A fine film that in one word can be summarized as beautiful.
Clintus M.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2010
This film is truly moving and inspiring. It features a brilliant combination of angst, drama, and even a little comedy. Gyllenhaal and Cooper deserve many kudos, but also Natalie Canerday as the mother and William Lee Scott as Roy Lee deserve recognition. October Sky is representative of the era, not only from the "Sputnik" angle, but also the coal mining-company town aspect.

The final scenes of the space shuttle's launch might never have come to fruition without the dedication of the Homer Hickams of this country. The post-Sputnik science-ed. sensation is certainly worthy of this fine treatment. I shared the pride that all of Coalwood felt when the "rocket boys" won the national science fair. The theme that hard work and dedication lead to success may seem old-fashioned, but here its done to perfection. It is not sugary nor schmaltzy, though it could have easily slipped into that trap.

One more thought: my wife mocked the Appalachian accents a little, but I thought they were good, not overdone as southern accents usually are in movies.
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2007
A great movie. Simply uplifting, with two amazing, realistic peformances from Gyllenhaal (before he became all Hollywood) and Cooper (who has remained ridiculously underrated all these years). Just a great tale concerning a boy and his dream.
Super Reviewer
½ July 13, 2007
Slow-moving with a bleak coal mining town, make it a bit depressing. The pacing and editing could've been improved. There are many emotional scenes which try to tug on the heartstrings of the viewers. The performances are strong with Jake Gyllenhaal playing Homer Hickman, a boy captivated by his rocket design hobby, against the strong urges to follow in his father's career working at the coal mine. Homer (Gyllenhaal) and his friends face many odds to get their rocket projects brought to the statewide science fair. Like many of the rockets they built, the movie is too much of a downer, and could use more "uplifting" scenes. It was well-made and very watchable, but a heavy experience.
Super Reviewer
April 26, 2008
This was a good one and is a good flick for the whole family.
Super Reviewer
½ December 13, 2007
Great great movie! One of my top 100 favorite movies for sure. 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 build and launch his own homemade rockets with the help of his loyal band of friends. Though their frequent mistakes nearly get them shut down, their successes inspire the whole town to believe that miracles can happen even in Coalwood, and there's nothing wrong with shooting for the stars.
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2007
This one is somehow pretty great. I think it's cause chris cooper does what he does best. Plays an asshole.
Super Reviewer
March 26, 2007
inspiring with great period feeling
Super Reviewer
½ November 7, 2006
Good movie.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2012
I love historic films. Especially films that are so compelling that the narrative can focus on the story aspect instead of working hard to sell the audience that they're in another time. October Sky is a simple, but heartfelt tale about Homer H. Hickman, a man who I never knew existed prior to this film's release. Homer grew up in a small town, but dreams to live a life better than what his stomping grounds can offer. A tale many of us can relate to. But this is also a story about winning the love of your father, and never giving up on your dreams no matter how impossible they seem. Speaking to us with these universal themes, director Joe Johnston delivers a powerful drama that will move you to tears. Highly recommended. This film is just a delight.
Super Reviewer
½ January 17, 2013
Wonderfully crafted and infused with the kind of old-fashined, non-cynical inspiration that makes you want to reach for the stars, October Sky is one of the best films of its kind the 90's has to offer. Often-overlooked director Joe Johnston does some of the best work of his diverse career- the pacing is perfect and the emotion is always true. Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal in one of his most memorable roles and a terrific soundtrack, this movie teaches us that no dream is unattainable or worth giving up on- and reinforces it after each and every viewing
Super Reviewer
May 28, 2011
an entertainingly family blast with memorable and majestic moments that will satisfy greatly and deeply to familes and all ages! A+
Super Reviewer
April 10, 2007
May I ask a question first, before I begin my review? Is there any film in which Lauren Dern couldn't change the way she acted to make herself one of the most revered actress of the ninety's, or ever?

Chris Cooper and Upcoming star Jake Gyllenhaal starred in this 1998 Biograhy about NASA Engineer Homor Hickham.

Homor Hickham doesn't want to mine coal, and can't play football. He then sees Sputnik streak across the sky. Evryone laughs at his dream. Everyone except Miss riley, his teacher.

With the help of his secretly dying teacher Miss Riley, She dared them to dream, and leave their coal mining town in search of a better life, not on the gridiron, or in the mines of coalwood, and for Homor, Maybe Cape Canaveral.

This film is emotional and doesn't ask for sadness, or regret, but commands for hopes and dreams, and that everlasting quest to find and reach yours.

This movie had Deep Values.
Super Reviewer
½ June 15, 2007
October Sky may have its problems, but I was cheering for its heroes at the end.
Over the Rising Sun
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2010
Earnest and inspiring, but lacking a significant punch and a strong lead. 75/100
Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2007
Good coming of age story about believing in yourself. Chris Cooper and Jake Gyllenhaal convincingly played father and son. Well acted, well written.
See this movie. You'll enjoy it.
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