Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 100
    Ron Howard's film of this mission is directed with a single-mindedness and attention to detail that makes it riveting.
  2. It's a nail-biter and knuckle whitener of the first rank: a super real life techno thriller that reduces the fantasies of Tom Clancy and his clones to ground zero.
  3. Reviewed by: Barbara Shulgasser
    With no frills and no commentary, Howard and company have made the kind of absorbing thriller we have in mind when we wistfully sigh, "They don't make movies like they used to."
  4. 100
    "The Right Stuff" will endure as the more ambitious movie, but this book-faithful, 2-hour team effort shrewdly keeps its eye on the ball.
  5. 100
    Perhaps the most impressive feat of this film is sustaining white-knuckle tension even though the chain of events is well-known.
  6. You can know every glitch that made this such a dangerous mission, and Apollo 13 will still have you by the throat. [30 June 1995]
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The result is that rare Hollywood achievement, an adventure of the intelligent spirit. From lift-off to splashdown, Apollo 13 gives one hell of a ride. [3 July 1995]
  8. 90
    Howard lays off the manipulation to tell the true story of the near-fatal 1970 Apollo 13 mission in painstaking and lively detail. It's easily Howard's best film.
  9. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    By sticking resolutely to the facts of the most amazing rescue mission of all time, the movie builds tremendous suspense, even though most people will know how it came out.
  10. 90
    Apollo 13 is humanized by Hanks's reassuring portrait in courage, by Harris's nicotine-stained fingers and Quinlan's lacquered French twist.
  11. The direction may not be flashy, but it is controlled and confident; the frames unfold with a no-nonsense, nuts-and-bolts realism that, in this era of laser-blazing Batplanes, seems downright welcome.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Sep 15, 2011
    Ron Howard's "Apollo 13" may be boring as hell with some cheesy moments, but the realistic direction and the powerful lead by Tom Hanks makes this space movie a movie you must watch. Full Review »
  2. Dec 21, 2010
    Based on a very dramatic event that got the globe coming together at the time praying that the astronauts would be okay, Apollo 13's realistic story and strong performances made it not-better-but-as-good-as the real event. Apollo 13 was supposed to be the third shuttle to land on the moon but an oxygen tank exploded and the astronauts found themselves in a real situation. Going through hell to get back to Earth, the guys finally made it and the world was happy. An interesting story but very simple. Thanks to writers William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert, the story became a complex challenge of life or death situation. Also helped by strong performances particularly from Ed Harris and Kathleen Quinlan, Apollo 13 became an instant classic when it came out in 1994. Full Review »
  3. Dec 11, 2010
    I did not like the movie one bit. First of all, most of the time it is just too obvious that this is a movie, the set looks way too artificial. Fake. Then, all the acting is too forced. Forced cool, forced dramatic, forced heavy, it is just too easy to see that these are actors acting. It is just never convincing. If every look, every word, and every movement wants to forcefully convey significance, everything becomes just too much. That is what happened with this movie. Together with the ever dramatic soundtrack, it becomes unbearable to watch. In addition, how close is this to the truth, that two of the crew members so obviously do not trust the third crew member ?
    In all, there is no drama because every second is dramatic. No change in pace, no change in intensity. One you want to walk out of after 10 minutes.Quite a shame with that incredible cast.
    Full Review »