We were sent the First Man by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment at no charge. All opinons are our own.
I remember seeing the trailers on tv for the First Man movie when it initially came out. It was one I definitely wanted to see with the kids. The idea of rocketships and space exploration was something my boys were absolutely interested in. For me it was the details and story behind Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, that had me intrigued.
The movie had a PG-13 rating so I wasn’t sure if First Man would be appropriate for my kids. There are so many reasons why a movie can get that rating, that sometimes it’s not worth seeing the movie at the theater. Instead we wait till we can see it at home. When Universal Pictures offered to send the First Man Blu-Ray DVD to us we took advantage of the offer. Here’s our take on whether the First Man movie is appropriate for kids and the bonus features available on the First Man 4K UHD Blu-Ray DVD and digital set.
About the First Man movie
Based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen and from visionary filmmaker Damien Chazelle, FIRST MAN is the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, the film explores the triumphs and the cost—on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history. The critically acclaimed FIRST MAN comes from legendary executive producer Steven Spielberg (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Schindler’s List) alongside fellow executive producers Adam Merims (Baby Driver, Straight Outta Compton) and Josh Singer (The Post, Spotlight) with a screenplay by Singer allowing audiences to relive the historic achievement in human history that has never been told cinematically. Filled with outstanding performances from an all-star cast led by Gosling and Foy alongside an incredible roster of supporting talent including Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of Wall Street, “Friday Night Lights”), Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, Mudbound), Corey Stoll (“The Strain,” “House of Cards”), Pablo Schreiber (Skyscraper, “Orange is the New Black”), Christopher Abbot (“The Sinner,” Whiskey Tango Foxtrot), and Ciarán Hinds (“Game of Thrones,” Tinker Tailor Solider Spy), FIRST MAN “explodes with cinematic wonder” (Inverse).
Watch the First Man movie trailers
The original movie trailer
The movie trailer released for the First Man 4K UHD Blu-Ray DVD and digital set.
Is the First Man Movie Good For Kids?
The First Man movie is a serious and intense look at what it took to land a man on the moon. There is more drama to it than you would find in a documentary. As viewers watch and learn about the ten years leading up to Apollo 11 there is a heavy focus on Neil Armstrong. We begin to understand the training, the sacrifices, and the toll it took on him. We witness the interactions he had with his children, his wife, his coworkers, and the public.
The First Man is not a movie meant for young children. There is a level of maturity that your kids will need to understand the story line and dynamics of the movie. It’s not all rocketships and space exploration. So my 10 year old, who normally loves documentaries and space exploration shows on tv and in planetariums, fell asleep somewhere in the middle of the movie. My 12 year old and teenager were glued to every scene. It wasn’t what they expected but they both found it very interesting and it gave them a new appreciation for what it took to land a man on the moon.
Even though we knew what was going to happen, we knew that Neil Armstrong safely lands on the moon, First Man was quite suspenseful. I knew there was going to be one potentially bad scene (from checking a parent guide on First Man), but I didn’t know when it was going to come. I kept waiting for it to happen. Even after that scene I was curious if there would be anything else that would be that dramatic before they landed on the moon.
Keep reading as we answer the questions you want to know to determine if the First Man is good for your kids.
How long is the First Man movie?
The First Man movie is just over 2 hours at 141 minutes. There are previews on the DVD before the movie begins.
What is the First Man movie rated?
The First Man movie is rated PG -13 for some thematic content involving peril, and brief strong language. We’ll talk about that more in the details below so you can decide if the First Man movie is appropriate for your kids.
Is the First Man movie scary?
There are a few scenes that could be considered scary by children and one in particular.
- An opening scene shows Neil Armstrong in a potentially dangerous situation while piloting a jet.
- There is another opening scene, where Neil’s daughter Karen is undergoing radiation. The daughter is on an examination table, but is not crying. It’s clear that she’s sick but we don’t know why yet.
- Off camera we understand that several deaths occur because of different mission or equipment failures in the time leading up to Apollo 11. The scene with the potential to scare kids the most is about halfway to three-quarters through the movie. A spark ignites in the cabin of the rocketship before it’s had a chance to leave the launching pad. Astronauts begin to worry and yell for help as a fire breaks out. The scene cuts away with us seeing the fire through the window of the astronauts’ vessel.
- Every attempt to go into space or land on the moon comes with a risk of failure. There are chances things could go wrong at any time. In First Man we see instances of things going right and other stressful situations where the astronauts and those on the ground have to get through difficult situations.
- Most of First Man was shot in-camera, watching it the viewer might feel like they are twisting and turning as the pilots and astronauts did. It did not scare my children, but some children might find that affect scary.
Are there curse words in the First Man movie?
There are not a lot of moments of swearing, but when they happen they are noticeable. They occur during intense dramatic moments, because of the stress of a situation, not as a result of people arguing. There are a few instances of shit and damn. There is one, hard-to-miss instance of the word “f—ing” being yelled.
Are there sex scenes in the First Man movie?
No there are no sex scenes. We see an occasional scene with Neil Armstrong casually kissing his wife.
Are there any scenes in the First Man movie that might upset children?
There are tense, dramatic, and even sad scenes in the First Man movie, but Neil Armstrong is not an emotional character. We understand in the beginning of the movie his daughter has died from the scenes where she’s sick to her funeral. A younger child could easily miss that because we don’t see visible signs of the child being sick or her in the coffin or the parents being emotionally distraught. An older child will understand a child has died and might have questions.
As Neil Armstrong prepares for missions we see how that has an affect on his wife, Janet. She manages being a mom while also anxiously hanging onto every moment of the radio broadcasts when Neil is up in space. Aware that Neil could go to space and not come back, Janet forces him to say goodbye to his kids and be honest with them. Knowing that Mark and Rick’s (Neil’s son) daddy is going away and might not be coming back could be upsetting to some kids.
Neil doesn’t talk about losing his daughter and he’s in a very stressful position. So an older child or tween who understands that is going to find the movie sad, but I think that’s a good thing because it opens up conversations we can have with our kids. It’s a chance for us to talk to our own kids about how would they feel and how we can and should express our emotions.
Are their positive role models in the First Man movie?
When watching the First Man movie we need to consider the context of the movie. It’s based on the real accounts told from Neil Armstrong and what life was like in the 1960’s. The men get together and drink beer, not too much different from today. However, there are several adults who chain-smoke, most noticably Janet (Neil’s wife) and that was mostly during high-stress moments. I think it’s another opportunity for us to discuss with our kids how that was a different time. We know more now than we did then about the dangers of smoking. Use the movie as another way to get your kids thinking about safer activities or ways to deal with stress.
I thought the relationship between Janet and Neil Armstrong was a positive example of marriage for that time period. While Janet was a housewife, she was not portrayed as week. She was able to assert herself in the marriage. There is tension at time in the marriage but nothing that resulted in arguing. The couple always showed respect for each other. Since the focus of the movie is mainly on Neil we don’t see how much Janet carried the responsibility of the household. Teens may pick up on it where you may want to bring it up with younger kids. Talk about what’s required for one parent when the other parent has to spend so much time out of the home because of their job.
Despite all the time Neil Armstrong had to spend outside of the home training and on missions, it’s so very clear how much he loves his children. Opening scenes he’s playing with them. Other scenes before Karen’s death we see him pouring over notes trying to determine how to help his daughter. There are several light-hearted moments where he is playing and loving with his children. We see Neil as this smart, determined, courageous man who is able to be a loving husband and dad while still carrying out his mission to land on the moon. It’s no different with Janet, his wife. I can’t imagine how stressful it would be to send my husband on dangerous missions like what Neil did. Yet, Janet maintains her composure and is an excellent example of a patient mother and wife.
Finally, we have this group of male astronauts. All are determined. All want the grand prize of going to the moon or being on the next mission. But there is a sense of camaraderie. They support, encourage, and defend each other. They are able to compete against each other while still having great friendships with each other and supporting the overall mission.
The dramatic moments might be too much for some kids, but I think there is so much to be gained from watching the First Man movie. From seeing these examples of positive role models to understanding what it took to get us to the moon, the First Man movie is good for kids 12 and older.
Here’s what else you can expect when you watch the First Man Blu-Ray DVD.
10 Bonus Features on the First Man Blu-Ray DVD
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- Deleted Scenes · There are 30 minutes of deleted scenes.
- Shooting for the Moon – Take an intimate look at the production of First Man and the collaborative relationship between Director Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling, who plays Neil Armstrong.
- Preparing to Launch – It’s difficult to believe that First Man is the first major feature film to tell the journey of Apollo 11. Hear from Director Damien Chazelle and his cast why now is the time to tell the story of this historic event.
- Giant Leap in One Small Step – A heroic character study, First Man sheds light on all the hard working individuals that got us to the moon and back.
- Mission Gone Wrong – Watch as Ryan Gosling reenacts a test piloting sequence gone terribly wrong. Go behind the scenes to see how he trained to nail the landing, performing the majority of his own stunts.
- Putting You In the Seat – Through the use of innovative technology, most of First Man was shot in-camera. Take an in-depth look behind the lens of this epic film.
- Recreating the Moon Landing – Filmed in IMAX to show the vastness of the moon, find out all that it took to recreate the most famous moment in NASA history.
- Shooting at NASA – Hear from Ryan Gosling and Director Damien Chazelle on how shooting at NASA brought unparalleled authenticity to First Man.
- Astronaut Training – Go behind the scenes of the three day boot camp each of the actors underwent prior to filming First Man.
- Feature Commentary with Director Damien Chazelle, Screenwriter Josh Singer and Editor Tom Cross
Want more First Man Blu-Ray DVD info?
To learn more about the First Man Blu-Ray DVD visit the official website at uni.pictures/FirstMan.
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