Mercury 13

Critics Consensus

Mercury 13 offers yet another sobering example of how institutionalized sexism has thwarted countless dreams -- and held nations back from their full potential.



Total Count: 24


Audience Score

User Ratings: 193
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Movie Info

Mercury 13 is a remarkable story of the women who were tested for spaceflight in 1961 before their dreams were dashed in being the first to make the trip beyond Earth. NASA's 'man in space' program, dubbed 'Project Mercury' began in 1958. The men chosen - all military test pilots - became known as The Mercury 7. But away from the glare of the media, behind firmly closed doors, female pilots were also screened. Thirteen of them passed and, in some cases, performed better than the men. They were called the Mercury 13 and had the 'right stuff' but were, unfortunately, the wrong gender. Underneath the obsession of the space race that gripped America, the women were aviation pioneers who emerged thirsty for a new frontier, but whose time would have to wait. The film tells the definitive story of thirteen truly remarkable women who reached for the stars but were ahead of their time. A Netflix original documentary directed by David Sington (The Fear of 13) and Heather Walsh.

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Critic Reviews for Mercury 13

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4)

  • This is the sort of film that begins modestly-seemingly only a piece of curious history-and grows steadily deeper as it moves to its climax, and that climax is a powerful one.

    Apr 20, 2018 | Full Review…
  • At a brisk and efficient 78-minutes, Mercury 13 is engaging, yet sadness and anger seeps in as it progresses.

    Apr 20, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A soaring tribute to some aviation pioneers.

    Apr 19, 2018 | Full Review…
  • An engaging blend of modern-day interviews and archival footage, Mercury 13 complicates the traditional narrative of triumph surrounding the Mercury missions of the '60s and their culmination with the moon landing.

    Apr 9, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Eric Kohn

    Top Critic
  • But their determination and commitment did manage to inspire other women to pursue careers in spaceflight. Collins, the former NASA astronaut, is likely just one example. By telling their stories, Mercury 13 is trying to do the same.

    Dec 28, 2018 | Full Review…
  • While they may not have reached their highest potential, they represent true heroes. These women encourage young women to continue to reach for the stars

    Oct 10, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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