'La La Land' director's Neil Armstrong biopic 'First Man' starring Ryan Gosling got rave reviews after premiere

UniversalRyan Gosling in ‘First Man.’
  • “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle’s new Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man” earned rave reviews after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday.
  • Ryan Gosling stars as Armstrong in the film alongside Claire Foy.
  • Through an adaptation of James R. Hansen’s biography of Armstrong, “First Man” depicts the challenges that led up to NASA’s historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

“La La Land” and “Whiplash” director Damien Chazelle’s latest film, “First Man,” a biopic of astronaut Neil Armstrong starring Ryan Gosling, has earned rave reviews from critics following its premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday.

Gosling stars as Armstrong in “First Man,” alongside Claire Foy as Armstrong’s wife, Jan. The film depicts the turbulent build-up to NASA’s historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969, through an adaptation of James R. Hansen’s biography of Armstrong.

Critics who saw the movie at Venice have praised it as a gripping and hyper-realistic representation of the challenges that came with being the first man to step foot on the moon.

With 12 reviews out of the Venice premiere, “First Man” stands at a 92% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Owen Gleiberman from Variety called the film a “turbulently spectacular and enthralling drama” that is “so revelatory in its realism, so gritty in its physicality, that it becomes a drama of thrillingly hellbent danger and obsession.”

Gleiberman also wrote in his review that the authenticity of “First Man” made the Oscar-winning 1995 space drama “Apollo 13” “look like a puppet show.”

In a review for The Playlist, Jessica Klang labelled the film “an immersive, immaculately crafted, often spectacular and satisfyingly old-fashioned epic that may well become the definitive moon-landing movie.”

David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter called it a “sober, contemplative picture” with “emotional involvement, visceral tension, and yes, even suspense, in addition to stunning technical craft.”

“First Man” opens nationwide on October 12.

Watch the trailer for the film below:

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