The Astronaut Farmer (2006)



Critic Consensus: The Astronaut Farmer is a charming, inspirational drama that successfully avoids modern cinematic cliches while appealing to the optimistic dreamer in all of us.

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Movie Info

Dismissed from NASA's space program, former astronaut-in-training Charles Farmer pursues his lifelong dream by building his own rocket. On the eve of his launch, he must battle foreclosure on his ranch, a small-town community of disbelievers, the FAA and FBI agents who want to shut him down in the name of Homeland Security--but he remains determined to reach his goal and instill in his children the courage to pursue their own dreams, no matter the odds.
PG (for thematic elements, mild violence and language)
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Written By:
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Billy Bob Thornton
as Charles Farmer
Virginia Madsen
as Audrey Farmer
Tim Blake Nelson
as Kevin Munchak
Jasper Polish
as Stanley Farmer
Logan Polish
as Sunshine Farmer
Jon Gries
as FBI Agent Killbourne
Mark Polish
as FBI Agent Mathis
Sal Lopez
as Pepe Garcia
J.K. Simmons
as Director Jacobson
Rick Overton
as Arnold Milan
Richard Edson
as Deputy Chopper Miller
Elise Eberle
as Madison Roberts
Jay Leno
as Himself
Julie White
as Beth Goode
Marshall Bell
as Judge Miller
Kathleen Arc
as Mrs. Harder
Lois Geary
as Mrs. Graham
Dianne Anderson Mathis
as Reporter No. 1
William Lawrence Allen
as Reporter No. 2
Gregory Chase
as NASA Committee Member
Forrest Fyre
as State Senator
Janelle Sperow
as State Congresswoman
Robert E. Fleischer
as Will Beacon
Richard Holcomb
as Reporter #4
Gary Houston
as Dr. Livingston
Adam Taylor Gordon
as FBI Agent #1
Bruce Willis
as Col. Doug Masterson
David House
as FBI Agent #2
John Lawrence Page
as FBI Agent #3
Mark Mathis
as ABC News Reporter
Matthew Kimbrough
as Henry Malone
Steve Cormier
as Appraiser
Scarlett McAlister
as Local New Reporter
Deborah Martinez
as Reporter #3
Benjamin Petry
as Child #1
Cheyenne Serano
as Child #2
Robyn Reede
as Secretary
Olive Gallagher
as Morning Show Host
Kevin Wiggins
as Rocket Expert
Joan Findley
as Reporter
Ida Darvish
as Italian Anchorwoman
Eugene Nomura
as Japanese Anchorman
Vikrum Shah
as Hindu Anchorman
Yvans Jourdain
as French Anchorman
Jennifer Chu
as Chinese Anchorwoman
Dallas Raines
as National Anchorman
Roy Costley
as Astro "Nut" Local
Esodie Geiger
as CNN News Reporter
J. Michael "Yak" Oliva
as Balloon Game Carnie
Richard Gunn
as Square Dance Caller
Marc Miles
as Rocket Ride Operator
Hannah Wiggins
as Child #3
David Marcilla
as Child #4
Joey Solis
as Squarer Dance Caller #2
Mark DeLisle
as Mission Control #1
David Sullivan
as Young Man
David Sullivan
as Young Man
Jennifer Chu
as Chinese Anchorwoman
John Burke
as Reporter
Doris Hargrave
as Gretchen Boyd
Mary Sue Evans
as NASA Expert
Adam Taylor
as FBI Agent #1
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Critic Reviews for The Astronaut Farmer

All Critics (134) | Top Critics (36)

Fueled by a decidedly American formula of can-do crazy, The Astronaut Farmer feels, for all its libertarianism, a little lost in space.

Full Review… | March 2, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

Too odd for a studio movie, too cornpone for the independent scene, The Astronaut Farmer

February 23, 2007
AV Club
Top Critic

You either roll with the hokum or you don't. If you do, the essential message of realizing your dreams flies as well as Jimmy Stewart's angel wings. If you don't, reality is as close as the nearest window.

Full Review… | February 23, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

A mysterious little movie about a man following his dream, The Astronaut Farmer seems to be a visitor from some alternative universe, a place where logic and reason and recognizable human behavior have little reign.

Full Review… | February 23, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The Astronaut Farmer's goofy quality makes it totally endearing. It's also super entertaining. Critics are fond of referring to movies as a 'great ride.' With this one, the words couldn't be more apt.

Full Review… | February 23, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Filled with lovely images (the opening credit sequence, of Charlie in his spacesuit, riding the range on horseback, is a beaut) and nice character turns, The Astronaut Farmer nonetheless veers too close to cliche.

February 23, 2007
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Astronaut Farmer

The first ten minutes were the most tedious I've spend in ages. Is Billy Bob Thornton betting on his appeal to carry a movie, because I think that currency has been devalued. Anyway, the story is bogus: who even OWNS a family farm anymore? They're just feeders into Big Food. And why now? He's been at this rocket building task for ten years. Too unbelievable to be real and not charming enough to be good fantasy.

Bathsheba Monk
Bathsheba Monk

Super Reviewer

A Texas rancher (and former Air Force pilot) decides to build a rocket in his backyard. Everyone's against the very idea ... except his family, and that's the meat and potatoes of this work about a family sharing a dream. So what if its unbelievable after that? A warm and fuzzy visit to the dreamtime. Look for an uncredited big time celeb cameo appearance.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The Astronaut Farmer is the fictional story of a former NASA astronaut who builds his own rocket to travel in space. The film follows the same feel good formula that many other films have taken, and the results are somewhat mixed. The film is average and can almost be seen as recycled ideas from previous films dealing with achieving the impossible. Obviously the character building his rocket will have obstacles to overcome and there'll be a period where he'll just want to give up, but he's encouraged to continue. The feds get involved because they believe that Charles Farmer is building a WMD in his barn. He faces the feds, skeptical neighbors, but he'll prove them wrong. Astronaut Farmer is typical of the feel good film. The film is good to watch, but it doesn't do anything new or original with the script. The Astronaut Farmer is a good film to watch with your family. Unfortunately the film is flawed and at times the film feels a bit stupid in it's dialogue delivery. Some parts made me cringe. The Astronaut Farmer is an average feel good film with decent acting, and average plot. However it's clear that the script suffers, and the full potential of this picture is strained and has yet to realized. Good, but not great. The thing with this film is that they were plenty of opportunities to craft something pretty good, but the filmmakers decided to recycle old ideas, and at times the film feels rushed. Still decent entertainment.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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