“First Man” (Universal)

Ryan Gosling stars in a scene from the movie "First Man." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Universal)

By Catholic News Service

Splendid multi-dimensional profile of astronaut Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) charting the events that led to his becoming the commander of the 1969 Apollo 11 space mission and the first human being to walk on the Moon.

In adapting James R. Hansen’s 2005 official biography, director Damien Chazelle melds an intimate portrait of the emotionally buttoned-up ex-naval aviator and engineer’s inner life, including his deep bond with his strong-willed wife, Janet (Claire Foy), with a look back at the sometimes tragic, ultimately triumphant race to reach the lunar surface. Despite the universally known outcome of the story, Chazelle and screenwriter Josh Singer successfully infuse their account with suspense by reminding viewers of the radical problems NASA had to overcome and the dangers Armstrong and his colleagues constantly had to face.

Possibly acceptable for mature teens. Brief scatological material, a few profanities and milder oaths, a single rough and a handful of crude terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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