Box art for Apollo 13

Apollo 13


It had been less that a year since man first walked on the moon, but as far as the American public was concerned, Apollo 13 was just another "routine" space flight

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 12
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Thrilling, heartwarming, scary, and superb.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that it's a good idea to prepare younger kids beforehand by telling them what the movie is about, and you may want to reassure them, since it is a true story, that the astronauts did come home all right. Note that everyone in Mission Control is a white male (and they all smoke all the time).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the way that Mission Control solves the problems happening thousands of miles away by re-creating the conditions inside the spaceship. Point out how the adults handle the strain, sometimes losing their tempers or blaming one another (or trying to escape blame), but mostly working very well together.
  • Discuss the real-life event that inspired the movie. Ask older family members if they remember the event. Kids who want to learn more can go to the library or conduct Internet research.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 1
    see all Apollo 13 reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: A powerful story, one of the year's best films, told with great clarity and remarkable technical detail, and acted without pumped-up histrionics.

- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Saturday, January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Along with Backdraft, Apollo 13 is one of Ron Howards ultimate best films. The film chronicles the failed mission to the moon and the ensuing rescue attempt to bring them home. A film that is both spectacular and powerful, Apollo 13 is a superbly crafted drama film. One of things that Apollo 13 does very well is building up the tension. Obviously we all know that the astronauts came back home safely, but still there always is a feeling of tension going on throughout the film from the point where theres an explosion on board the spacecraft to the safe landing. Every time I watch Apollo 13, I get that same feeling. Ron Howard's brilliant directing makes this possible, and you always get that same feeling every time you watch it. Ron Howard has assembled a great cast of actors to portray the astronauts. Tom Hanks plays Jim Lovell, Bill Paxton plays Fred Haise and Kevin Bacon plays Jack Sigert. They play the Apollo 13 astronaut with much respect to the real astronauts who flew the near fatal mission. Gary Sinise plays Ken Mattingly, the original Command module pilot. Mattingly still plays a vital role in the story as he tries to find a way to get as much power from the crafts battery to restart the craft. Ron Howard strips away the traditional way of telling a story big Hollywood overtones. Instead, Howard tells the story of Apollo 13 like it was using fact instead of fiction. The film is very technical and rich in detail. Every aspect of the story has been covered with tremendous respect from the real life incident. Apollo 13 is a well acted, well told and well directed drama film. This is without a doubt Ron Howards best film. A powerful drama film, Apollo 13 tells a story about a failed mission, but also that it was a success due to the fact that they all came back safe. This is a film that has definitely aged well, and doesn't look dated whatsoever. A fine masterful film, Apollo 13 is a must see film, and what I appreciate the most about the film is that they didn't try to romanticize the story sort of like Titanic, they told it like fact and stayed true to the historical background of the film. The film is not cliche trite or boring. Apollo 13 remains a solid historical film that tells it like is and doesn't use a made up story to make the film seem emotionally charged. If you must watch one Ron Howard film, make it Apollo 13.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Thursday, September 30, 2010

4 stars

Ron Howard's Oscar winning "Apollo 13" is competently made in every aspect. Masterful cinematography by the now legendary Dean Cundey and flawless editing solidify "Apollo 13" as the American history classic it is today. With fine tuned performances from Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris and Kathleen Quinlan; brining an intensely human side to the scientific proceedings, "Apollo 13" is thrilling, inspiring and uplifting. Minus the hokey narration at the end, it's a pretty flawless film. "Apollo 13" is the anti "Armageddon".

- stevenecarrier, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

3 stars


- bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb1, Saturday, June 26, 2010