‘First Man’: First Reviews Impressed with Ryan Gosling’s Neil Armstrong Film

Universal Pictures

The first trailers have looked great, and according to the first reviews, there’s a very good reason why.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Damien Chazelle looks to be following up his award-winning La La Land with another acclaimed feature, First Man, which tells the story of Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11’s monumental trip to the moon. Chazelle reunites with La La Land star Ryan Gosling for the film, which has received its first reviews out of its Venice International Film Festival premiere. And critics are raving.

Check out some of what’s been said thus far:


“First Man, which is Chazelle’s first feature since La La Land, is a docudrama in the most authentic and exciting sense of the word. Chazelle knows that the story of the NASA space program has been told before (quite memorably, in its way, in The Right Stuff). So his audacious strategy is to make a movie so revelatory in its realism, so gritty in its physicality, that it becomes a drama of thrillingly hell-bent danger and obsession.”


“First Man bears the same relation to the space dramas that have come before it that “Saving Private Ryan” did to previous war films. The movie redefines what space travel is… First Man” is so immersive in its glitchy, hurtling, melting-metal authenticity that it makes a space drama like “Apollo 13” look like a puppet show.”


“First Man is an anti-thriller of rare intensity, with lived-in performances from Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy heightening the sky-high drama at every turn.”

The Film Stage:

“… In its tragic undertones, complex psychological edifice, and claustrophobic visuals, First Man stands out, in both content and form, as a remarkable, jaw-dropping departure from anything Chazelle has previously made.”

The Guardian:

“It is a movie packed with wonderful vehemence and rapture: it has a yearning to do justice to this existential adventure and to the head-spinning experience of looking back on Earth from another planet.”


As restrained as First Man is, this riveting, exhaustively researched and utterly believable film manages to shake you, take your breath away and even pull a few tears from your eyes.

Yeah, we’re getting in line now. As the reviews above suggest, we’re in for another fantastic film from Chazelle. Fingers crossed that if this film is given top honours at the Academy Awards this time, it isn’t by mistake.

First Man, also starring Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Ciaran Hinds, Christopher Abbott, Patrick Fugit, and Lukas Haas, will be arriving in Australia on October 11 and hits US cinemas on October 12.

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures


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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows. He's also started a video podcast with his wife, Cassandra. Find the LOUD OBSERVERS right HERE.