October Sky


October Sky

Critics Consensus

Rich in sweet sincerity, intelligence, and good old-fashioned inspirational drama, October Sky is a coming-of-age story with a heart to match its Hollywood craftsmanship.



Reviews Counted: 74

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 66,039


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

In Coalwood, West Virginia, all the boys grow up to be coal miners and Homer Hickam has no reason to think he'll be any different. Too small to earn a football scholarship, Homer has no way out of his predetermined life -- until the soviet satellite Sputnik flies over the October sky and changes everything. It's 1957 and Homer's world just got a lot bigger. Though his father is mine superintendent and has no greater wish than to see his sons follow in his footsteps, Homer embarks on a mission to build and launch his own homemade rockets with the help of his loyal band of friends. Though their frequent mistakes nearly get them shut down, their successes inspire the whole town to believe that miracles can happen even in Coalwood, and there's nothing wrong with shooting for the stars.

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Jake Gyllenhaal
as Homer Hickam
Chris Cooper
as John Hickam
Laura Dern
as Miss Riley
Chris Owen
as Quentin
Natalie Canerday
as Elsie Hickam
Scott Miles
as Jim Hickam
Randy Stripling
as Leon Bolden
Chris Ellis
as Principal Turner
Elya Baskin
as Ike Bykovsky
Courtney Fendley
as Dorothy Platt
David Dwyer
as Jake Mosby
Terry Loughlin
as Mr. Dantzler
Kaili Hollister
as Valentine Carmina
David Copeland
as Coach Gainer
Tom Kagy
as Lenny
Donald Thorne
as Trooper One
Larry Rue
as Neighbor
Neva Howell
as Neighbor
Brady Coleman
as Anderson
Terrence Gibney
as Basil Thorpe
Doug Swander
as Corvette Guy
Keeli Hale Kimbro
as Corvette Girl
Blaque Fowler
as Reverend
Don Tilley
as Rescue Worker
Rockford Davis
as Chemistry Teacher
Larry Black
as Fred Smith
Frank Schuler
as Moonshiner
Tommy Smeltzer
as Man at Mine
Ida Ginn
as Quentin's Mom
Richard Lumpkin
as Judge at Welch
Mark W. Johnson
as Union Official
Don Taylor
as Union Official
Don G. Campbell
as Mr. Morris
Elizabeth Byler
as Ivy League Girl
Bradford Ryan Lund
as Ivy League Boy
Frank Hoyt Taylor
as Judge at Indy
David Hager
as Head Judge
Ray Elder
as Tom Webster
Andy Stahl
as Jack Palmer
Joey DiGaetano
as Wernher Von Braun
Thomas Taylor
as Miner in Elevator
David Ducey
as Man in Crowd
O. Winston Link
as Locomotive Engineer
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News & Interviews for October Sky

Critic Reviews for October Sky

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (16)

Audience Reviews for October Sky

This is the true story of Homer Hickam, Jr.- a bright teenager obsessed with rockets and science who, much to the befuddlement of his family and neighbors of his small, working class coal mining town, defied the odds to follow his dreams during the space race years of the 50s. It's a very inspiring story that is filled with heart, warmth, humor, and does a good job at dealing with issues of family, working class life, and following one's dreams. That, and it's got a notable cast including a young Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, and Laura Dern. Hickam did eventually become a NASA engineer, but the film primarily focuses on the earliest leg of that journey, and the scenes of him and his friends trying to get into the rocket game for themselves are both funny and charming. This is Joe Johnston making a nice drama and pulling it off pretty well. He's got a spotty record, but this is one of his better efforts, and one I find my self enjoying quite a bit each time I see it. Sure, there are shades of typical tropes like the father wanting the son to follow in his footsteps, and people interested in a subject that doesn't fit in with what everyone else in their locale appreciates, but it's handled decently, and the performances are nice, too.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Deeply moving with a whole lot of heart. It's something you'll want to believe in because it is something to believe for.

Adriel Lim
Adriel Lim

Super Reviewer

As many have already mentioned, it's just another conventional inspirational story of a boy who doesn't give up his dream, even if he has to fight against his father's will for it. Check it out if you're a fan of inspirational tales; otherwise, nothing extraordinary here. And well, isn't so bad to pass time if you've nothing else to do, and haven't watched it already.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

October Sky ins the best feel good movie ever made. One of the things thats great about the film is the film doesn't go over board in it's sentimentality. Never does it feel overly sentimental, corny or embarrassing. This is the type of film that you will definitely feel good right after watching it. You really sympathize with the characters because they are brilliantly played by the cast. I can't recall the number of times I've seen this film, but it's at least over a dozen times. Unlike other family films that try to be overly sentimental just for the sake of being family friendly and to appeal to a bigger audience. October Sky has something that separates it from other feel good films, and thats a very good story, and I mean good. October Sky is the true story of Homer Hickam a teenager who spots the Sputnik satellite and who decides to built his own rocket and enter the science fair. His dad is highly against it, and wants him to work in the mine. Homer has other ideas. October Sky is really a story about accomplishing your dreams, and achieving the impossible. This is simply an incredible story about perseverance and determination and unlike other feel good films, this is a true story, and the way it's told on film is beautiful. The film is brilliantly directed by Joe Johnson, director of Jumanji, and he crafts yet another great film. October Sky is a well acted film, the actors here are incredible and this was one of Jake Gyllenhaal's first staring roles, and is just the right person for this role. Also a performance that is equally great is Chjris Cooper as Homer's father who opposes Homer's dreams. Both actors electrifying as they butt heads on screen as we see their conflicting ideas unfold. Chris Cooper is fine and underrated actor, and this is the first film that I've seen that exposed me to his work. October Sky is a solid feel good film and like I said, this is one of the best too. A fine cast upholds this film, and Johnson has got a fine script at hand. and because of that, the film works very well. The beauty part about this film is that this is the type of film that will stay with you long after you've seen it, and everyone can take something positive away from it. A fine film that in one word can be summarized as beautiful.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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