'Apollo 13' Critic Reviews

92%
MovieWeb:   2 reviews
95%
Rotten Tomatoes:   68 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    67
    It chronicles one of the most dramatic of all spaceflights, an American catastrophe that became an American victory, and it does this in a way that's so authentic, so brilliant in its technical details, that it succeeds in putting us on that ship.
    Full Review » 19 years ago
  • Janet Maslin New York Times (Top Critic)
    Playing the tough, commanding Jim Lovell is a substantial stretch for Mr. Hanks, but as usual his seeming ingenuousness overshadows all else about the role. There's not a false move to anything he does on screen.
    Full Review » 11 years ago
  • USA Today (Top Critic)
    100
    The movie will happily repay multiple viewings.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • Jane Sumner Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    92
    Blowing up some 35mm films to an image 10 times larger could magnify their plot faults and performance shortcomings. But Apollo 13, with its taut cast, script and direction, profits from the process.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    75
    A powerful story, one of the year's best films, told with great clarity and remarkable technical detail, and acted without pumped-up histrionics.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    This meticulous but ultimately rather pedestrian drama gradually won me over as a minor if watchable example of the "victory through defeat" brand of military heroism that John Ford specialized in.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Susan Stark Detroit News (Top Critic)
    100
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Todd McCarthy Variety (Top Critic)
    This engrossing account of the nation's most perilous moon shot embodies what many people consider to be old-fashioned American virtues in a virtually pristine state.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Bradley Steinbacher Film.com (Top Critic)
    Apollo 13 avoids becoming propaganda, or a masturbatory industrial film for NASA, by focusing on the story's human element.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • Sean Means Film.com (Top Critic)
    Maintains its suspense even though the conclusion is well known.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • James Berardinelli ReelViews (Top Critic)
    100
    While the events of this motion picture may depict NASA's finest hour, the release of Apollo 13 represents Ron Howard's.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • David Hunter Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    The special effects and many scenes of weightlessness look as good or better than in the original, while the Oscar-winning sound and James Horner's rousing score make good use of the hefty audio system.
    Full Review » 12 years ago
  • Richard Corliss TIME Magazine (Top Critic)
    From lift-off to splashdown, Apollo 13 gives one hell of a ride.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • Peter Travers Rolling Stone (Top Critic)
    It's easily Howard's best film.
    Full Review » 13 years ago
  • Tim Brayton Antagony & Ecstasy
    80
    If there is one subject that makes it okay to feel old-fashioned patriotism and pride in humanity... it is surely the US space program.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Nell Minow Common Sense Media
    100
    Thrilling, heartwarming, scary, and superb.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Jamie Russell Film4
    A rousing, flag-waving paean to American skill and courage, Howard's polished film panders to its target audience perfectly.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • TV Guide's Movie Guide
    88
    Truly a director for the '90s, Ron Howard has mastered the art of spinning big, old-fashioned yarns without any discernible point of view, and his movie is curiously empty and instantly forgettable.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • David Cornelius DVDTalk.com
    100
    Apollo 13 remains Howard's masterpiece... It is, quite simply, one of the finest movies ever produced.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Rob Gonsalves eFilmCritic.com
    60
    The movie is terrific on nuts-and-bolts stuff, but nuts and bolts aren't the same as drama.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid
    88
    Overnight, Howard seems to have turned into a combination of the best aspects of Oliver Stone and Robert Altman.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Steven D. Greydanus Decent Films Guide
    92
    In an age when we rely on computerized directions and GPS devices to drive to the next town, it seems an almost mythic scenario.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Geoff Andrew Time Out
    For a 'space movie', both the special effects and photography are surprisingly pedestrian. Where it scores is in subtly restating traditional notions of male heroism.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • David Medsker Bullz-Eye.com
    90
    A movie for the ages.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com
    75
    Well-crafted and well-acted recreation of the famous missile journey, marred by Ron Howard's white POV that disregards the broader political context
    Full Review » 9 years ago