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First Man (2018)

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A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Director:

Damien Chazelle

Writers:

Josh Singer (screenplay by), James R. Hansen (based on the book by)
Popularity
96 ( 29)

Director's Trademarks: The Films of Damien Chazelle

First Man director Damien Chazelle's cinematic world is populated by characters driven by singular ambition and framed with technical and stylistic flourishes.

Watch our guide to Damien's films

Won 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 162 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Gosling ... Neil Armstrong
Claire Foy ... Janet Armstrong
Jason Clarke ... Ed White
Kyle Chandler ... Deke Slayton
Corey Stoll ... Buzz Aldrin
Patrick Fugit ... Elliot See
Christopher Abbott ... Dave Scott
Ciarán Hinds ... Bob Gilruth
Olivia Hamilton ... Pat White
Pablo Schreiber ... James Lovell
Shea Whigham ... Gus Grissom
Lukas Haas ... Mike Collins
Ethan Embry ... Pete Conrad
Brian d'Arcy James ... Joe Walker
Cory Michael Smith ... Roger Chaffee
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Storyline

A Biopic on the life of the legendary American Astronaut Neil Armstrong from 1961-1969, on his journey to becoming the first human to walk the moon. Exploring the sacrifices and costs on the Nation and Neil himself, during one of the most dangerous missions in the history of space travel. Written by Matthew Villella

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most dangerous mission in history See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic content involving peril, and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

First Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,006,065, 14 October 2018

Gross USA:

$44,936,545

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$100,546,153
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos | DTS (DTS: X)| Auro 11.1

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "1201" and "1202" alarms that sounded during the lunar descent was an indication that the computer was receiving more data than it could process. The procedure to fix this was to cycle the switch, which essentially ended the bottleneck. This was not the last time this error had been encountered in an Apollo flight. When Apollo XII was struck by lightning during its launch, it also triggered a 1202. See more »

Goofs

During the Gemini 8 scene, Scott is shown to use the Manual Data Insertion Unit (MDIU) and flip-switches to command the Agena. The MDIU was only used to interact with the Gemini OnBoard Computer (OBC), and neither it nor the flip-switches interacted with the Agena. The flip-switches used appear to be the ones for the radio beacons, telemetry and of the Gemini.

To send commands to the Agena, the pilot would've used the encoder (situated on the pilot front panel, just below the MDIU), which is operated by rotating an inner and outer wheel to enter the two first digits of the command, with a small handle to enter the last digit (either a 1 or a 0) and transmit.

While 400 is the command for turning the Agena ACS off, entering 4-0-0 and enter takes whatever is displayed on the MDIU, sets the first digit to 0, and writes it to core memory location 40. See more »

Quotes

Neil Armstrong: I don't know what space exploration will uncover, but I don't think it'll be exploration just for the sake of exploration. I think it'll be more the fact that it allows us to see things. That maybe we should have seen a long time ago. But just haven't been able to until now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »


Soundtracks

Pledging My Love
Written by Don D. Robey, Ferdinand Washington
Performed by Johnny Ace
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Understated Biopic
16 October 2018 | by Jared_AndrewsSee all my reviews

The opening scene will take your breath away. I don't think a single cell in my body flinched for a solid five minutes as I watched Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) fight to keep his craft from floating away into space. The scene is spectacular visually and in every sense of filmmaking execution. It's also a bit misleading.

The rest of the movie, aside from the moon landing, is remarkably tame. It's quiet. There are virtually no loud outbursts or emotional speeches. This story is about people doing their jobs, completing their missions. Gosling understands this and plays to Armstrong's stoicism perfectly. He is often an understated actor, choosing to let his subtle facial movements and glints of the eyes do as much talking as what actually comes out of his mouth. Neil is much the same except even less outwardly expressive. He clearly comes from a generation that did not display emotion. They suffered in silence, which no doubt frustrated many family members, especially spouses.

Armstrong's wife Janet (Claire Foy) is a classic case of a spouse desperate to glimpse beyond his emotional shield. She restrains for the most part, but her building frustration is apparent throughout. When she finally does unleash her emotions, it's startling. Her outbursts stand out in such stark contrast to the silence that we see from the other characters. Foy is smart and measured with every choice she makes, and she never comes across as unhinged or overly supportive to a point of unbelievability. She's strong as a quiet devoted partner and strong when she senses the need to speak up. Look for her to add another award nomination to her resume come that time of year.

For as great as Gosling and Foy are, Damien Chazelle is the star of this movie, just like he has been the star of every one of his movies. I don't mean this as a bad thing. They guy is simply so skilled at what he does that his impact stands out among all the other standouts in his movies. He doesn't take the conventional approach to a space movie, which is to hammer viewers with showy visuals and action sequences. He's careful not to overdo it those areas, instead focusing on Armstrong's psyche and life outside the space shuttle. Chazelle crafts a personal, intimate film and shoots it in a creative way that uses a variety of framing choices so the closeups never feel stale.

This is a giant story told on a deliberately small scale. The choice to focus on Armstrong's objectively less captivating homelife rather than the moon mission is risky. Only the most talented of filmmakers, which Chazelle is, could pull it off. "First Man" is another showcase of Chazelle's mastery. He's one of the best directors currently working. The fact that this film may eventually be considered Chazelle's 6th or 7th best and is still this excellent, is a tribute to his talent.


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