First Man

First Man

2018, PG-13, 141 min. Directed by Damien Chazelle. Starring Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Ciarán Hinds, Christopher Abbott, Patrick Fugit, Ethan Embry, Lukas Haas, Shea Whigham, Pablo Schreiber.

REVIEWED By Richard Whittaker, Fri., Oct. 12, 2018

Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. It's such a commonplace piece of knowledge now that the terrifying wonder, the global ramifications of that moment, have been lost. Space travel has become the property of billionaire technocrat dude-bros. What the La La Land duo of director Damien Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling as Armstrong have undertaken in this tale of the early days of space exploration is a rescue mission: to reclaim as heroes these fragile men, strapping themselves into ramshackle machines and hurling themselves into the wondrous void to give us a new horizon.

Chazelle swaps one set of classic American iconography, that of the movie musical, for another, that of Gemini and Apollo-era NASA. Working from Josh Singer's adaptation of James R. Hansen's First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, he doesn't simply recount the biographic details of the astronaut's life from 1961 (his final year as a Naval test pilot) to 1969 (his world-changing walk). Instead, what he and Gosling create is a portrait of a specific kind of man, the kind that dedicates himself to an undertaking that is massively dangerous and inconceivably complex (at one point attempting mind-bending math while literally barrel-rolling on all three axes through space) but does so without ego. Underlying everything are two dramatic leaps: First the death of his daughter Karen, and second that he was an engineer first and not a military man, making him the broken outsider. It's in the understated personality clashes with fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin (Stoll, proving yet again that he is one of his generation's finest character actors), who seemingly can't have a thought in his head without expressing it. For Armstrong, it's OK to keep things to yourself.

Chazelle never glosses over the immense danger; instead, it's ubiquitous. It's in the way that, when there's a knock on the door and the whispered messages come, Neil's wife Janet (Foy) doesn't ask, "What happened?" but instead, "Who was it?" The "shut up and die like an aviator" macho glibness of The Right Stuff (still the granddaddy of all space exploration dramas) is gone, and by pulling back on hyperbolic performances, he lets the tension blossom organically; and Gosling, always a man of quiet moments, has never been more elegantly subtle, communicating volumes in the buckle of a knee, or a ghost of a smile. He doesn't try to make Armstrong a modern man, but instead explore why he could risk burning up in orbit while he could barely communicate with the ever more frustrated Janet.

It's up to cinematographer Linus Sandgren to give First Man its almost operatic sense of drama. He replaces the Technicolor glories of La La Land with something closer to the period graininess of his work on American Hustle or Battle of the Sexes. But he adds rawness and intimacy: The camera mostly shows what Armstrong saw, leaving his experience to talk for him, rather than making the character do it. The passive experience of being in a movie seat has rarely been more appropriately applied: We are strapped in to those tiny tin cans with Armstrong, we are spinning out of control, we are spinning so fast that the world becomes fragments of light. The world is caught in supertight close-ups, except for rare, almost static wide shots of massive vistas, of rockets ascending, of fireballs in the sky. These moments make Armstrong heroic: Not through some gung-ho swagger, but purely for being prepared to be there, battered and wonderstruck in the face of the infinite.

Showtimes

Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz

320 E. Sixth, 512/861-7020, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/ritz

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily by phone or website.

Wed., Oct. 17

6:40, 10:30

Wed., Oct. 17

11:40am, 3:05, 6:40, 10:05

Fri., Oct. 19

11:05am, 2:40, 6:40, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 20

11:10am, 2:40, 4:45, 7:25, 10:50

Sun., Oct. 21

11:00am, 2:40, 6:00, 9:45

Mon., Oct. 22

11:10am, 2:40, 6:00, 10:25

Tue., Oct. 23

2:40, 6:40, 10:30
AFA 11:10am

Wed., Oct. 17

11:30am, 3:00, 6:35, 9:20

Fri., Oct. 19

11:20am, 2:15, 6:00, 9:25

Sat., Oct. 20

11:20am, 2:15, 6:00, 9:25

Sun., Oct. 21

10:50am, 2:20, 6:15, 9:40

Mon., Oct. 22

11:00am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:30

Tue., Oct. 23

2:35, 6:00, 9:25
AFA 12:25

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Wed., Oct. 17

12:00, 2:55, 6:50, 10:30

Fri., Oct. 19

11:20am, 2:45, 6:20, 9:00

Sun., Oct. 21

11:30am, 3:30, 6:15, 9:40

Mon., Oct. 22

11:30am, 3:00, 6:15, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 23

2:55, 6:20, 9:45
AFA 11:20am

Wed., Oct. 17

11:10am, 2:50, 6:20, 10:15

Fri., Oct. 19

11:10am, 2:35, 6:00, 9:25

Sat., Oct. 20

11:10am, 2:40, 6:00, 9:25

Sun., Oct. 21

11:50am, 3:20, 6:20, 9:45

Mon., Oct. 22

11:40am, 3:10, 6:55, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 23

2:45, 6:15, 9:35
AFA 11:15am

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson #701, 512/861-7030, www.drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Wed., Oct. 17

11:35am, 3:00, 6:30, 9:20

Fri., Oct. 19

12:00, 3:00, 6:30, 10:25

Sat., Oct. 20

11:05am, 2:30, 6:30, 10:25

Sun., Oct. 21

11:50am, 3:25, 6:15

Mon., Oct. 22

11:25am, 6:30, 8:55

Tue., Oct. 23

3:00, 6:30, 8:55
AFA 11:30am

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Wed., Oct. 17

AMC Dolby, CC/DVS 4:40
CC/DVS 10:30am, 11:00am, 2:35, 6:00
CC/DVS, IMAX 12:40, 4:00, 7:20

Thu., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 12:40, 4:00, 7:20
CC/DVS, IMAX 12:40, 4:00, 7:20

Bullock Texas State History Museum

1800 Congress, 512/936-4629, www.thestoryoftexas.com

Showtimes are subject to change, please confirm times by phone or website.

Wed., Oct. 17

IMAX 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Thu., Oct. 18

IMAX 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Fri., Oct. 19

IMAX 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 20

IMAX 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 21

IMAX 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Mon., Oct. 22

IMAX 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Tue., Oct. 23

IMAX 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

1:25, 4:50, 8:15
digital 12:15, 1:25, 3:40, 4:50, 7:05, 8:15, 10:30
OC 3:10, 3:10, 7:00, 7:00
OC 3:10, 3:10, 7:00, 7:00

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 11:10am, 1:00, 2:50, 4:40, 6:30, 8:10, 10:10

Thu., Oct. 18

digital 11:10am, 1:00, 2:50, 4:40, 6:30, 8:10, 10:10

Fri., Oct. 19

digital 10:00am, 11:40am, 1:20, 3:10, 4:50, 6:30, 8:10, 9:40, 11:20

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 10:00am, 11:40am, 1:20, 3:10, 4:50, 6:30, 8:10, 9:40, 11:20

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 10:00am, 11:40am, 1:20, 3:10, 4:50, 6:30, 8:10, 9:40, 11:20

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 11:40am, 1:20, 3:10, 4:50, 6:30, 8:10, 9:40

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 11:40am, 1:20, 3:10, 4:50, 6:30, 8:10, 9:40

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 10:30am, 11:55am, 1:55, 3:20, 5:20, 6:45, 8:45, 10:10

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 12:10, 3:35, 7:00, 10:15

Thu., Oct. 18

digital 12:10, 3:35, 7:00, 10:15

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 12:00, 3:20, 6:40, 10:05

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 12:30, 4:00, 7:30

Fri., Oct. 19

digital 12:00, 3:10, 6:20, 9:25

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 12:00, 3:10, 6:20, 9:25

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 12:00, 3:10, 6:20

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 12:00, 3:10, 6:20

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 12:00, 3:10, 6:20

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Wed., Oct. 17

1:35, 2:35, 5:15, 6:40, 8:30, 9:55

Fri., Oct. 19

11:10am, 2:25, 6:40, 9:55

Sat., Oct. 20

11:10am, 2:25, 6:40, 9:55

Sun., Oct. 21

2:25, 6:40, 9:55

Mon., Oct. 22

2:25, 6:40, 9:55

Tue., Oct. 23

2:25, 6:40, 9:55

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Wed., Oct. 17

12:40, 3:50, 7:15, 10:30

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Wed., Oct. 17

CC 12:25, 2:25, 6:25, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 18

CC 11:20am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:45

Fri., Oct. 19

CC 11:15am, 2:45, 6:20, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 20

CC 11:15am, 2:45, 6:20, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 21

CC 11:15am, 2:45, 6:20, 10:30

Mon., Oct. 22

CC 2:45, 4:45, 6:20, 10:30

Tue., Oct. 23

CC 2:45, 4:45, 6:20, 10:30

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Wed., Oct. 17

12:10, 3:40, 7:10, 10:30
XD 12:10, 3:40, 7:10, 10:30

Thu., Oct. 18

12:10, 3:40, 7:10, 10:30
XD 12:10, 3:40, 7:10, 10:30

Fri., Oct. 19

12:10, 3:40, 7:10, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 20

12:10, 3:40, 7:10, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 21

12:10, 3:40, 7:10, 10:30

Mon., Oct. 22

12:10, 3:40, 7:10, 10:30

Tue., Oct. 23

12:00, 3:20, 7:05, 10:30

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 12:30, 3:40, 7:00, 10:15
CC/DVS, IMAX 12:00, 3:10, 6:30, 9:45

Thu., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 12:30, 3:40, 7:00, 10:15
CC/DVS, IMAX 12:00, 3:10, 6:30, 9:45

Fri., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 12:30, 3:40, 7:05, 10:15
CC/DVS, IMAX 12:00, 3:10, 6:30, 9:45

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 12:30, 3:40, 7:05, 10:15
CC/DVS, IMAX 12:00, 3:10, 6:30, 9:45

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 12:30, 3:40, 7:05, 10:15
CC/DVS, IMAX 12:00, 3:10, 6:30, 9:45

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 12:30, 3:40, 7:05, 10:15
CC/DVS, IMAX 12:00, 3:10, 6:30, 9:45

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 12:30, 3:40, 7:05, 10:15
CC/DVS, IMAX 12:00, 3:10, 6:30, 9:45

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Wed., Oct. 17

12:10, 3:50, 6:50

Thu., Oct. 18

12:10, 3:50, 6:50

Fri., Oct. 19

12:15, 3:50, 6:50, 9:45

Sat., Oct. 20

12:15, 3:50, 6:50, 9:45

Sun., Oct. 21

12:15, 3:50, 6:50

Mon., Oct. 22

12:15, 3:50, 6:50

Tue., Oct. 23

12:15, 3:50, 6:50

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Wed., Oct. 17

11:30am, 3:15, 7:15, 10:45

Thu., Oct. 18

11:30am, 3:15, 7:15, 10:45

Fri., Oct. 19

11:30am, 3:15, 7:00, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 20

11:30am, 3:15, 7:00, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 21

11:30am, 3:15, 7:00, 10:30

Mon., Oct. 22

11:30am, 3:15, 7:00, 10:30

Tue., Oct. 23

11:30am, 3:15, 6:45, 10:30

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Wed., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:30, 7:45

Fri., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 11:10am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:15

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 11:10am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:15

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 11:10am, 2:30, 6:00

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 1:00, 4:10, 7:30

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 11:10am, 2:30, 6:00

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:35, 7:00, 10:20

Thu., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:35, 7:00, 10:20

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Wed., Oct. 17

10:15am, 10:45am, 1:50, 2:20, 6:00, 7:00, 9:30, 10:30

Thu., Oct. 18

10:15am, 10:45am, 1:50, 2:20, 6:00, 7:00, 9:30, 10:30

Fri., Oct. 19

10:45am, 11:15am, 2:50, 5:30, 6:30, 10:15

Sat., Oct. 20

10:45am, 11:15am, 2:50, 5:30, 6:30, 10:15

Sun., Oct. 21

10:45am, 11:15am, 2:50, 5:30, 6:30, 10:15

Mon., Oct. 22

10:45am, 11:15am, 2:50, 6:30, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 23

10:45am, 11:15am, 2:50, 5:30, 6:30, 10:15

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Wed., Oct. 17

12:00, 2:50, 6:30, 8:00, 10:05

Thu., Oct. 18

12:00, 2:50, 6:30, 8:00, 10:05

Fri., Oct. 19

12:30, 4:05, 6:00, 9:35

Sat., Oct. 20

12:30, 4:05, 6:00, 9:35

Sun., Oct. 21

12:30, 4:05, 6:00, 9:35

Mon., Oct. 22

12:30, 4:05, 6:00, 9:35

Tue., Oct. 23

12:30, 4:05, 6:00, 9:35

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Wed., Oct. 17

10:05am, 2:00, 6:00, 9:40

Fri., Oct. 19

10:25am, 2:00, 6:05, 10:05

Sat., Oct. 20

10:25am, 2:00, 6:05, 10:05

Sun., Oct. 21

10:25am, 2:00, 6:05, 10:05

Mon., Oct. 22

10:25am, 2:00, 6:05, 10:05

Tue., Oct. 23

10:25am, 2:00, 6:05, 10:05

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 17

2:30, 6:30

Thu., Oct. 18

2:30, 6:30

Fri., Oct. 19

11:00am, 2:40, 6:20, 9:40

Sat., Oct. 20

11:00am, 2:40, 6:20, 9:40

Sun., Oct. 21

11:00am, 2:40, 6:20

Mon., Oct. 22

2:40, 6:20

Tue., Oct. 23

2:40, 6:20

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Wed., Oct. 17

11:45am, 1:20, 2:20, 3:00, 4:35, 6:10, 7:45, 9:20

Thu., Oct. 18

11:40am, 12:40, 2:20, 2:50, 3:50, 6:10, 7:40, 9:20

Fri., Oct. 19

8:10

Sat., Oct. 20

8:10

Sun., Oct. 21

7:50

Mon., Oct. 22

6:10

Tue., Oct. 23

6:10

Wed., Oct. 17

3:45, 7:00, 9:30

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Wed., Oct. 17

12:15, 3:30, 7:00, 10:15

Thu., Oct. 18

12:15, 3:30, 7:00, 10:15

Violet Crown Cinema

434 W. Second, 512/495-9600, www.violetcrowncinema.com

Four-hour parking validation in attached garage with ticket purchase. Reserved seating; bar and cafe on-site.

Wed., Oct. 17

11:35am, 1:00, 3:50, 6:10, 8:10, 9:10, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 18

11:35am, 1:10, 4:00, 8:40, 9:15

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 11:25am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:05

Thu., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 11:25am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:05

Fri., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:00, 6:55, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:00, 6:45, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:20, 6:50, 9:55

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:20, 6:30, 9:35

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:20, 6:30, 9:35

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READ MORE
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

First Man, Damien Chazelle, Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Ciarán Hinds, Christopher Abbott, Patrick Fugit, Ethan Embry, Lukas Haas, Shea Whigham, Pablo Schreiber

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