The Astronaut Farmer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Astronaut Farmer Reviews

Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
March 3, 2007
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 | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
February 24, 2007
Too odd for a studio movie, too cornpone for the independent scene, The Astronaut Farmer
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 24, 2007
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 23, 2007
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 23, 2007
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
February 23, 2007
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 23, 2007
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
February 23, 2007
What could have been a sagebrush Fitzcarraldo wants to be a feel-good fable.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
February 23, 2007
I was content to go along for the ride with this excellently cast labor of love -- which shows just how much you can accomplish with $12 million and more imagination than most big-studio re leases can muster these days.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
February 23, 2007
It's hard not to like a movie so determined to make you feel the love of a family, to make you feel that every dream can become a reality and that every mortgage can be rescued by the sudden death of a family member and his inheritance.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 23, 2007
Thornton's serene certainty that he can touch the stars all on his own has an irresistible pull. Even as the sensible part of you is hoping he won't be a dadgum fool and endanger his life, the visionary thinks, go ahead. Try.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
February 23, 2007
Look, there's Bruce Willis, an old astronaut buddy from Farmer's aeronautics-training days! No, Mission Control, this isn't Armageddon. Ben Affleck is nowhere in sight...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 23, 2007
You keep waiting for the other shoe to drop: When will the irony start? The twist is there isn't one. The Astronaut Farmer starts out looking like a parody of wholesome inspirational fare and then gets ever-more sincere and outlandish.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
February 23, 2007
The Polish boys have a fine time poking fun at government paranoia, mass commercialization, bureaucrats, banks, WMDs and all manner of modern nonsense. But throughout the film two things remain central: Farmer's love of family and his dream.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
February 23, 2007
Though there is no lack of amusement in all this, the Polish brothers and the cast play it perfectly straight. Farmer is as determined to go to space as Mister Deeds is to go to town or Mr. Smith is to go to Washington.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
February 23, 2007
A movie that has more appealing elements than anything else [the Polish brothers have] done. On top of that, the movie is handsome visually, which helps paper over the fact that the script fires in several different directions.
| Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Michael Booth
Denver Post
February 23, 2007
It tries to be more than an amusing Disney sitcom about crazy dad and his big rocket. But it's somewhat less than a deep exploration of character and responsibility.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
February 23, 2007
One of the loopiest inspirational-dreamer movies you'll ever see. This is the kind of film where you're watching some strange madness transpiring and you're thinking, 'I'll bet this is a dream sequence' -- only it's not, it's just more cheery weirdness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
February 23, 2007
The value of [Farmer's] dream and its potential for destruction are irrelevant. Refusing to accept defeat is all that matters -- at least if you're the designated good guy.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
Janice Page
Boston Globe
February 23, 2007
From the very first shot of Thornton on horseback, herding stray cattle in his spacesuit, this is a work that often feels orchestrated instead of inspired, literal rather than ethereal.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
February 23, 2007
It's impossible to take The Astronaut Farmer seriously on a literal or dramatic level if the ending's never in doubt. In the back of our minds, we have an idea where things will end up, so most of the movie is a waiting game.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
February 23, 2007
With another actor in the title role (Kevin Costner, say, just off the top of my head) the mawkishness would be unbearable, but Mr. Thornton can be relied upon for understated dignity accompanied by an intriguing undertone of serious craziness.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 22, 2007
This movie is some muddled imagineering. It's a glib fantasy that soars beyond the misinformation belt into the vacuous realm of misinspiration.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 22, 2007
This is neither a satire nor an allegory. It's an infuriating and formulaic attempt at inspirational drama that panders so appallingly to an American audience hungry for uplifting tales of derring-do that it feels insulting from start to finish.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
February 22, 2007
It follows the paradigm of inspirational movies so perfectly that even the smallest deviation seems rebellious. The movie's orthodoxy is precisely what allows us to take such pleasure in its irregularities.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 22, 2007
Some movies are so flagrantly awful that they achieve classic status. To this rarefied company we must now add The Astronaut Farmer, a nut brain fable that is all the more perversely enjoyable for being seriously intended.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
February 22, 2007
A dreadful mismatch of indie 'arty' filmmakers and a Hollywood popcorny family formula script. The [directors] copy shots, icons and themes from The Right Stuff, but plainly never got a handle on how to make their quirky screenplay work.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
February 22, 2007
The strength of the movie lies in its timelessness, its feel for those parts of the American landscape, and national character, that remain unchanging through the ages.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
February 22, 2007
The movie's unpretentious lightheartedness, which echoes the old-fashioned, corn-fed lore of Frank Capra, or even The Andy Griffith Show, makes it blissfully easy to sign on for this good-natured voyage.
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
February 22, 2007
The rare film that can make you question your own sanity, but The Astronaut Farmer is so lacking in plausibility, explanation, motivation and physical science that you start to ask: Is it me? Rest assured: It's them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 22, 2007
A dysfunctional movie. I sort of liked it anyway, at least parts of it. The actors made me.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 22, 2007
The film feels fraudulent -- not deceitful, but hard to swallow. We're told Farmer is $600,000 in debt, yet a $300,000 windfall solves everything.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
February 21, 2007
The movie is so serenely in orbit that there's nothing to do but float along and enjoy the strange, sweet ride.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 21, 2007
In boots, spurs and bow-legged jeans under his homemade Stanley Kubrick space suit, Billy Bob makes dreamers of us all.
Top Critic
Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
February 20, 2007
This movie works precisely because it's bereft of modern cinema's cynicism -- that above-it-all sneer that permeates most of the well-intentioned kiddie films made more to hold parents' attention than their children's.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 20, 2007
No adult should feel ashamed seeing it because, regardless of the age of the viewer, the reward is worth the investment of 100 minutes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Sura Wood
Hollywood Reporter
October 18, 2006
Even for those who don't wholly buy into the film's 'if we don't have our dreams, we have nothing' ethos, there are many small pleasures to savor.