First Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

First Man Reviews

October 12, 2018
As long as First Man is airborne, it's a marvel. I can't recall another movie that conveyed with such punch the perils and exhilarations of spaceflight. It's when the film is earthbound that it falls down.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
October 12, 2018
Ryan Gosling's impassive visage must have the gravitational pull of a black hole, because Chazelle can't seem to keep his camera from being pulled loose from its moorings and drawn in thisclose for more than one or two scenes at a time.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
October 12, 2018
What the movie does do is give you a hair-raising feeling of what it really felt like inside the space craft, where every hour was life-threatening and the outcome was always perilous.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 12, 2018
"First Man" never quite connects at a gut level. For a story that shoots for the moon, it has trouble leaving the ground.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
October 11, 2018
Most movies aim to take us out of ourselves. This one goes to majestic extremes.
October 11, 2018
A movie that's as fascinated by the remote inner landscape of its hero as he is by the unexplored surface of the moon.
October 11, 2018
When the Eagle finally lands on the moon in First Man, the picture truly soars.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 11, 2018
Like space flight, filmmaking is created to take people beyond what they already know to see what they don't. With stunning realism and detail, the astronaut blockbuster "First Man" does just that.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
October 11, 2018
What makes the movie so memorable, so good, so strong, is the unvarnished, warts-and-all perspective.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
October 11, 2018
First Man,... is a worthy successor not only to Chazelle's Whiplash and La La Land, but to the astronaut films that precede it, like Apollo 13 and especially The Right Stuff.
October 11, 2018
Using every modern tool at its disposal, First Man has again presented just how harrowing that frontier was at the time, in the process planting its flag among the year's best movies.
October 11, 2018
Even when First Man stumbles as historical psychodrama, it still represents a giant leap forward for movies about the physical and emotional experience of flight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 11, 2018
The drama of the real-life history overcomes the weakness of the lead character.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 11, 2018
A historical film in which the historical element is so grossly distorted as to detach the hero from humanity.
October 10, 2018
It's a movie that shows how the most personal moments can coexist within and alongside the most momentous events. It's a film that insists history is made from private lives.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 10, 2018
It gets almost everything right, but it's also strangely underwhelming.
October 10, 2018
Unmissable and unforgettable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 10, 2018
First Man is about Armstrong's landmark achievement, but it's just as much about a country's grinding, maniacal fixation on getting him there.
October 9, 2018
For those who can get past the shaky-cam aspect that infects the cinematography, this is an involving look back in time at one of the most significant human endeavors of the last century.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 9, 2018
For better and for worse, First Man feels like a close cousin to Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, another film that masterfully reproduced the sights and sounds of a world-shaking event. The people involved, though, don't come quite as vividly to life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 9, 2018
It feels as though there's been a tonal misstep; someone didn't read the room properly. We don't need apolitical platitudes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
October 9, 2018
While it celebrates the struggle and technological marvel that was Apollo 11 without resorting to empty histrionics, it's also a well-wrought character study of a man whose tight-lipped demeanor belied the emotional turmoil roiling beneath the surface.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 9, 2018
It gets the job done, with professionalism, immersive authenticity and unadorned feeling, of which Armstrong himself might just have approved, however apprehensively.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 8, 2018
"First Man" is a most intimate epic about a most private man.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
October 8, 2018
Damien Chazelle directed Whiplash and La La Land, but this is his most mature meditation about men and emotions.
October 8, 2018
I'm glad Chazelle's film offers some fresh points of view on its subject; it's proof he'll be able to keep his filmmaking wits about him, no matter what genre he's exploring.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 8, 2018
A sweeping biographical drama of Armstrong's decade-long march to the moon, test by grueling test, told without romance from the pilot's-eye view.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
October 8, 2018
Foy is key to Gosling's performance working and a linchpin for the movie's overall success.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 8, 2018
Skillful and compelling...
September 27, 2018
An intimate portrait of a reluctant hero.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 13, 2018
This is probably the most patriotic film in years.
September 12, 2018
Thrilling when it escapes the gravity of drab living rooms and offices, First Man does an admirable job of complexifying a well-told tale.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 11, 2018
The moon was hard-earned and so was this movie. It's a stupendous feat.
Top Critic
September 11, 2018
Chazelle has made a grippingly nitty-gritty procedural that sees the space race as a window into Armstrong's unknowable mind, an inner space as mysterious as the outer one he blasts himself into.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
September 10, 2018
In making the story intimate, closely-focused, and human-oriented, Chazelle reminds us in First Man just what an amazing accomplishment walking on the moon was.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 10, 2018
Whatever its missteps, "First Man" represents a principled attempt to reconsider what heroism looks and sounds like, to think beyond the reductive rah-rah parameters that have led so many to confuse jingoism with art.
September 10, 2018
As Chazelle oscillates between documenting NASA's many missteps and peering behind the curtain of the Armstrongs' domestic lives, he conjures the type of cinematic high any filmgoer has been chasing since they first stepped inside a theatre.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
September 4, 2018
It's a special film that keeps you white-knuckled about the outcome of one of the most well-documented days in human history.
September 1, 2018
Chazelle and Gosling have achieved something remarkable with First Man, even if that first man is the last man we feel we truly know.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
August 29, 2018
This is a respectful movie, even a genuflecting one; there's never a moment when Chazelle fails to let you know he's doing important, valuable work. But that's the problem: The movie feels too fussed-over for such a low-key hero.
August 29, 2018
When Armstrong climbs into Gemini 8 and it blasts off into the heavens, we've never felt this claustrophobia or listened to the creaking of the metal or felt the thrust of the rockets quite this way before in a movie.
August 29, 2018
A movie so revelatory in its realism, so gritty in its physicality, that it becomes a drama of thrillingly hellbent danger and obsession.
August 29, 2018
A powerful experience that will inspire renewed awe of what Armstrong and his ilk did. It may not be a giant leap for filmmaking, but it's another small step for this filmmaker.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
August 29, 2018
This sober, contemplative picture has emotional involvement, visceral tension, and yes, even suspense, in addition to stunning technical craft.