The Astronaut Farmer

PLOT:

Dismissed from NASA’s space program, former astronaut-in-training Charles Farmer pursues his lifelong dream by building his own rocket. On the eve of his launch, he must battle foreclosure on his ranch, a small-town community of disbelievers, the FAA and FBI agents who want to shut him down in the name of Homeland Security–but he remains determined to reach his goal and instill in his children the courage to pursue their own dreams, no matter the odds.

What people are saying:

“While it is far too long, especially in the home stretch, The Astronaut Farmer is a heartwarming and fun story about the tenacity it takes to see a dream through.” 4 stars

“Although a fry cry from space classics such as Apollo 13, this nice, heartwarming family flick still has enough of the “man can do anything with love of his family behind him” theme to make it worth a watch, along with good performances from Thornton and Madsen. Farfetched but charming.” 3 1/2 stars

“Filled with lovely images (the opening credit sequence, of Charlie in his spacesuit, riding the range on horseback, is a beaut) and nice character turns, The Astronaut Farmer nonetheless veers too close to clichĂ©.” 2 1/2 stars

“So many layers of awful. The science alone is completely bogus. I could write a review breaking down all of the completely improbable science in the film but it would be longer than the movie. Orbiting the earth is not exactly easy. Successfully entering the earth’s atmosphere without breaking up into a million pieces, is also not exactly easy. His pod lands on perfectly flat terrain within driving distance of where he took off, AND he accomplishes this with a lone parachute. TOTAL UTTER NONSENSE. The only redeeming value is that it’s funny to mock, that’s about it.” 1/2 star

“There’s something old-fashioned about The Astronaut Farmer that’s so conventional it feels unconventional. It follows the paradigm of inspirational movies so perfectly that even the smallest deviation seems rebellious. The movie’s orthodoxy is precisely what allows us to take such pleasure in its irregularities . . . With this movie, the [Polish] brothers have been given a giant coloring book. While both write and produce, Mark directs and Michael acts . . . and for the most part, they attempt to stay within the lines. But it’s in the few moments when they go outside those lines that the movie momentarily soars” 4 stars

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