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Apollo 13 Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Perhaps the most impressive feat of this film is sustaining white-knuckle tension even though the chain of events is well-known.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Ron Howard's film of this mission is directed with a single-mindedness and attention to detail that makes it riveting.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Staff [Not Credited]

    "The Right Stuff" will endure as the more ambitious movie, but this book-faithful, 2-hour team effort shrewdly keeps its eye on the ball.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    It's a nail-biter and knuckle whitener of the first rank: a super real life techno thriller that reduces the fantasies of Tom Clancy and his clones to ground zero.

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Bacon try to get inside the skins of these space-age pilot jocks, but the roles, as written, don't give them enough to work with.

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  • See all Apollo 13 reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

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).

  • 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.

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The team works together to solve their problem and emerge from a terrible situation.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Jim is heroic and brave, as are the other members of the team. Not much diversity; all of the professionals are white males.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Very tense, characters in peril.

  • sex false1

    Sex: One or two oblique references, including one to "the clap."

  • language false2

    Language: A couple of mild expletives.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking at party, lots of smoking.