Directed by: David Fairhead / Produced by Gareth Dodds & Keith Haviland / Executive Producers: Jim Hays & Mark Stewart.
Armstrong tells the incredible story of how a farm boy from Ohio became the first man to walk on the Moon.
“With the 50th anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon just days away, movies dealing with the event have been thick on the land for awhile. But even if you think you’ve seen enough, “Armstrong” is worth your time.
It’s not that the other theatrical films, which include last year’s Ryan Gosling-starring “First Man” and the more recent, visually arresting documentary “Apollo 11,” have been lacking in quality.
Rather it’s that this latest doc, directed by David Fairhead, does something those others don’t. It enables audiences to get a sense of what the real Neil Armstrong was like, to get to know, as much as it’s possible, this often unknowable individual…
The emphasis of “Armstrong” is to demonstrate that while its subject was not superhuman, he did have exactly the gifts and character the task demanded. Not only does the Apollo 11 moon mission feel, 50 years after the fact, like something of a one-off, its central figure does as well.” Kenneth Turan, LA Times
“David Fairhead’s portrait of Neil Armstrong [is] an apt alternative to the rather clenched biopic First Man, as [is] its coverage of the astronaut’s later years. His first wife, Janet Shearon Armstrong, is a valuable talking head.” Ian Porter, Sunday Times
“There is intriguing subtext buried within “Armstrong” about who we designate as our heroes at a time of great divide, but Fairhead succeeds at paying tribute to a man who, were he still alive today, probably would have balked at this kind of memorial. But maybe that’s the sacrifice you pay to create even an illusion of unity and an image of what hope could look like in a time of turmoil.” Candice Frederick, The Wrap
“Fifty years after he became the first man to walk on the surface of the moon, astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the subject of an enthralling, expansive documentary about his life before, during and after the moment he made history. Combining contemporary interviews with family members, friends and colleagues with archive footage and – most thrillingly – Armstrong home movies, filmmaker David Fairhead presents a fascinating, moving portrait of the unassuming man who changed the way we look at the stars…
Armstrong’s story is unendingly compelling, and it’s expertly framed by Fairhead. Soundtrack choices are excellent: the Penguins’ ‘Earth Angel’ accompanies Janet’s recollection of meeting Armstrong at college, for example. And intuitive edits from Paul Holland link Armstrong’s forays into space with his ties on earth, reminding us that it took unimaginable courage not only to take that first small step from Apollo 11’s lunar module, but also to travel the long and dangerous path to get there.” Nikki Baughan, List Film
“David Fairhead is no Johnny-come-lately to NASA nostalgia: Two years before the moon landing’s 50th anniversary opened the floodgates, his tightly focused Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo celebrated the hundreds of behind-the-scenes engineers and scientists who got America’s space program off the ground. Some of the men he interviewed there return in Armstrong, a doc with an old-fashioned mission even its subject might not have endorsed: turning the spotlight on the guy who took that one small step onto the moon before anyone else.” John Defore, Hollywood Reporter
“After last year’s dramatised version of Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong’s life, First Man, comes a cinema documentary that paints a wonderfully rounded portrait of the man in full.
Armstrong is the real deal, telling the story through interviews with his family, friends and colleagues, and in his own spare words- either in film and video clips, or voiced with empathy and to great effect by Harrison Ford (it’s hard to imagine a better choice of narrator).
The film starts at the eve of the Apollo 11 launch and loops back in time to Neil’s childhood in the first of a series of orbits that gather in momentum and shift steadily forward in time as the story unfolds – a clever narrative structure that gives a beat to the high and low points in the man’s life and engages the viewer all the way through.” Philip Whiteman, Pilot Magazine