First Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

First Man Reviews

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½ November 13, 2018
Great performances, a somewhat melancholy or even dull feel throughout the film, despite and emotionally powerful ending.
½ November 13, 2018
First Man is a curious cocktail mixing a visceral portrayal of the terrors of space travel, with a cold distant character-focused story lacking in depth or energy. The result is a film unsure of its purpose - spectacular in execution, but strangely muted dramatically.
November 13, 2018
"We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard".

'First Man' is a lift off folks. A beautiful, yet melancholic look on a man's journey to the moon. Focusing on grief and loss that can poison anyone's thoughts. At the end, you get the sad realization it was a suicide mission, not a heroic one. Making you think twice of wanting to be an astronaut.

Also, the stupid controversy surrounding the American flag is one of the most pointless up cries ever. Anywhere...

Ryan Gosling is great as Neil Armstrong. Now some people have criticized his performance as being "dull" or "stilted". While not the most exciting or colorful performance of the year, but the same can be said about Armstrong as a person. Gosling performance as a calculated man who is somewhat cold to his family over a personal tragedy - it is more depressing when reflecting back. It makes it more powerful. I got more out of it than some people.

Claire Foy is also great - the relationship between her and Gosling is very believable. You really do feel her concerns, but frustration which was brilliantly represented, especially during the emotional scenes. However, I wish they wrote something better for Foy than play "the wife" at home.

Damien Chazelle, my main man. Back once again to blow my socks off. A complete departure compared to his previous films 'Whiplash' and 'La La Land', in terms of film making and themes. Visually striking with a 60's-like archive look which fits the time period. The way Chazelles films space shuttles leaving earth's atmosphere is terrifying, because it's all from Neil's point of view. One minute it's blue sky, then pitch black. I think any movie that can me feel motion sickness is an achievement in my books. Plus the cinematography being shot on Techniscope cameras gives an organic and raw look. The close ups and tight spaces - it's a claustrophobic nightmare.

The moon landing sequence is absolutely breathing and some of the best film making in the entire movie. It also contains one of the saddest scenes I've seen in awhile, which got my eyes leaking. I swear, if that didn't happen and was made up for the movie, then I won't be happy. Still, makes me wonder if Chazelle and Kubrick faked the moon landing together.

The sound design is incredible and adds to the fear of space travel. Whenever they leave earth's orbit during the testing scenes with the shuttle rattling and the sound of mental weakening - you literally keep expecting the shuttle to fall into pieces at any moment. Along with thundering engines from the rockets; it increase the tension of each test.

For issues: The movie is too long with the run time hurting the flow. I wasn't bored or anything, just some scenes felt slow and worn out. Judging from the trailers, I guess there's a longer cut, because of the scenes that are not in the movie.

The score could've been more memorable, in my opinion. I honestly don't remember it, which is a shame as space films usually have great scores. Again, not bad, just decent.

Overall rating: Not the best Chazelle movie compared to his other work, but still a compelling character study on burying grief, while lost in the stars. Drifting away into that good night. Karen Armstrong, the star child.
Super Reviewer
November 12, 2018
It's a bit surprising to me First Man wasn't a bigger deal than it is... Other than conservative pundits bitching about a flag not being planted at the end. I mean Ryan Gosling is a bona fide star now and Damien Chazelle has made two successful pictures (Whiplash and La La Land). And it's an event that is unmistakably an American triumph, with or without a flag raising. But then again, I shouldn't be surprised. Space exploration movies in the 21st century need a big hook to become a designated "event film" and be successful. (See: Gravity, Interstellar, and The Martian.) And a SIGNIFICANT percentage of the American population now believes the conspiracy theory that the lunar landings of the Apollo missions were elaborate hoaxes.

So, people are fucking stupid. We knew that. But it obscures the fact that First Man is a serious and intelligent film that is more interested in interpersonal development, than it is interstellar travel. And what scenes we do get of the Gemini and Apollo missions are documentary-like, realistic, claustrophobic, and well-researched. First Man focuses on Neil Armstrong's struggle of trying to cope with a chaotic American space program and the loss of his daughter. The domestic scenes are something out of Terrence Mallick's Tree of Life, minus the internal narration. The mission scenes are reminiscent of The Right Stuff, but more focused for obvious reasons. Damien Chazelle opts for a glacially-paced and arty film, rather than an octane-fueled one. That being said, some scenes will keep you on the edge of your seat with building tension, even if you know the result. Gosling acts his ass off, despite the constant criticism of his disengaged expression in many of his roles. His earnest believability and heartache carries many scenes. Claire Foy manages to avoid the nagging wife stereotypes and displays the other half of a couple trying and failing to deal with grief. First Man is a superb and nuanced film that easily could have been a lazy biopic, but it strived to be something more. It's not a perfect film and lacks the oomph or energy to achieve true greatness, but its certainly an interesting choice and one that manages to land on target.
November 12, 2018
A Science Fiction film, without the Fiction. A beautiful and solemn portrait of humanities journey to the moon, told through the men and women who sacrificed the most to get us all there.
November 12, 2018
Si tienes problemas para dormir esta sera la mejor opci├│n.
½ November 12, 2018
This film had me on the edge of my seat for over 2 hours. Chazelle continues to amaze me with his very articulate direction of this film. It is visually and technically stunning! Performances by Gosling and Foy were great as well.
November 11, 2018
Instead of illuminating a grand chapter of human history this feature film plays off the liberal haphazardness of the post-modern age. Instead of leaving a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment "First Man" drags down the soul to a dark abyss, as in the likes of the fall of the USSR (to say, not victory but utter defeat). This cinematic atrocity is ranked 1 out of 5 golden leaves ??.
½ November 11, 2018
Interesting space movie though more a great family drama than a space movie , having lived through that era this movie does not carry the spirit of the 60's but this of present era of emptyness and boredom stuff ,none of the astronaut actors really match their roles and lacking carisma . Neverthless Neil and his wife's roles were well played by the actors and got me closer to Neil's life .Dont try to compare this movie with "From Earth to the Moon " Right Stuff , Apollo 13 nor even the recent Russian movies " Space Walker " Solyut "coze u'll end up disappointed .
½ November 11, 2018
It´┐ 1/2(TM)s not First Man, it´┐ 1/2(TM)s First Meh. Ryan Gosling cannot carrry a movie, and in addition to the slow pacing, the storyline is complete fiction. They portray Neil Armstrong as some kind of reckless or unlucky pilot, when in reality he was selected to be on the mission to the moon because he was the best pilot NASA had. They skip over his early life so you really don´┐ 1/2(TM)t ever get to know who he is or what motivates him. The writers invented the scene where Armstrong tosses his dead daughter´┐ 1/2(TM)s bracket into a crater, when the opposite is true; his own wife has said she was disappointed he in fact did not carry any family mementos to leave behind on the moon. But the biggest problem is that the movie is too slow and too boring. The moon mission was one of the most exciting events in human history, while this is one of the most boring space movies in history.
November 10, 2018
When La la land was announced to be nominated for best picture, it never really caught my eye. But this was a step up for Director Damien Chazelle. Choosing to do a bio-pic about Neil Armstrong wasn't the best choice out there, but Damien succeeded. He made a good, entertaining movie that left me with a better understanding of Neil's life.

The acting is probably one of my favorite parts about this movie. Claire Foy has a stellar performance, and Ryan Gosling was- well- Ryan Gosling. The only reason this movie gets a low audience score is because of the technical aspects, something not to make a great deal of fuss over, and also something I barely noticed through the whole course of the movie.
½ November 10, 2018
the movie I guess is not horrible, and I understand why the camera keeps shaking, but I am literally about to throw up...
½ November 10, 2018
An other wise good movie ruined but a camera man from NYPD blue and a Porn film visual editor that always wanted to get too close. Zoom the beguck out FFS. It's not a film about Ryan Gosling's shaky nose hairs.
½ November 10, 2018
Hollywood continues to sink into the morass of ignorance that passes for inclusiveness. If you can not even show show the factual planting of the American Flag do to political correctness than what does one gather about the so-called factual representations of the entire movie. Once again sorry I wasted time of life and cash on this.
½ November 10, 2018
3 1/2 stars. Interesting but not as entertaining as it could have been. Not as good as Apollo 13 but better than The Right Stuff.
½ November 9, 2018
This time the Tomatoemeter is 100% right. You have to watch it !
½ November 8, 2018
The drama at the end just didn't work for me. The movie did nothing to even suggest his intentions. I didn't really get his character at a deeper personal level and I blame the direction.
November 7, 2018
Eu nao curti muito, achei muito focado no Neil, deixou de explicar algumas coisas, por vezes muito parado.
November 7, 2018
Watch The RIght Stuff instead. The attempt to tell a be nuanced story left Neal Armstrong as a mediocre husband and father. Vibrating camera scenes and annoying documentary style closeups were way overused. Please don't let this get nominated for cinematography awards.
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