A Journey to the Moon with Mixed Reviews


Release date: 12 October 2018 (USA)
Genre: Drama/Historical
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cinematographer: Linus Sandgren
Budget: $59 million USD
Box office: $105,6 million USD


5 MIN Read Time



In the vast and ever-evolving world of filmmaking, certain movies have the unique ability to divide audiences and critics alike. “First Man,” directed by Damien Chazelle in 2018, is one such film that generated a wide spectrum of opinions. As a film and movie blogger, I embarked on a journey to explore the various online reviews and provide my own perspective on this ambitious biographical drama.



“First Man” delves into the remarkable life of astronaut Neil Armstrong, portrayed by Ryan Gosling. The film primarily focuses on Armstrong’s journey to becoming the first human to set foot on the moon during NASA’s Apollo 11 mission in 1969. It’s a story that has captivated generations, and Chazelle takes a character-driven approach, offering an intimate look at Armstrong’s life, both personally and professionally.

The film succeeds in portraying the incredible sacrifices made by astronauts and their families, the unrelenting determination of the space program, and the haunting specter of loss that looms over every mission. However, the film’s pacing has been a point of contention among critics. Some argue that it is too slow, while others appreciate the deliberate, contemplative tone that allows us to step into Armstrong’s shoes.


Facts About Filming and Cast

“First Man” is a technical marvel in many aspects. The film’s visual effects and cinematography, helmed by Linus Sandgren, are nothing short of breathtaking. The scenes in space and on the lunar surface are a testament to the filmmakers’ dedication to authenticity and detail. It’s clear that every effort was made to recreate the visceral experience of space travel.

Ryan Gosling delivers a stoic and restrained performance as Neil Armstrong, capturing the astronaut’s reserved nature and his internal struggles. Claire Foy, who plays Janet Armstrong, Neil’s wife, offers a powerful portrayal of a woman dealing with the emotional toll of her husband’s profession. The chemistry between Gosling and Foy adds depth to their characters and the film as a whole.


Behind the Scenes

One of the standout aspects of “First Man” is its realistic portrayal of space travel. The film meticulously recreates the claustrophobic, high-risk environment of the Apollo missions. From the rattling spacecraft to the disorienting spacewalks, the audience is given an authentic glimpse into the challenges faced by astronauts during this era.

The use of practical effects, including large-scale sets and real-life NASA equipment, adds to the film’s sense of immersion. It’s evident that the filmmakers went to great lengths to ensure accuracy and attention to detail.


Reception at the Box Office

“First Man” received a mix of critical acclaim and box office success that mirrored the diversity of opinions surrounding the film. While some praised the movie for its technical achievements, others were left wanting more emotional depth from the characters.

The film’s relatively slow pace and its focus on Armstrong’s reserved nature seemed to have divided audiences. Some found it a refreshing departure from typical biopics, while others felt it hindered their connection with the characters. Consequently, “First Man” performed moderately at the box office, failing to reach the astronomical heights some had anticipated.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the film did receive recognition from the Academy Awards, earning Oscars for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Mixing, underscoring the technical prowess exhibited by the production team.



“First Man” stands as a visually stunning and technically proficient biographical drama. It offers a detailed and immersive experience of space travel, showcasing the courage and sacrifices made by astronauts like Neil Armstrong.

However, the film’s deliberate pacing and emotionally reserved characters left some viewers yearning for a deeper connection. While it captures the historical significance of the Apollo 11 mission, it doesn’t delve as deeply into the personal lives and motivations of its characters as some might have hoped.

“First Man” is a film that demands appreciation for its technical achievements and historical importance. Whether it resonates with you or leaves you wanting more is a matter of personal preference. It’s a journey to the moon that is, much like the reviews surrounding it, filled with both wonder and ambiguity.


My Rating: 5/10


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