Apollo 11 film review

Year: 2019
Director(s): Todd Douglas Miller
Writer(s): n/a
Region of Origin: US
Rating: G
Color, 93 mins

Synopsis: A look at the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon led by commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin.r.(Source)

With everything that’s going on right now, and especially with America’s volatile political and social climate, it’s getting harder to remember the good we’re capable of. This is where Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 comes in. Not just another doc, Miller’s film is a jaw-dropping achievement meant to be seen on the big screen. It’s arguably the best film that can ever be made about the iconic moon landing, and a testament to the ingenuity and hope of mankind. At its best, the film captures a moment that united the entire world. It puts us right there with each step, as three men took a giant leap and showed us just how big and small the world could really be. There’s no way to watch this film and not be on the edge of your seat the entire time.

Using a seamless mixture of archival and newly unearthed footage with eye-opening radio transmissions, Miller has reconstructed Apollo 11’s entire 8-day mission. The entire thing kicks off with the Saturn V’s docking at Kennedy Space Center. Seeing the gargantuan structure in near-life size is staggering, creating an opening montage that instantly takes our breath away. From here, we get glimpses of astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin getting ready as hundreds of spectators watch the launch site from campgrounds nearby. Meanwhile, even more mission control members scurry around NASA making final checks. We’re eventually taken through the mission chronologically. This includes the spectacle-filled launch, tense orbital maneuvers, the landing itself, and finally, the safe return.

Apollo 11 review Buzz Aldrin

It isn’t as stretch to say that we’ve never seen this event from such an intimate perspective. There isn’t a single second where we want to look away. The film leaves virtually no stone unturned, acting like a time capsule that not only chronicles the landing, but the culture and times surrounding it. Underneath it all, there’s a spirit of invention and community. In many ways, these three astronauts truly carried the weight of the world’s curiosity, dreams and strength. The footage itself gives us a fly-on-the-wall perspective, juxtaposing the intimacy of firsthand accounts with the enormous ambition. If anything, the film’s dazzling visuals are a reminder of what we can achieve together. In the best way, the film proves how each of us is but a small piece in a much larger puzzle. 

Apollo 11 is a one-of-a-kind film and experience. As the potential of space travel continues to inspire, nothing quite holds a candle to the significance of this mission. Its impact is felt to this very day. Miller’s film is a challenge for us to be better and think bigger than ourselves. Though the spectacle delivers on its own, Miller’s constructed a tribute that is dense with symbolism and rich with awe. Just as crystal clear as the film’s restored footage is, so to is Apollo 11’s legacy. See this thing ASAP, and on as big a screen as you can. If it’s not playing near you or past its theatrical run by the time you read this, hunt it out – you’ll be glad you did.

SG