Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 49 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Based on Homer H. Hickman's memoir "Rocket Boys," this film begins in 1957 with Russia's historic launch of the Sputnik satellite and chronicles its impact on a group of boys in West Virginia.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Immensely entertaining and unabashedly inspirational.
  2. A family tale, in the best sense. [19 February 1999, Tempo, p.4]
  3. Reviewed by: Gary Dauphin
    A professionally crafted family film that reserves all its challenging moments for its characters, letting the audience bask comfortably in the approach of a predetermined warm and fuzzy ending.
  4. Now if that isn't an inspirational story, it's hard to know what is.
  5. Reviewed by: David Armstrong
    While this movie hasn't many surprises, it does offer strong performances, especially from Gyllenhaal.
  6. Despite its "based on a true story" opening credit, this earnest, nostalgic film has a way of seeming too good to be true.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    October Sky may be set around coal mines, but ultimately it's Field of Corn, Part II.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Jul 22, 2014
    An absolute masterpiece for everyone. A great movie to watch while studying rocketry. This movie has many morals and lessons and touches on some issues in life like social life and friends, family problems, problem solving and not giving up, and following your dream. An absolute must see for all ages! Expand
  2. Nov 28, 2012
    Hmm. . .well that was refreshing. I can honestly say that after watching Joe Johnston's "October Sky" I feel a whole lot better about everything. Truly just an overwhelmingly inspiring and uplifting film. I mean you could take the most cynical, mysanthropic soul on this planet, have him watch "October Sky", and he'd have a healthier outlook on his life. I swear, during the last 10 minutes of this movie, I had the biggest **** grin on my face - one of those endings you just can't help but get caught up in. The film features an abundant amount of fine performances. Namely, Jake Gyllenhaal's portrayal of Homer Hickam, and Chris Cooper's compelling turn as his father, John. Other great performances came from Laura Dern, Chris Owen, William Lee Scott, and Chad Lindberg. The movie is shot to a magnificent degree. For instance, Cinematographer Fred Murphy really uses dismal lighting to magnify the miserable atmosphere within Coalwood, West Virginia. The movie is also edited to a tee. "October Sky" Expand
  3. May 29, 2011
    And one more time at all, watching without knowing that it was based on a true story. The story is very beautiful, despite overcoming the prejudices and limitations they had at the time, beyond the relationship between father and son that he shows in a way pretty intense. I was impressed with the performance of Jake aged at 19, won me over. And priceless the first scene of Jake Gyllenhaal and Chad Lindberg in the car listening to Jailhouse Rock by Elvis! Great movie, it's gripping and fun at the same time... and why not, it is also stimulating, encouraging. Well worth seeing! Expand
  4. Jun 3, 2014
    "Look at it go, Homer. This one's gunna go for miles."

    October Sky is such an amazing film and is by far Joe Johnston at his finest. I know
    some people don't like Jake Gyllenhaal but seriously the guy isnt that bad of an actor and if more people had seen this movie they would now that. Based on the true life story of Homer Hickam (Gyllenhaal) a normal kid living in the small coal mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia. He dreams of being something more then just a coal miner and after seeing the sputnik rocket streak across the nights sky his dreams of doing something bigger and better is something he has to achieve. Despite him and his friends being laughed at, they shoot off many rockets and with each one gaining more and more confidence and experience. After wining the state and country science fair Homer goes back to his hometown to be praised and honored but yet to have seek the approval of his father John Hickam (Chris Cooper) Its not until the very last rocket does his dad show up to see a lunch of a rocket and is struck with amazement when he finally sees it. Seriously though Jake Gyllenhaal is one of my top 25 favorite actors and i have yet to see him put on a performance better then this. The surrounding cast is just as great with Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Chris Owen and Natalie Canerday all doing solid performances.

    Overall i give it a 8.5 Iv'e been waiting for the past several years for a Blu ray release and i seriously hope it get does. October Sky is for sure its one of my favorite movie of all times and with such a beautiful heartwarming story i never get tired of watching.
  5. Dec 10, 2013
    Just a genuinely happy movie. It leaves feeling good at the end and makes you want to watch it again. Great acting all-around as see a boy's journey to his dreams. Touching, heartfelt, and beautiful are great words to sum this one up. Expand
  6. Mar 4, 2013
    There certainly was an emotional core to this movie that made it appealing along with some heavy hitter acting from Chris cooper it was almost good. The moral and general feel was curious and fun but the downfalls of the script, the young acting, and the lack of true meaning falls flat. The outcome is a well directed after school special that I could do without. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews