Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

October Sky 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.

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Duller than rocket science and more reliant on formulas.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    The finale, which utilizes vintage home movies to show us the real people we've just seen portrayed, packs a wallop. [19 February 1999, Life, p.13E]

  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    With its lack of car chases, fist fights, and over-the-top melodrama, the film has to rely on solid acting, an intelligent script, and capable directing.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    One of the best elements of the movie is in breaking free, he is respecting his father. This movie has deep values.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    A family tale, in the best sense. [19 February 1999, Tempo, p.4]

  • See all October Sky reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 10+

Inspiring tale for older tweens and up.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this moving drama based on a true story centers on a very difficult, tense father-son relationship. Ultimately, the movie is about following your dreams, no matter how unachievable they might feel. In one scene, a drunken stepfather beats up one of the main character's friends; there's also some surprisingly strong language for a PG-rated movie (including "s--t") and a few mild sexual references.

  • Families can talk about how Homer, not a great student and not especially strong in math, becomes so inspired by an idea that he begins to think in new ways. Has that ever happened to you?
  • Why it was hard for John to support Homer's ambitions? Why did his mothersee it differently?
  • Do you think Homer made the right choice in going towork in the mine -- and in leaving it?
  • How does the movie portray the way that "nerds" are treated in school? Do you think people are evaluated differently in school thanthey are once they get out?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Emphasizes the importance of following your dreams, no matter how impossible they might seem. Also underlines the necessity of hard work and creaitivity.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Homer works hard for his achievements, despite some rather challenging odds. His father is unsupportive and sometimes harsh, but it's made clear that he does love his son underneath it all.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A boy is beaten in public by his stepfather. There's a brief glimpse of a dead body, as well as a potentially scary mine cave-in. Someone shoots at a character through a window (no injuries). Some accidents with the test rockets.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Some talk of kissing and putting the moves on girls, but nothing is really shown.

  • language false3

    Language: Includes a couple of uses of "s--t," as well as "damn," "hell," "ass," etc. Characters also say things like "goddamn" and "swear to God."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some drinking; a minor character is an alcoholic. Brief glimpse of smoking.