Apollo 13 (1995) Poster

(I) (1995)

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No problems here
TheLittleSongbird22 June 2017
'Apollo 13' had so much going for it, being based on an actual event that continues to move and inspire, Ron Howard showing evidence of some fine films and on paper a great cast. The great news is that with the promise that it had 'Apollo 13' delivers.

For starters, it's a technical tour-De-force. It's beautifully photographed, the space setting is enough to leave one in awe and the special effects still hold up incredibly well today. The music score is provided by the now regrettably late (as of two years ago) James Horner. To me it contains some of his best work.

It is a hauntingly beautiful score that gives a real sense of adventure, tension and mystery, "All Systems Go-The Launch" in particular, the opening trumpet theme and "Lunar Dreams" very close behind.

There is a great script too, regardless of accuracy or lack of it 'Apollo 13' is up there with having one of the most quotable scripts for any film that decade. Ed Harris has the best lines, but the most unforgettable and oft-quoted line is "Houston we have a problem". The story is the kind that leaves one in awe, biting the nails with its high levels of suspense, wrenches the heart in a poignant way and also very inspired. 'Apollo 13' is lengthy and deliberately paced but neither are issues, like they could have been potentially, everything else is just too good.

Howard's direction is some of the best he's ever done. A huge asset is the acting, which is nothing short of excellent and often more than that. Tom Hanks excels with an ordinary character that he plays with understated command. Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon are welcome contrasts, Gary Sinise is a reliably strong presence and Ed Harris' superb performance to me was the best performance of the cast.

In conclusion, brilliant film, no problems here. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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Wonderfully Made Drama Full of Great Tension
Michael_Elliott17 January 2013
Apollo 13 (1995)

**** (out of 4)

Ron Howard's excellent re-enactment of the Apollo 13 mission, which left three astronauts in space with a damaged ship and not knowing if they'd be able to return to Earth. It's always a wonderful achievement whenever a filmmaker can take a story that everyone knows the outcome to and still manage to make it intense. APOLLO 13 is without question one of the most intense films you're ever going to watch because as soon as the trouble starts in space, you the viewer, are pretty much curled up in a ball worried about every other problem that pops up throughout their situation. It's really amazing when you think how intense it is to just watch a movie so just imagine what it would be like really being up there not knowing your fate or being a family member on the ground not knowing if they are going to see their loved ones again. Director Howard perfectly mixes in these personal dramas with the stuff going on in space and I thought he did a wonderful job at balancing the two. Needless to say, the most amazing stuff happens in space as we see the three men trying to work their way out of the situation. How the film bounces from them to the families to the people in the control center is just remarkable to watch and the level of drama is just so high. Another major plus are the terrific performances. Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris and Kathleen Quinlan are just flawless in their work but so is the rest of the cast even down to the smallest role. APOLLO 13 is great entertainment that works on pretty much all levels and is without question one of the best of its type.
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Works a treat
Leofwine_draca2 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Probably THE space movie of the 1990s, APOLLO 13 is Ron Howard's magnum opus: a lengthy, detailed examination of the infamous real-life disaster which saw three crew members come close to death thanks to their malfunctioning craft. To say more would be to spoil the experience, but this is an example of old-fashioned filmmaking at its best. There are a few weak CGI effects but mainly this story is told by the dedicated team of actors, none of whom do wrong. It's a slow burner for sure, but the premise is so unusual and so interesting than it works a treat from beginning to end.
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Old fashion epic
SnoopyStyle19 September 2014
The space program is still haunted by Apollo-1 test accident on Jan 27, 1967. Man finally lands on the moon on July 20, 1969. Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) is the experienced leader. Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) is the brash eager young gun. Both Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) are aiming to be on Lovell's crew. Lovell is slated to be on Apollo 14 but gets bumped up to 13. Mattingly gets sidelined for not having had the measles and backup Swigert is put in his place. They are sent up on April 11, 1970. Having already achieved the landing, the world isn't paying attention to this mission. That is until things go wrong. Ed Harris plays the Flight Director Gene Kranz and Kathleen Quinlan plays Marilyn Lovell.

This is a compelling story on its own. On the surface, this is the B-side of the epic man's mission to Mars. However director Ron Howard meticulously retains the details of the mission that makes it all come to life on the screen. That is the greatness of this movie. It is epic in all of its small details and its scope. All the actors are giving sincere performances in an old fashioned movie.
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A rather straight but enjoyable drama with a good cast that could have done with a more human touch
bob the moo17 October 2004
When the Apollo 13 mission took off to go to the moon, the television networks generally tuned out with the attitude that it was more of the same old stuff that the public had seen before and grown tired of. To the crew it represented much more of course, being Jim Lovell's final mission and his chance to finally make it to the moon itself, an aim he intends to see through despite having one of his crew replaced at the last minute by Jack Swigert. However the networks all tune in when a minor malfunction with the electrical system results in an explosion and the loss of oxygen, sending the unit out of control. With the crew retreating into the lunar module, the ground crew scramble to work out how to get them home despite the constantly lengthening odds.

At the time of release this was a fairly massive film that was talked up for all manner of reasons and not all of these are still as applicable today. One thing that wasn't really talked up was the writing and the convincing nature of the plot, not a real surprise considering that these aspects seem to be delivered without a great deal of spark or flair. I know that it is based on a true story but it is hard to fully accept all of the film as some of it seems so far fetched as to be a bit silly. I'm totally open to the idea that this could have been 100% accurate but if that is the case one has to wonder how simplified the material was because at times it feels like Lovell and his crew were just blasting their way to earth. The script is OK but never really gets that involving, instead keeping a consistent stream of memorable gruff barking but nothing that really gets close to realistic dialogue. This is not to say that it isn't engaging, because it is and it does have some degree of involvement and of course historical interest but it is not as good as it could have been.

The direction is good even if the effects are not as impressive as they were a decade ago – even some of the blue screen backdrops don't look that convincing. The decision to shoot some of film in the 'vomit comet' in order to convey the effects of weightlessness is a nice touch and does work pretty well, although naturally none of these shots can last very long and sometimes the editing of these shots with shots in the same scene set on the static set doesn't quite marry up. This is a minor complaint though and it does serve to make the film feel more 'real'. The ensemble cast are mixed and many have little to work with – ironically though those with the least important characters seem to have an easier time just barking out gruff dialogue. It is for this reason that the film's more memorable performances come from the ground, where a lot of the action occurs. Sinise is interesting and a key part of the rescue effort while Harris (who was in space in the much better The Right Stuff) gets the memorable lines. Of course it is Hanks who was the star at the time and he does OK; he has 'the' line but mainly his performance is not helped by the material. He conveys Lovell's longing for the moon but can only do this by staring out the window wistfully every now and again. Paxton and Bacon make up the trio and both are good without ever really having a chance to excel. The ground crew are mainly very good in their minor roles but somebody forgot to give the wives etc characters and Quinlan et al are left to just occasionally look at the TV/sky with either a touch of tears or a look of hopeful resilience – unsurprisingly none of them really made much of an impression with this thankless task.

Overall this is an OK film but not anything that special. It is a glossy historical piece that lurches between convincing telling to some rather extreme moments that feel like they have been over simplified to the point of doing the reality an injustice. The cast are impressive on paper but the lack of a strong script really gives them little to actually work with, although none of them are actually bad it is possible to see that they are reaching without much help. The effects are OK but are a little dated even if the novelty of the weightless scenes is still there, but what I would have given for more of a human touch to what is otherwise an enjoyable technical product.
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Fly me to the moon
kosmasp5 April 2021
Maybe do not fly me there. I mean apart from the journey itself being quite strenuous, what would you do there? Of course if you are an astronaut - like fully blooded astronaut, you see things differently. Yes others made the journey before, but still why wouldn't you want to go there too for even more stuff to explore? Exactly ... and that is how we get to learn our crew.

Very well casted and very well played. Now if you know the real life story of what occured, you may not be as much on the edge of your seat as others. But I do believe even those who know how this ends, will find themselves really rooting for the people involved and really being glued to the screen as they say.

Very well made film that gives us as much tension and drama as we can take. With such an amazing cast, nothing could have gone wrong either ... well no pun intended.
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"We just lost the moon."
classicsoncall29 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Even knowing the outcome, the strength of the movie is in putting you right in the space capsule along side Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) in what was one of the best nail-biters in history. The world was transfixed at the time wondering how and if these brave astronauts would ever make it back to Earth. What one never thinks about are all the behind the scenes decisions that go with selecting who goes on a particular mission, how their families feel about it, and how important it is to the men themselves to be a part of history.

The other element that amazes is how many integrated parts come together to enable such a space mission. One sees the booster rockets fall away shortly after launch and figure that's it, the men are on their way to the moon. But then they have to dock with the lunar module and carry it along for the voyage. When the astronauts suffered their cascading set of problems, the ingenuity required by both the men on the ground and the pilots in the space craft demonstrated just how much teamwork was necessary to bring them back home safely.

What's baffling to me is how Ron Howard was overlooked for a best Director nod for this picture. Though the film itself got an Oscar nomination, Howard was eked out by the guy who directed "Babe"??? That's just a travesty, even if one doesn't care much for Howard as an actor or director. I'm not saying he should have won it, but gee, what were they thinking?
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13 and every mission since.
lee_eisenberg17 March 2006
Some critics treated "Apollo 13" like it was the best movie of 1995. I didn't regard it as such, but it is worth seeing as a part of our country's history. As it was, I didn't even know about the Apollo 13 mission until this movie got advertised. Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Kathleen Quinlan, Ed Harris, and Gary Sinise all do very well with their roles.

Looking back on the history of space exploration, one notices that every mission since Apollo 11 seems to have gone wrong. Apollo 13 had its snafu, the Challenger exploded, the mission in 2003 exploded, and a mission last year had a screw-up. Maybe "I Dream of Jeannie" convinced the astronauts that they would get to have hot genies, and they could only think about that and not concentrate on their missions (no offense to "IDOJ"; I love that show). OK, so maybe it didn't work quite like that, but something seems to have gone wrong.

All in all, a very well done movie.
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A Great Space Tragedy / Victory
gavin694224 April 2015
NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

First of all, a nice shout-out to the great Roger Corman, who appears here in a cameo, and Clint Howard, who has a cameo himself. Corman had a similar small role in "Silence of the Lambs", and it is great to see directors he helped raise giving him a nod of appreciation.

Today (2015), those who think of a stranded in space movie may think "Gravity", but "Apollo 13" did it first and did it better. Maybe they did not have the impressive visuals that "Gravity" has, but they knew how to tell a good story and build suspense -- and, best of all, it was completely grounded in reality.
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Apollo 13
jboothmillard17 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Most people will recognise this based film because of its iconic catchphrase, and to be honest, that is all I could remember from it, so I'm glad I got to watch it again to get a proper perspective, directed by Golden Globe nominated Ron Howard (Splash, Ransom, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, Rush). Based on the true story, in July 1969, astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) hosts a house party, where the guests watch the first successful landing on the Moon, where Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface. Lovell, who previously orbited the Moon on Apollo 8 in December 1968, tells his wife Marilyn (Oscar and Golden Globe nominated Kathleen Quinlan) that he intends to return to the Moon to walk on its surface. Three months later, his boss, Director of Flight Crew Operations Deke Slayton (Chris Ellis), informs him that due to problems with Alan Shepard's crew, his crew will fly Apollo 13 instead of 14. Lovell, Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise), and Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) train for their new mission. However, days before the launch, Mattingly is exposed to German Measles, and he is replaced by backup pilot Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon). Lovell is not happy with this mission, but Slayton threatens to bump crew to a later mission if they do not go ahead. As the launch date approaches, Marilyn has a nightmare about her husband getting killed in space but goes to the Kennedy Space Center the night before launch to see him off. On April 11, 1970, Flight Director Gene Kranz (Oscar and Golden Globe nominated Ed Harris) gives the go-ahead from Houston's Mission Control Center for the Apollo 13 launch. As the Saturn V rocket climbs through the atmosphere, one of the engines cuts out prematurely, but the craft reaches orbit and continues towards the Moon. Now in space, Swigert performs the manoeuvre to connect the command module Odyssey to the Lunar Module Aquarius and pull it away from the spent rocket. Three days into the mission, the crew makes a television transmission, which the networks decline to broadcast live. After Swigert turns on the liquid oxygen tank stirring fans as requested by Mission Control, one of the tanks explodes, emptying its contents into space, and the other tank is soon found to be leaking. They attempt to stop the leak by shutting off two fuel cells, but this fails. With the fuel cells closed, the Moon landing must be aborted, and Lovell and Haise must hurry to power up the Aquarius to use as a "lifeboat" to return home, and Swigert shuts down Odyssey before its battery power runs out. In Houston, Kranz rallies his team to come up with a plan to bring the astronauts home safely, declaring "failure is not an option". Controller John Aaron (Loren Dean) recruits Mattingly to help him with the rescue mission, to find a solution to the problem. Swigert and Haise watch the Moon pass beneath them, as they are using the lunar gravity to slingshot them around it, Lovell laments his lost opportunity to walk on the lunar surface. With Aquarius running on minimal electrical power, the crew suffer through freezing conditions, and Haise becomes ill and moderately feverish. As Swigert suspects Mission Control of withholding information from them; Haise angrily blames Swigert's inexperience for the accident; and Lovell quickly calms the argument. When carbon dioxide approaches dangerous levels, ground control must quickly invent a way for the astronauts to have enough breathable air to make it home. With the guidance systems on Aquarius shut down, the crew must make a difficult but vital course correction by manually igniting the Lunar Module's engine. Mattingly and Aaron struggle to find a way to turn on the command module systems without drawing too much power, and finally transmit the procedure to Swigert, who restarts Odyssey by transferring extra power from Aquarius. When the crew jettisons the service module, they are surprised to see the extent of the damage. Aquarius is released and they re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, but no one is sure if the Odyssey's heat shield is intact and will hold. The tense period of radio silence due to a blackout is longer than normal, but the astronauts eventually communicate and splash down in the Pacific Ocean. Helicopters bring the three men aboard the recovery ship USS Iwo Jima, where they are greeted with a hero's welcome. Lovell's voice-over describes the subsequent investigation into the explosion, and the careers of Haise, Swigert, Mattingly, and Kranz. He wonders if and when mankind will return to the Moon. Also starring Mary Kate Schellhardt as Barbara Lovell, Emily Ann Lloyd as Susan Lovell, Miko Hughes as Jeffrey Lovell, Max Elliott Slade as Jay Lovell, Jean Speegle Howard (Ron's mother) as Blanch Lovell, Xander Berkeley as Henry Hurt, Clint Howard (Ron's brother) as Sy Liebergot - EECOM White, Ray McKinnon as Jerry Bostick - FIDO White, and Rance Howard (Ron's father) as Reverend. Hanks does well as the ordinary astronaut trying himself and his crew calm through the dangerous situation, Paxton and Bacon are equally good as his co-pilots, Quinlan is memorable as the worried wife, Harris is likeable as the chain-smoking mission controller, and Sinise is fine. You can tell Howard was going for a completely factual account of the events of Apollo 13, from the actors being in weightlessness to all facts and figures behind the mission, it does get your attention at the crucial moments, a well-made and interesting drama. It won the Oscars for Best Film Editing, and Best Sound, and it was nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Visual Effects, Best Music for James Horner, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, and Best Picture, it won the BAFTAs for Best Special Effects, and Best Production Design, and it was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Sound, and it was nominated the Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture - Drama. It was number 50 on 100 Years, 100 Quotes ("Houston, we have a problem."), and it was number 12 on 100 Years, 100 Cheers. Very good!
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Made Me Want To Study The Real Apollo 13 Astronauts
ccthemovieman-117 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This was a very well-done true story of a space mission that came extremely close to being a disaster, but the astronauts miraculously made it home safely. Except for some language problems, it's good storytelling and so interesting that it made me want to study the real Apollo 13 astronauts.

The movie is fairly long at 140 minutes and there is not much "action" but there is a lot of suspense and first-rating acting, both of which should keep anyone's interest. Knowing this was a true story makes one all the more involved with it. You can usually count of Director Ron Howard putting out an interesting and well-photographed film.

What also was interesting to me, too, was to see these actors, most of whom usually play volatile characters- or did prior to this film - act in such low-key roles. I refer to Ed Harris, Gary Sinise, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon.

By the way, one of the young Lovell children was played by Miko Hughes, who became a co- star in a film - "Mercury Rising" - several years later.

For such a tense story, with these astronauts lives on the line, none of the astronauts or people at NASA or anyone's family members are ever seeing praying throughout this ordeal! You can bet, in real life, a lot of prayers were answered on this mission.

Overall, this is good movie-making and recommended.
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Nice execution of uplifting family movie.
rmax3048233 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Sometimes I find myself getting them mixed up -- Ron Howard, Rob Reiner, Penny Marshall. Even Spielberg's heartwarming kiddie movies. They're often enjoyable viewing and they're suitable for children of all ages. Early conflicts between two people of honor are resolved. There's often a patriotic theme. Very few cuss words. The musical score tells us emphatically that this is a moving experience. Maybe not the Second Coming exactly but a dangerous trip to the moon or a damned good baseball game. And don't worry. Our side wins.

This one is about a failed trip to the moon. The "failed" part of it is gotten past pretty quickly and the emphasis shifts immediately to a different challenge -- can we get the crippled craft and its stressed-out crew back to the earth in one piece? The answer of course is yes, so it turns the movie into a story of triumph instead of tragedy.

I don't mean to apply too energetic a hammer to the real events or the real characters. It's pretty spooky stuff, being up there, looking at the earth when it's no bigger than a street lamp. The rest of us who tremble when we have to climb a ladder higher than the first-floor windows can only marvel.

And the story itself, no matter well or poorly told, has enough suspense and awe intrinsic to it that we can't help being drawn into it.

What's bothersome is the slick commercialism that seems to provide the craft and its story with its real source of power. You know ahead of time that we'll spend time with the anguished wife at home, that we'll see one endangered astronaut sharing pictures of his lovely family with the others. The reporters will becoming a nagging, intrusive nuisance. The wife will be given a line like, "If this moon landing wasn't good enough for the press, why has it become news now that it won't land?" There are a multitude of technical problem that arise when the side of the craft pops and deconstructs, and they're rushed through as if the audience doesn't really care about the challenges or how they're met. Or -- maybe not that the viewers don't care. Maybe they're too dumb to understand. The technical glitches and maneuvers seem to present challenges to the film makers as well -- how quickly can we get rid of the uninteresting metallic junk and get back to the suffering of the crew, the ground support, and the families? It succeeds extremely well in doing what it intends to do, but what it intends to do makes few demands on the maturity of viewers. It's like a very complicated jigsaw puzzle and after you put it all together you have a picture of three dogs in vests playing cards.

You know what could be gripping? The real story of the Challenger disaster of 1986. With an emphasis on the groupspeak of Raytheon, Mission Control, and NASA. Maybe the hero could be Richard Feynman. You should have seen him cut through the blizzard of technocrap thrown up by the engineers and bureaucrats playing CYA at the hearings. Here they are, explaining what happened by evoking "ambient temperature values" and "minimalizing coefficients." And Feynman asks politely, "You mean when it gets cold the rubber shrinks?" And he demonstrates by dunking a piece of rubber in a glass of ice water. Doesn't that have more cinematic potential than this movie's Ed Harris shouting, "Failure is not an option"?

However, the kids should enjoy this, and it's worth watching for everyone, if only because it is based on a true story. Its heartwarming qualities aside, everyone involved in an enterprise like this -- successful or not -- should be applauded. And whatever they're being paid, it's not enough.
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A gripping real-life story of a near disaster in space
Tweekums21 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
On the 21st of July 1969 man first walked on the moon; that was the Apollo 11 mission, a few months later NASA is preparing for the third mission to the moon; Apollo 13. That mission is to be flown by Apollo 8 veteran Jim Lovell, Ken Mattingly and Fred Haise, who were originally due to fly the Apollo 14 mission. They train for the flight then, a matter of days before the launch, Mattingly is grounded because he may have the measles. He is replaced by standby astronaut Jack Swigert. This isn't the last of their problems by a long way. There is a problem with a rocket shortly after launch but that doesn't threaten the mission. Three days later when all appears to be going well Mission Control orders Swigert to stir the oxygen tanks; something goes wrong and there is an explosion. It soon becomes clear that they will not be landing on the moon; success will just be getting back to Earth. Everything from now on is far from routine as the crew, and those on the ground must solve problems that had never been envisaged.

Given that this film is based on real events and I knew how it ultimately ended it is surprisingly gripping. The depiction of the events in space are particularly good; we get a real feel of what the crew are going through as conditions in their cramped living quarters deteriorates. Even those who know how the story ends are likely to learn new details such as the way everybody on the ground worked to find solutions to the various unforeseen problems and Mattingly tries out various ideas on a simulator. The biggest revelation for me was the fact that until things went wrong the American public seemed so indifferent to the mission so much so that the crew's broadcast from space wasn't aired by the TV networks. The cast does a fine job; Tom Hanks is great as Lovell and is ably supported by Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon as crewmates Haise and Swigert. Those 'on the ground' impress to; most notably Ed Harris as mission controller Gene Kranz and Gary Sinise as Mattingly. Overall I'd certainly recommend this to anybody interested in the Apollo 13 story or gripping tales of men struggling to overcome adversity in general.
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Overlong and big budgeted re-enactment based on the real event and known outcome
ma-cortes8 September 2020
Exciting and thilling film about three astronauts whose aircraft leaking fuel tank has made a moon landing impossible , plus the power drops so low and the toxic gas levels rise so high , as several technical problems threaten both the astronauts' survival and their safe return at Home. It had been less than a year since man first walked on the Moon , but as far as the American public was concerned , Apollo 13 was just another routine space flight mission until these words pierced the immense void of space . In the deep outer space takes place the explosion in one of two oxygen tanks helping power and leaving three astronauts tumbling throughout the beyond . With the electrical system kaput and oxygen running low , the men seek refuge in the Lunar Excursion Module . Stranded 205,000 miles from home in a crippled spacecraft , astronauts Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) , Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) and led by Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), fight a desperate battle to survive . Meanwhile, at Mission Control, astronaut Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinese) , flight director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) and a heroic ground crew race against time and the odds to bring them Earth .Failure is not an option. Houston, we have a problem.

A realistic adaptation in almost-documentary style being based on true events, it turns to be a correct reenacment of the 1970 Apollo lunar mission that ran into a problem , as the famous : "Houston, we have a problem" . This is a tale of how a group of astronauts and technicians face off a risked situation and the process delivering the dramatic payload , describing faithfully the averted tragedy, bravery , heroism and showing a testament to the creativity and intelligence of the scientists who ran the early space missions . The tension comes from communication breakdown , the confrontation on the ground between the boffins and the official services and the falling-out among the crew . However, being low in dramatic scenes , makes some claustrophobic , and resulting to be a little bit boring . Interesting but heavy and dull script , in fact the suspense is missing ; being writen by uncredited and prestigious John Sayles , while Apolo 15 commander David Scott served as a consultant . There is an enjoyable reunion of notorious actors giving nice performances that subtly restating traditional notions of male heroism . It joined director Ron Howard and Tom Hanks from ¨Splash¨ and Hanks and Gary Sinese from ¨Forrest Gump¨ . Tom Hanks is perfect , as always , giving a highly effective acting , while Bill Paxton is acceptable and Kevin Bacon great fun . Main actors Hanks , Bill Paxton , Ed Harris , Kevin Bacon , Gary Sinese are well accompanied by a plethora of familiar secondaries , such as : Kathleen Quinlan , Miko Hughes , Xander Berkeley , Brett Cullen , Loren Dean ,David Andrews, Ray McKinnon , Clint Howard , Michele Little , Chris Ellis, Joe Spano . Great special effects from James Cameron's Digital Domain , impressive production design , adequate cinematography by Dean Cundey , rousing musical score by James Horner , and adding TV footage is to a dramatic effect.

Ron Howard directed efficiently this mega-hit but with no much originality , concerning the 1970 moon-shot sticks so faithfully to the version related in Jim Lowell's book ¨Lost Moon¨ that this can qualify as the most lavish documentary/drama ever made. The film is decent and acceptable but Ron Howard has made better films than this some tiring rendition. As Howard has a long career , both actor and director , shooting a lot of success , such as : Willow , The Missing , Cocoon , In the Heart of the Sea , A beautiful mind , Ed TV , Frost vs Nixon , Ransom , Backdraft , Code Da Vinci , Angels & Demons , Cinderella man , and several others . Rating : 6/10. Acceptable and passable .
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paul_haakonsen1 January 2016
While history taught us about the events that took place during the actual Apollo 13 mission, it was nice to have this movie put Visuals to these events. But as such, then this wasn't fully a very necessary movie, except for boosting American ego.

What made "Apollo 13" watchable was the impressive cast list and their individual performances. And I will say that the ensemble of actors and actresses here really was phenomenal.

For a space movie then "Apollo 13" isn't really amongst the most interesting, perhaps because this was science fact and not science fiction. That, at least, was the breaking point for me. Being familiar with the actual story then I found this 1995 movie, well, unnecessary, to be honest.

"Apollo 13" is worth watching for the star quality acting performances, or if you are not already familiar with the actual historical events.

A good enough movie for what it turned out to be; a mediocre visualization of real events.
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Yet another Ron Howard movie that doesn't dig very deep...
moonspinner557 August 2005
True story adapted from the book "First Moon" by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kruger about a trio of astronauts (headed by Lovell, played here by Tom Hanks) who encounter disaster in space while on 1970 lunar mission. The public's indifference and the finger-pointing at NASA get the short shrift in favor of the hand-wringing wives--an excruciating subplot--and the outer space camaraderie (leave it to director Ron Howard to turn even the most harrowing circumstance into a warm fuzzy). Good performances and an undeniably emotional climax make "Apollo 13" worth-watching, but the film is fairly humorless, and technical without being particularly enlightening. **1/2 from ****
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An American classic, gripping from beginning to end.
TxMike12 May 2000
What can I say about an almost perfect Ron Howard movie about the most exciting near tragedy involving men in space? It is just a fine movie through and through. The fact that it is a true story just makes it all the better.

I saw the DVD version, which has several "extras", including their techniques for simulating the rocket launch scenes. Also most instructional was the featurette showing how they used the "vomit comet" (simulates weightlessness) to shoot all the scenes of men floating in the spaceships. Very innovative movie-making.

All in all one of the best movies of all time, deserves to be in the top 100.
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Best film of 1995
Quinoa198428 April 2000
Apollo 13 is a film of inspiration. Based on the true story of the Apollo that didn't make it to the moon (after 11 and before 17). The stars (Tom Hanks,Gary Sinise, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Kathleen Quinlann, and Ed Harris) and director Ron Howard all make this film great. Not to mention the fantastic effects, the story, and other things. Well done in terms of cinema and humanity. A+
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Exhilarating recreation.
hitchcockthelegend27 February 2009
This is a recreation of America's third NASA mission to land on the moon in 1970, and the subsequent disaster that almost befell the mission........

Director Ron Howard and his producer Brian Grazer, made a top draw picture about an incident that everyone knew the outcome too. That it engrosses and thrills to make the inevitable denouement a mere component of a whole, is quite a fabulous achievement. Sure it can be said that it lacks a certain political appendage {RE:The Right Stuff}, but for the duration of this picture we are wowed by the design and construction on offer. It would have been easy for Howard to use stock footage of real NASA missions, but all sequences are recreated by the makers with astonishingly impacting results, thus adding authenticity to the palpable tension when things go belly up.

Howard was wise in his choice of leading man, who better than Tom Hanks {Jim Lovell, who's memoirs the script worked from} to portray a bastion of Americana?, nobody, because Hanks is perfect, as are Bill Paxton {Fred Haise} and Kevin Bacon {John Swigart} sitting either side of Hanks, a couple of bona fide solid and respected actors you could not have wished to have. Down on the ground the acting is also exemplary, Kathleen Quinlan as the fraught Marylyn Lovell is fantastic, with Ed Harris {Gene Kranz} and Gary Sinise {Ken Mattingly} adding emotional weight to the unfolding drama. With Howard reining in his trade mark sentimental flourishes, Apollo 13 relies on its story and its craft to steer it safely home, and safely home it gets, just like the men of Apolo 13. To give us a punch the air joy that comes as much out of tension relief as it does because of raw human emotion, quite a picture indeed. 8/10
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The Dangers Of Space Flight Hollywood Style
Theo Robertson28 July 2003
I actually wanted to become an astronaut as a child but soon went off the idea when I realised going to the moon would have involved sitting in a capsule that`s basically a tin can with thousands of tons of rocket fuel strapped to my ass . In short the dangers of space flight surpassed my courage and my feelings of endeavour . It takes guts to travel through space and if you get into serious trouble aboard a space craft you`re in danger of suffering a quick spectacular death or a slow lingering one

APOLLO 13 is the Hollywood blockbuster treatment of the ill fated mission to the moon and is a testament to the courage of astronauts everywhere . The film starts with the tragic accident of an earlier Apollo mission that left three astronauts dead and then goes on to tell the tale of the Apollo 13 where an oxygen tank explodes on the module close to the moon meaning the three man crew are almost certain to suffer a slow lingering death 250,000 miles out in space . It`s a true life drama fairly well told even if it does have a few flaws . For example director Ron Howard`s camera work moves around a bit too much while having a big name star like Tom Hanks detracts slightly from the drama . It would have been totally compelling if we`d had a slightly flat directing style with unknown actors , but like I said this is the Hollywood blockbuster treatment which needs to make money at the box office , so I guess we can forgive that . Astronauts are very brave people and APOLLO 13 makes light of that fact , so it`s a success .
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bevo-1367830 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I like the bit where they got lost in the rocket but then found their way home
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Take Me to the Moon
view_and_review29 August 2020
In the 90's Tom Hanks was cranking out hits. I don't think there was a more successful actor during the 90's. If I were to rank "Apollo 13" among his successes in just the 90's--as great as this movie is--I think it would still come after "Forrest Gump," "The Green Mile," and "Toy Story." Of course, others may rank this movie differently. But in any case, how many actors can tout four iconic movies in their entire career, let alone one decade.

"Apollo 13" is a drama about a "successful failure." A crew of astronauts failed to land on the moon, but faced with catastrophic damage to their vessel they were able to successfully get back home.

This movie is a real tribute to all of the people who contribute to a space mission. Though the astronauts are the face of each space mission, there are tens, if not hundreds of people behind the scenes making sure that mission goes smoothly. In "Apollo 13" we got to see those people go to work.

Director, Ron Howard, did a great job with the movie. Though it was replete with technical jargon it never once bogged down the script or made me feel lost like I would feel some years later listening to the Architect in "Matrix Revolutions."

"Apollo 13" is a spectacular movie that is gripping and intense without huge explosions or widespread wreckage. It's fantastic to watch a movie be so engaging without having to be full of mindless razzle dazzle.
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Good drama but could have been less technical.
Boba_Fett113820 September 2003
The movie has some very good drama but it gets sometimes a bit to technical which makes the movie sometimes hard and difficult to fully follow.

Maybe the best thing about "Apollo 13" is the wonderful cast. Especially Gary Sinise and Ed Harris are more then great. Ed Harris actually really looks very much alike the real Gene Kranz. But of course the rest of the cast is also excellent. A very well cast movie.

Another great thing about the movie are the special effects. They are really superb and seem ahead of their time. Better then some of the effects that are used in science-fiction movies that are made these days.

I also liked the at some times quite unusual cinematography from Dean Cundey and the musical score from James Horner.

I don't know how much is true about the story but it seems that sometimes the movie is a bit over dramatized. But that's not such a bad thing since it only does good to the movie and the characters. The movie is not only just dramatic, it also is tense and exciting. Especially the ending is done great, even though you already know how it's going to end you're still on the edge of your seat. Well done Ron Howard! There also are more wonderful scene's such as the launch which is done truly beautiful, mainly because of the music and cinematography the scene it is one of the best moments in cinema history of the last decade.

But like I said before, it could have done without the many technical elements, or there at least should had been lesser moments with it. Also, there is a bit too much patriotism for my taste.

All in all, very well worth watching.


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The Right Stuff
george.schmidt27 February 2003
APOLLO 13 (1995) ***1/2 Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Kathleen Quinlan, Ed Harris, Loren Dean, Clint Howard. Exhilarating and absorbing true life account of the 1970 mishap of the American space program's Apollo 13 that nearly became a tragic catastrophe based on astronaut and team leader Jim Lovell's novel "Lost Moon". Hanks is excellent as Lovell, grace under pressure realized, as is the rest of the fine ensemble and perfect visual effects of space travel and ingenuity. Harris won a nomination for Best Supporting Actor as Mission control's chief. Noteworthy: that's director Ron Howard's real life mother as Lovell's mom and look sharp for Lovell himself at the film's conclusion. Oscar winner for Best Editing and Best Sound.
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By-the-Numbers Movie Is Still One of Ron Howard's Better Efforts
evanston_dad8 May 2009
A taut and polished studio film from Ron Howard that manages to be quite suspenseful even though we all know the ending from the start.

The film is a lean recreation of the Apollo 13 space mission that met with disaster and almost didn't make it back home. Tom Hanks gives one of his many appealing performances as leader of the mission, while Ed Harris gives a muscular, intense performance as head of mission control. Kathleen Quinlan was inexplicably nominated for an Oscar for playing Hanks' anxious wife -- her role consists of nothing but sitting around looking worried.

As by-the-numbers and mainstream as they come, but still one of Howard's better efforts.

Grade: A-
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