Excerpt: The result is a film that at times can be a little too happy in its own company, and one that is less passionately engrossing than Whiplash or La La Land. Yet it most definitely will engross, carrying you well beyond that first step.
Excerpt: Claire Foy owns this movie. So many biopics about famous men always have the doting wife archetype that often is relegated to sitting in the background and worrying about her husband. In First Man, Foy doesn’t just support him, she challenges him.
Excerpt: I can definitely see First Man testing the patience of an audience who may want a straightforward biopic, but Damien Chazelle has other things in mind, and I find that his impulses are far more interesting as well as emotionally resonant. The moon landing sequence is one for the ages.
Excerpt: Damien Chazelle studies the humble, quiet man behind the mission. The history book facts are all here, but First Man works as a character study rather than moon thriller – what makes Neil tick, how does he summon nerves of steel when the rest of us would panic to become that notorious “whitey on the moon”.
Excerpt: Chazelle impressively depicts [Armstrong’s personal] struggle throughout, but he goes above and beyond during the climactic lunar landing. The moment’s hugeness ultimately tore it from [his] hands. Now it’s finally been given back.
Excerpt: Unlike the popular space race films that have come before it, not a millisecond of First Man feels like typical hero worship celebrating astronaut and aeronautical engineer Neil Armstrong. What is not trumpeted as heaps of grandiose praise by Academy Award-winning La La Land director Damien Chazelle is instead honed into a poignant and resolute testament of honor.