The Right Stuff - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Right Stuff Reviews

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Top Critic
Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times
December 9, 2016
Kaufman has combined the resources and ingenuity of movie making with the freewheeling, damn-the-conventions style of of the New Journalism and come up with a generous, high-spirited look at the bravery and lunacy that was that era.
Sean Axmaker
April 10, 2016
The Right Stuff (1983), Philip Kaufman's adaptation of Tom Wolfe's acclaimed portrait of the original NASA astronauts, is *the* American epic of the last great frontier and a genuinely romantic take on the first generation of space cowboys.
Top Critic
Gary Arnold
Washington Post
December 18, 2015
It means something to be a member of the brotherhood whose trials and accomplishments are celebrated so enjoyably in The Right Stuff.
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
November 6, 2013
A great movie that unfortunately failed to attract audiences back in '83, this adaptation of Tom Wolfe's book about astronauts pays tribute to what we would like to believe represents the American spirit: hard work, perseverance, camaraderie and vision.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4

October 5, 2011
History, melodrama, comedy and satire are skilfully combined in this consistently exciting adventure. Visually and dramatically it rarely sags, there's a vivid array of characters and though it's a film with issues, these never eclipse the human drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
October 5, 2011
Moviegoers seeking a grand yet edifying entertainment, right-stuffed with what Kaufman calls "seriousness of subject matter and a wild humor that comes out of left field," now know where to look...
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
March 1, 2011
One of the scattered handful of truly great American movies in the first half of the 1980s.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Randy White
Common Sense Media
January 2, 2011
Educational, exciting action, great acting.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Variety Staff
March 26, 2009
The Right Stuff is a humdinger. Full of beauty, intelligence and excitement, this big-scale look at the development of the US space program and its pioneering aviators provides a fresh, entertaining look back at the recent past.
Emanuel Levy
March 14, 2008
Though critically acclaimed, Philip Kaufman's superbly realized adventure about the early Space Age was a commercial flop, due to its satirical tone and unfortunately close association with the presidential candidacy of John Glenn.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Steve Crum
February 18, 2008
Historical drama as well as vastly entertaining adventure.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
Rob Fraser
Empire Magazine
December 30, 2006
Consistently compelling, capturing all the ambiguity and tension of the book.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
From the opening moments it is clear that we have the nearest modern equivalent to a Western: men of quiet virtue going skyward, leaving the tawdry world of log-rolling politicians behind.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
March 18, 2006
Along with Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America it's the last great American epic -- the kind of film that couldn't be made today.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
November 15, 2005
Kaufman's enormously entertaining history of America's Mercury astronauts fizzled on release, maybe because it was too smart and cool for its own good.

TV Guide
July 30, 2003
Brings a wealth of humor to a faithful retelling of the astronauts' fascinating stories, the actors fit smoothly into their roles and even physically resemble their characters, and the direction is well-paced and visually exciting.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
July 8, 2003
Unjustly labeled a failure after its disappointing box office run, The Right Stuff's tarnished reputation can only benefit from Warner's sparkling new 2-disc special edition.
Bill Chambers
Film Freak Central
June 30, 2003
Clumsy without being mediocre.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
June 7, 2003
A winning and well-acted portrait of America's entry into the Space Age that is awesome, funny, surreal and right on the mark in its depiction of the country's insatiable hunger for new frontiers.
Top Critic
Vincent Canby
New York Times
May 20, 2003
These men remain virtually flawless heroes, almost too good, decent and brave to be true, and it's a measure of how successful the movie is that one is inclined to believe it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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