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  • Summary: Fifty years ago, at the height of the Cold War, the USSR launched Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit Earth, bringing America to its knees in awe--then fear. Initially thrilling as a marvel of science, Sputnik was soon viewed by America as a weapon of mass destruction. Narrated by LievFifty years ago, at the height of the Cold War, the USSR launched Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit Earth, bringing America to its knees in awe--then fear. Initially thrilling as a marvel of science, Sputnik was soon viewed by America as a weapon of mass destruction. Narrated by Liev Schreiber with expert use of archival footage, Sputnik Mania explores the fast-moving series of events that brought the world's superpowers to the brink of nuclear war and tells the story of two ex-generals whose private agreement prevented World War III. (Balcony Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    75
    The archival footage here is great, and the cosmos-conquering craziness will satisfy space-race nuts.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    75
    It was really no bigger than a beach ball, weighed about as much as a full-grown man and it beeped. And aside from transmitting a radio signal and accidentally opening a few automatic garage doors, it didn't really do anything except orbit the globe once every 96 minutes.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    70
    The movie lets parallels between that time and the post-9/11 era emerge organically, in the manner of a fable that subtly illuminates your own life.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Eisner
    70
    A seemingly esoteric subject -- the launch of Russia's Sputnik satellite -- is exhumed and made exciting in this important slice of you-are-there documaking.
  5. 63
    Sputnik Mania has a happy ending, thanks to German scientist Werner von Braun, who had been recruited for America after designing Nazi rockets that rained terror on England during World War II.
Score distribution:
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