Story

Through the use of interviews, personal letters and family home videos, the documentary Armstrong shares the remarkable story of Neil Armstrong (voiced by Harrison Ford).

From the time he was a small child growing up in rural Ohio, Neil Armstrong was fascinated by planes and how they work, learning to fly before he could drive. Audiences get a glimpse into Armstrong’s quiet life and many achievements, as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, an engineering student at Purdue University, a husband and father, and an astronaut in the NASA space program.

As family and friends share his story, they attest to his quiet kindness, his unshakable calm and his hard-working nature. These qualities see him rise through the ranks to become one of the most famous men in history – the first man on the moon who, in a moment of glory, helps unite a troubled world.

Themes

War; the perils of a dangerous job; family breakdown; the loss of a child

Violence

Armstrong has some violence. For example, when the US gets involved in the Korean War, Neil tells his family about some of the violence he has witnessed in war. This includes accidents and friends dying or being badly burned. There are images and re-enactments of explosions. Also, we hear how the death toll affects crew members, including Neil himsel

Sexual references

None noted

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Armstrong shows some use of substances. For example:

  • A man drinks beer at the launch.
  • A man smokes.

Nudity and sexual activity

None noted

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in Armstrong:

  • A man who’s watching the launch of Apollo 11 drinks a can of Budweiser beer.
  • Many people in the control tower wear T-shirts with the IBM logo.

Coarse language

Armstrong has some coarse language in this movie, including ‘hell’.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Armstrong is a biographical documentary about the extraordinary life of Neil Armstrong. It draws heavily on interviews with family and friends and incorporates historical footage from NASA, news media and press conferences. This movie will appeal to space enthusiasts and older audiences.

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • Follow your dreams wherever they take you.
  • Work hard.
  • Be a good person.
  • Show courage even in the face of impossible odds.
  • Always remember that it isn’t about the individual – it’s about the team.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include courage, humility, kindness, unity, dedication and teamwork.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:

  • the cost of putting all your time and effort into work and leaving little time for family
  • the dangers that fighter pilots and astronauts face, and the importance of everyone doing the best job that they can because even little things have huge effects on others
  • the importance of protecting this ‘island oasis’ (earth) because it’s the only known place in the universe that can support human life.