The Astronaut Farmer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Astronaut Farmer Reviews

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Bathsheba Monk
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2007
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.
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
January 27, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2010
C
Super Reviewer
January 26, 2009
It's a nice feel good movie here,a great sunday afternoon flick we some nice performances from the cast.worth checking out if your feeling down.
flixsterman
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2009
This film would have benefited from a competent technical adviser.
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
March 21, 2008
Great Movie for the family, clean
Super Reviewer
½ February 9, 2008
It's good to have dreams. That is the message of the movie, but I found the movie unbelievable and somewhat sappy.
sanjurosamurai
Super Reviewer
½ September 27, 2007
i loved this movie but i was fairly conflicted while watching it. in some regards the main character was a great family man concerned about his family above all else. in other regards he put his own dreams before the well being of his own family in a major way. ultimately it was a good family film and a delight to watch. you really root for the guy to get to space the whole time and they didnt try and tell too much story. they told what they needed to. i was suprised to see bruce willis in this film because they didnt promote him when the movie came out in theatres, he has a decently important role in this film even though it is a small one.
thefog1331
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2007
There's a bit much to swallow to stay with this story but in the end it's worth it. It's not a bad family film if you have teens-- any younger and you'll be groaning in embarrassment over some of the dialogue.
Super Reviewer
½ May 16, 2007
Charles Farmer: Hey kid you know what you want to do when you grow up?
Child: I dunno.
Charles Farmer: Well better know what your going to do, before someone knows it for you.

There are two things that sum up how to take this movie.

The first is the fact that it is a fantasy movie that happens to be set in the real world. Some logic is applied to the situations presented, but it doesn't matter, and will only hurt you to think about it too hard. This is about a man's dream, and whether he can succeed or not, with characters that are either supportive or not towards him.

The second thing is that this is a silly movie. A former military man, who always dreamed of going to space, decides to build a rocket of his own, with his family as his construction crew; that really is the stuff dreams are made of. It's silly, but its a well done kind of silly.

Billy Bob Thorton holds this movie together. He is completely in character as Charles Farmer. It is especially evident during the end credits that he is into this character, portraying him as a real man, who could be believably crazy, despite being a good hearted family man.

Virginia Madsen is pretty good as the supportive wife, as well as the kids playing his children. Bruce Dern is a little underused as Grandpa, but still has the necessary "old man wisdom" moment. Bruce Willis comes in for a good enough cameo, just to prove that these guys are friends on and off screen. Then there are also a number of supporting actors that work well with what they have.

Being a PG movie, it only has things like minor peril, but actually quite a bit of language, but still, the conflicts in this movie are enough to keep the viewer watching, nothing to depressing or intense, and I didn't mind. I liked seeing this character, despite there being no real surprises along the way. Billy Bob has a natural charisma that makes this film work.
Super Reviewer
½ February 16, 2013
A Texas rancher named Charles Farmer creates a sensation with his fantastical dream of launching a homemade rocket into space in The Astronaut Farmer. Featuring a strong cast that includes Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Tim Blake Nelson, and Bruce Willis, the film has some great performances. And the story is quite well written, especially in its ability to keep the focus on the Farmer family. However, there are some weaknesses in the plot and the film loses some momentum toward the end. Wonderfully uplifting, The Astronaut Farmer is an inspired story about following dreams.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]"The Astronaut Farmer" starts with Charles Farmer(Billy Bob Thornton) riding a horse while wearing a spacesuit on his way to show and tell at his son Shepard's(Max Thieriot) school. He is ready to fulfill his lifelong dream to go into space by piloting a homemade rocket from his property despite perpetual economic hardships inherited from his father, the bank threatening to foreclose in 30 days. While pulling his kids out of school to serve as his mission control does not gain him any attention from the government, trying to buy 10,000 pounds of rocket fuel does. At which point, his lawyer(Tim Blake Nelson) contacts the media...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]With an antiauthoritarian streak a mile wide, "The Astronaut Farmer" is an enjoyable and beautifully photographed if improbable(one of the characters is inspired by a Nascar race) movie with a good cast which includes Virginia Madsen, Bruce Dern and the ubiquitous J.K. Simmons. Like their previous movie "Northfork," the Polish Brothers again mourn a lost piece of Americana, in this case, the pioneer spirit which made this country what it is, for better or for worse. In this vein, the movie treats Farmer with respect(the spectators seem to want to him to succeed rather than to watch him crash and burn all over the landscape). He is not insane, just driven, knowledgeable about what he is doing and possessing a huge set of balls.(There is private space travel in real life; it just might cost you $20 million.) However, I just wish I didn't have the feeling that Farmer could easily start World War III. [/font]
neumdaddy
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2007
The night had left me feeling more travelworn and world-weary, both from the prospect of rediscovering the strength in something familiar and the perplexity of new struggles brought to light. The rendezvous was finished, and I plunged into the complicated network of Dallas tollways and turnpikes, tonight glistening from the unsteady light rain, seeking the comfort of my hotel room as I avoided all other quaking thoughts. As I decelerated for an approaching tollbooth, my dollar flapping in the breeze as I held it between my fingers out the window for the 75 cent toll, without actually seeing him I mechanically chirped a "Hey, how's it going?" to the tollbooth operator with a translucent layer of concern, unable to conceal the clouds that had gathered on my brow. Assuredly but not quickly, the operator got up from his seat to fulfill his duty, but his eyes were aimed toward the pavement the whole time. Briefly, underneath the artificial light of the toll arch, I saw a thin shiny streak down his cheek from his right eye, clearly the mist of a fresh set of tears. He was an ordinary looking man, hispanic, gentle features, maybe slightly balding, and not a grain of cheer in his countenance. He grabbed my dollar, gave me my quarter, and quietly sat down again without looking at me once. My mouth, conditioned as it was, uttered "Thanks" before my mind finally registered. Disarmed, I drove off to my way, turned down the radio which was drowning out the night's earlier thoughts, and began wondering about this sad man in his lonely tollbooth...
Super Reviewer
September 9, 2007
average in every way. Best thing I canm say is that it is a good family film to watch together-other than that, it is corny at times and just seems to drag for much of the time.
Super Reviewer
½ February 17, 2007
I absolutely loved this movie. Very entertanining. And has a bit of everything.
Super Reviewer
July 17, 2007
I really like how the makers of this film were not afraid to make something unique. Though the premise is interesting, it probably could have been done better. It's inspiring, but sometimes it comes off a little too strong.
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2007
Well-acted and so forth, but still succumbs to inspiration-by-numbers.
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2007
A perfect Sunday afternoon film.
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2010
I really didn't want to see this. For reasons unknown, a relative of mine wanted to which, I can't remember if he just wanted to see this, or specifically he really had interest. I just remember arguing against this and feeling the pain of billy bob robbing my wallet.
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