Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Quite simply, a revelation.
  2. In the Shadow of the Moon finds new resonance in the moment when America redefined progress -- but also when it heeded the siren song of a world so desolate it reminded you what a paradise ours truly is.
  3. 100
    By turns awe-inspiring and deeply human.
  4. 100
    These astronauts are still alive, but as long as mankind survives, their journeys will be seen as the turning point -- to what, it is still to be seen.
  5. 100
    It's both irrefutably concrete and irresistibly uplifting.
  6. After seeing this film, try reading Norman Mailer's "Of A Fire on the Moon," its perfect companion piece.
  7. This magnificent documentary, directed by David Sington and presented by Ron Howard, rises to the occasion by interspersing its interviews with NASA footage that evokes the grandeur of the whole Apollo adventure.
  8. The riveting documentary In the Shadow of the Moon, is an unexpected knockout.
  9. The value of this film, not just to moviegoers today but to future generations, is simply enormous.
  10. 90
    May well be the most exciting documentary of the year so far. I guess it took a British director, David Sington, to capture the story of the dozen American men who walked on the moon -- the only human beings in our species history yet to visit another celestial body.
  11. I came out giddy, feeling lighter--by about five-sixths--than I did when I went in.
  12. Reviewed by: Joel Achenbach
    90
    Now, finally, we know what it was like to walk on the moon: unbelievably cool. Amazing. Fantastic. Scary.
  13. 89
    The story (even more so if you weren't around in July of 1969) is gripping, eloquent, and powerful stuff, the right stuff right down to its pioneering heart, taking manifest destiny to the stars themselves.
  14. 88
    Seeing the Earth from the point of view these men saw it -- ''like a jewel hung in the blackness'' -- tends to put things in perspective.
  15. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    One small documentary for a filmmaker and one giant leap in inspiration for audiences.
  16. 88
    It's a stirring reminder of a time when anything seemed possible - these American heroes boosted morale eroded by the Vietnam War, as well as bringing the whole world together to celebrate their success.
  17. 83
    It ends on a random note, making an awkward plea for better ecological stewardship of the Earth, which looked so small and frail to the astronauts regarding it from the moon. But otherwise it's a satisfying and heartening reminder of what a glorious thing a small group of men once contrived to do.
  18. Reviewed by: Gianni Truzzi
    83
    By 2020, when NASA's Orion lunar spacecraft is scheduled to launch, it's unlikely that any Apollo veterans will still be alive. Sington has done us a service in helping preserve their memories.
  19. Reviewed by: Ross Bennett
    80
    This wonderful documentary succeeds as a reminder of human endeavour.
  20. The astronaut interviews are fun and occasionally moving, but the real reason to see this is the remastered archival footage, some of it previously unseen and all of it spectacular.
  21. Reviewed by: Jamie Tipps
    80
    A surprisingly fresh take on familiar material.
  22. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    As we watch the astonishing NASA footage, they eloquently evoke the optimism, anxiety and excitement of those voyages.
  23. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    The excitement, majesty and extraordinary human accomplishment of the American lunar program of the '60s and early '70s is rousingly captured in In the Shadow of the Moon.
  24. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    80
    In the Shadow of the Moon recalls the wondrous moment when America had the entire world looking up, up, and not away.
  25. In the Shadow of the Moon is such a morale booster. The power of its archival images hasn’t diminished with familiarity.
  26. 80
    Bean, a lovely guy with a touch of Mickey Rooney, is one of the stars of Sington’s rousing show. There was something unearthly, in every sense, about the astronauts in their prime.
  27. Reviewed by: Leba Hertz
    75
    For those of us too young, this will give you an idea of what it meant to watch those baby steps that led to one giant leap.
  28. 75
    Want to know what the “right stuff” really is? Take a look.
  29. And oh, what stories these heroes have to tell - and what incredible sights they brought back with them.
  30. It has the air of an officially sanctioned tribute rather than a probing study, but it's stirring all the same.
  31. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    75
    It's so simple, so obvious - and a revelation.
  32. Sington's smartest decision was to let 10 of the astronauts speak for themselves. The film juxtaposes their personal stories, both their doubts and machismo, with the titanic achievement of the lunar landings.
  33. 75
    There's more to the film than nostalgia; it also offers insight, and that's what makes it worth viewing on the big screen rather than waiting for its Discovery Channel premiere.
  34. 58
    There's none of the poetry of "For All Mankind," just visual support for a meat-and-potatoes recap of events that have already been chewed over plenty.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Apr 3, 2013
    10
    This is easily the best documentary on the moon landings, and probably one of the best space documentaries in general. Instead of focusingThis is easily the best documentary on the moon landings, and probably one of the best space documentaries in general. Instead of focusing too much on technical details or basking in nationalism, this film puts you in the astronaut/cosmonauts' shoes and explores the human experience of being on the frontier of exploration. Forget the trivia e.g. about the apollo investments paying for themselves several times over or whatever else of that sort. Rather, this film truly conveys the innate and thus self-justifying human desire to explore--something which transcends all of the supposedly necessary economic motivations (and is unfortunately often not realized without experience).

    I can't even begin to imagine what it would have been like to participdate in such a thing--or even to be alive during that time (if I had been, I certainly would have taken interest in the sciences at a much younger age), but this film gave me a glimpse of it and also of what our future *could* be.
    Full Review »
  2. JayH.
    Feb 7, 2008
    8
    Awesome documentary, fascinating from start to finish with excellent interviews. It is very well edited, never sluggish and frequently Awesome documentary, fascinating from start to finish with excellent interviews. It is very well edited, never sluggish and frequently thought provoking. A wonderful and educational experience. Full Review »
  3. PatriciaB.
    Sep 8, 2007
    10
    One of the best documentaries I've seen since One Day in September. Of course, the feeling this film leaves you with is completely the One of the best documentaries I've seen since One Day in September. Of course, the feeling this film leaves you with is completely the opposite of that one - this movie is so uplifting and powerful. Even for someone who wasn't alive at the time when landing on the moon was a miraculous event - this film captures that time, that excitement.... it transports us back to the early days of the space program and moved me to tears of joy! The filmmaking is excellent. The director wisely lets the spectacular images and the succinct storytelling of the astronauts do all the work. A great movie for families. The audience I saw it with applauded several times. Pretty impressive given that we all know how this one ends! Full Review »