Review: ARMSTRONG Has A Successful Launch


All-around good, Armstrong does an excellent job of filling the gaps left by other space docs, giving you a better picture of Armstrong as a person.
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, and as such, filmmakers are clamoring to get the opportunity to pay homage to the landmark historical event. The third film to be released this year about the moon landing (after NEON’s Apollo 11 and PBS’s Chasing the Moon), David Fairhead’s documentary Armstrong takes a more personal approach to the topic, exploring Armstrong’s life leading up to, during, and after the mission.

The Space Race is truly one of the most interesting periods of American history, and there is plenty of story to be told. While it would be easy to compare Apollo 11 and Armstrong, it is more appropriate to look at them as two sides of the same coin. Although there is some overlap between the two movies, each explores a different aspect of the story in depth, and as such, serve as the perfect complement for each other.

One of the main reasons to watch Armstrong is that it gives you insight as to who was behind the Apollo 11 mission rather than what was behind it. Apollo 11 does a great job of making you admire the complexity of space travel in terms of mathematics and science, and Armstrong makes you realize the level of willpower and dedication that these astronauts had in order to complete their job.

If you didn’t already admire Armstrong before watching this documentary, you surely will by the time the runtime is over. Last year’s biopic First Man did no favors to the astronaut’s image, portraying him in a colder light, and this film effectively counters that image, instead showing him as a humble hero. One can’t help but admire his bravery and the sacrifice that he was willing to make in the name of exploration.

armstrong pod

Additionally, the movie uses Armstrong’s story as a way to pose interesting questions about the ways in which society perceives people who work for government agencies such as NASA. Chief among them is the question of what makes a hero. Is it the risks that Armstrong took that made him a hero, or was it his dedication to the scientific endeavor? Is Armstrong even a hero? The film proposes that he would not see himself in that light. It is interesting to think about these questions.

The pacing of the movie is quite nice. Clocking in at a few minutes over an hour and a half, the film is a solid length for a documentary and manages to keep your attention for a majority of its runtime. Every once in a while, when the movie does begin to explore already trodden ground, your interest can start to fade but is soon rekindled by an interesting or unique personal story.

On a technical level, the film is certainly quite well-made, even if it isn’t particularly revolutionary. The presentation of the content is relatively straightforward, through a combination of interviews, archive footage, and readings of Armstrong’s writings read by actor Harrison Ford. There is enough diversity in the presentation of the content to make up for the lack of innovation.

Armstrong may not be the best documentary on the topic, but it is still interesting and fills some of the holes left by other movies. Any person who is interested in American history, particularly as it relates to the space program, should check out this film as soon as possible.

Armstrong opens in theaters and VOD on July 12.


Twista breaks down T.I.’s gift for sending rappers home | Rhythm + Flow: The Aftershow | Netflix

Host Scottie Beam dives deep into the biggest moments from the first four episodes of Rhythm + Flow with guests Twista, Ivie Ani, and DJ Hed. Who you think will go all the way? New episodes of Rhythm + Flow drop on Wednesday, Oct 16. Watch Rhythm + Flow, Only On Netflix: SUBSCRIBE:…

(SPOILERS) The Walking Dead Talked About Scene: Season 10, Episode 2

Alpha convinces Beta to join her and to take a special mask. Watch more from The Walking Dead: Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: #WalkingDead #TheWalkingDead THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: Follow The Walking Dead on Twitter: Visit The Walking Dead Official Site: Sign Up…

A Dog’s Purpose | Watch Now | FX

Watch the official trailer for A Dog's Purpose. A dog finds itself reincarnated as a variety of canines throughout the decades, discovering the meaning of its own existence through multiple lifetimes – not all of which come with the kindest of owners. Watch it today on FXNOW. FXM (formerly Fox Movie Channel) was launched in…

Supernatural | Alexander Calvert – Favorite Scenes | The CW

Supernatural premieres Thursday, October 10. Stream free next day only on The CW App! SUBSCRIBE: About SUPERNATURAL: The thrilling and terrifying journey of the Winchester brothers continues as SUPERNATURAL enters its thirteenth season. Sam and Dean have spent their lives on the road, battling supernatural threats that include everything from the demon that killed…

Home | Watch Now | FX

Watch the official trailer for Home. An alien race searching for a new home takes over Earth in a "friendly" invasion, relocating all humans – except one resourceful girl who managed to avoid capture. Watch it today on FXNOW. Subscribe to FX: See More of FXM: FXM (formerly Fox Movie Channel) was launched…

‘Jennings Is The Wild Wild West’ Ep. 4 Clip | Murder in the Bayou | SHOWTIME Documentary Series

Jennings is situated right off Interstate 10 between Houston and New Orleans, placing it on the path of a major drug route. Investigative reporter Ethan Brown discovers that several of the murder victims were known to be police informants as well as drug users, which put them in a precarious place. Streaming now on SHOWTIME.…

All American | Favorite Scenes – Samantha Logan – Olivia’s Chip | The CW

Stream new episodes of All American Tuesdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About All American: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds - Crenshaw and Beverly Hills -…

Betty is a Total F***ing Badass | Riverdale | Netflix

Betty Cooper is Riverdale’s very own Nancy Drew. She can solve any mystery and without even messing up her ponytail. Watch Riverdale, Only on Netflix: Watch more about Riverdale, here on YouTube: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with over 151 million paid memberships in over 190…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here