Review: First Man


Damien Chazelle’s third major feature, the follow-up to his Oscar-winning La La Land, attempts to take us to the moon while also providing a portrait of one of America’s most iconic heroes — Neil Armstrong. The results unfortunately are a very mixed bag. While the flight sequences themselves are frenetic and impressive, the human drama doesn’t connect in a film that keeps audiences at arm’s length and never lets them inside its characters’ heads. While Gosling does typically great work, this version of Armstrong is emotionally closed off to everyone around him, including the audience and we never really get a sense of what makes this guy tick. None of the others characters make much of an impression nor are they drawn in a compelling way. The final 30 minutes provide a jolt of excitement as we experience the lunar landing first-hand, but it’s a hard and cold journey getting there. Grade: B-


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