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Unless you’ve read the book, that is all you will get out of this movie. The filmmakers really know the subject but they do a poor job of communicating it. There are close-ups of rocket plane control panels and spacecraft switches, but we don’t know what anyone is doing. Every astronaut in the movie is called by his first name, Deke, Buzz. Neil, Rusty. The viewer doesn’t know who they are or how they fit into the story until something happens to them.

The movie highlights almost every mistake and accident that happened in NASA prior to the moon landing. The impression is that the program was poorly run and that it was just luck that got us to the moon. That, politicians whining about what space program money would buy here on earth, and no scenes of planting of the U.S. flag on the moon, gives a slight anti-patriotic tilt to the movie.
The film gives an almost claustrophobic close up of the life of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.
Ryan Gosling gives a low-key almost emotionless performance, much like a robot engineer. Unless you’re a NASA history nerd or you’ve read the book, you probably won’t understand this movie.

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