Film review: First Man


First Man is a look into the life of famed astronaut Neil Armstrong and the legendary space mission that led to him becoming the first man to walk on the moon.

Our Review:

There are two things you need to know going into the Gosling’s latest movie, First Man.

One: there is more technology in a graphics calculator than was used to send the first man to the moon – you need to know this because it’s both magnificent and terrifying.

Two: if you enjoy brooding close ups of Ryan Gosling you’re going to love this movie.

First Man gives us a view into the life of hero astronaut Neil Armstrong, nauseatingly displayed through dizzying close-up frames. All notion of traditional camera angles was thrown out the window by director Damien Chazelle in this biographical depiction of the first man to set foot on the moon.

The film opens with Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) hurtling through space to the background of his own laboured breathing. From here, the movie takes audiences on an emotional journey of his life that is just as laboured as his breathing. From his initial days as a pilot, through to the death of his young daughter Karen and all the way to that infamous first step on the moon.

Peppered within this high-tension tale is Armstrong’s interactions, or lack of, with his wife Janet (Claire Foy) and two sons. Don’t be side tracked by these exchanges, the extreme emotional toll Armstrong’s career choice takes on his family or even the repressed pain Armstrong feels after the death of his fellow astronauts - Elliot See and Ed White. These subjects are given a two-dimensional touch so as not to distract the viewer while also ticking off the high-emotion criteria box.

All in all, this is a story that we all clearly need to know. But it would be good to see some of the work from characters behind the scenes such as the men and women who built the rocket and plotted its course.

Final Verdict: 2/5 stars.


Damien Chazelle.


Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Pablo Schreiber, Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler and more.

Film rating


If you liked this movie, try:

Hidden Figures, Apollo 13, Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian.

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