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.



Total Count: 74


Audience Score

User Ratings: 66,070
User image

October Sky Photos

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.

Watch it now


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
View All

News & Interviews for October Sky

Critic Reviews for October Sky

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for October Sky

  • Sep 13, 2016
    .Great story of ambition and determination, exactly the film that any person should see. This is one of those films I put off for way too long and couldn't tell you why. Perfect filmmaking and one that pulls all the correct strings
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2013
    October Sky is the best inspirational drama ever made, and it's one of my favorite movies of all time. This is one of those movies you can't pass up and overlook. It provides good life lessons on following your own footsteps and be ambitious of what you enjoy doing. Even if it makes you hardheaded, this movie shows how taking your own advice is never a bad thing. Jake Gyllenhaal delivered a memorable performance, and he stood true to his role as the NASA Engineer, Homer Hickam, Chris Cooper delivered a solid performance as John Hickam who has a lot of pride of himself. Laura Dern is an underrated actress, and she gave a good performance since Jurassic Park. The rest of the cast played their part pretty well. The storyline was fantastic, providing emotion, joyness, and sadness to appeal everyone, no matter how old you are. What made it better is that it's based on a true story, focusing solely on Homer Hickam's life as a teenager. Here's the website where you can read my full review for this movie: http://geodude91.blogspot.com/2013/07/october-sky-review.html#!/2013/07/october-sky-review.html
    Giovanni C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2013
    Wonderfully crafted and infused with the kind of old-fashined, non-cynical inspiration that makes you want to reach for the stars, October Sky is one of the best films of its kind the 90's has to offer. Often-overlooked director Joe Johnston does some of the best work of his diverse career- the pacing is perfect and the emotion is always true. Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal in one of his most memorable roles and a terrific soundtrack, this movie teaches us that no dream is unattainable or worth giving up on- and reinforces it after each and every viewing
    Tedd P Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2012
    I love historic films. Especially films that are so compelling that the narrative can focus on the story aspect instead of working hard to sell the audience that they're in another time. October Sky is a simple, but heartfelt tale about Homer H. Hickman, a man who I never knew existed prior to this film's release. Homer grew up in a small town, but dreams to live a life better than what his stomping grounds can offer. A tale many of us can relate to. But this is also a story about winning the love of your father, and never giving up on your dreams no matter how impossible they seem. Speaking to us with these universal themes, director Joe Johnston delivers a powerful drama that will move you to tears. Highly recommended. This film is just a delight.
    Bryan D Super Reviewer

October Sky Quotes

News & Features