Apollo 11 (2019)

apollo 11 poster 2019 movie
10 Overall Score

Amazing footage, reminds you of the ingenuity of man


Movie Info

Movie Name: Apollo 11

Studio: CNN Films

Genre(s): Documentary

Release Date(s):  January 24, 2019 (Sundance)/March 1, 2019 (US)

MPAA Rating: G

apollo 11 launch footage documentary

…and they are off!!!

On July 16, 1969, Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” E. Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins launched from Cape Canaveral and started an adventure on one of mankind’s greatest achievements.  Collecting new and unseen footage, the entire Apollo 11 mission is recounted and people can see behind the scenes of NASA and what Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins saw as they took their historic flight into legend.

Directed by Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11 is a space documentary of the Apollo 11 moon landing (July 16, 1969-July 24, 1969) in the year of its 50th anniversary.  The film premiered at Sundance in January 2019 and received a wide release in March 2019.  It was released to critical acclaim.

I was born after the last mission to the moon, and I grew up feeling it was so far away from my time.  As you grow older, time becomes less relevant, and now I look at Apollo 11 and marvel that it was just a few years before I was born.  Apollo 11 shows the ingenuity of mankind and a moment that united people around the world.

apollo 11 2019 nasa control nixon speech

Imagine watching this and saying….”Hey, there’s my grandpa!”

The documentary does a good job recreating the mission.  It shows the fanfare surrounding the launch, the tension of the landing, and the return to Earth.  It does this without a narrator and just using archive footage (much of it newly released).  It is an “old” story, but it feels fresh as told in this documentary.

Without present day commentary, you get to hear some of the original and initial reactions to things people have never seen.  They are nature…like the reaction of the astronauts of seeing Earth as they rounded the moon, the description of the moon’s surface, and other events.  They are pure and non-reflective.  While it is nice to have distance and assess things, it is also good to get these initial reactions.  It feels like men trying to restrain their amazement for posterity’s sake.

apollo 11 astronauts return containment

I kind of wish that you could have just gone and stared at the astronauts through the little glass window…Please don’t tap on the glass

What is really shocking about this documentary is the footage.  While some of the footage you feel you have seen and some of the footage you have seen, much of the footage looks great.  It is clear, crisp, and looks like it could have been shot yesterday.  It is assembled in coherent and great way to tell the story while demonstrating the beauty and amazing nature of the mission.

Apollo 11 is a must.  Not only is it a solid documentary, it shows an event that will never be forgot and should never be forgotten.  I watch the footage and realize what it would be like for the families seeing their parents and grandparents working at NASA and understanding all the people that had a part in the mission and the pride it could bring to them after years of just hearing the stories.  Check out Apollo 11 and hope that we keep reaching for the stars.

Related Links:

First Man (2018)

The Right Stuff (1983)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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