It chronicles one of the most dramatic of all spaceflights, an American catastrophe that became an American victory, and it does this in a way that's so authentic, so brilliant in its technical details, that it succeeds in putting us on that ship.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Playing the tough, commanding Jim Lovell is a substantial stretch for Mr. Hanks, but as usual his seeming ingenuousness overshadows all else about the role. There's not a false move to anything he does on screen.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
The movie will happily repay multiple viewings.
Dean Essner - USA Today
Blowing up some 35mm films to an image 10 times larger could magnify their plot faults and performance shortcomings. But Apollo 13, with its taut cast, script and direction, profits from the process.
Jane Sumner - Dallas Morning News
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
This meticulous but ultimately rather pedestrian drama gradually won me over as a minor if watchable example of the "victory through defeat" brand of military heroism that John Ford specialized in.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Susan Stark - Detroit News
This engrossing account of the nation's most perilous moon shot embodies what many people consider to be old-fashioned American virtues in a virtually pristine state.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Maintains its suspense even though the conclusion is well known.
Sean Means - Film.com
Apollo 13 avoids becoming propaganda, or a masturbatory industrial film for NASA, by focusing on the story's human element.
Bradley Steinbacher - Film.com
While the events of this motion picture may depict NASA's finest hour, the release of Apollo 13 represents Ron Howard's.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The special effects and many scenes of weightlessness look as good or better than in the original, while the Oscar-winning sound and James Horner's rousing score make good use of the hefty audio system.
David Hunter - Hollywood Reporter
From lift-off to splashdown, Apollo 13 gives one hell of a ride.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
It's easily Howard's best film.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
If there is one subject that makes it okay to feel old-fashioned patriotism and pride in humanity... it is surely the US space program.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Thrilling, heartwarming, scary, and superb.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
A rousing, flag-waving paean to American skill and courage, Howard's polished film panders to its target audience perfectly.
Jamie Russell - Film4
Truly a director for the '90s, Ron Howard has mastered the art of spinning big, old-fashioned yarns without any discernible point of view, and his movie is curiously empty and instantly forgettable.
Dean Essner - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Apollo 13 remains Howard's masterpiece... It is, quite simply, one of the finest movies ever produced.
David Cornelius - DVDTalk.com
The movie is terrific on nuts-and-bolts stuff, but nuts and bolts aren't the same as drama.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Overnight, Howard seems to have turned into a combination of the best aspects of Oliver Stone and Robert Altman.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
In an age when we rely on computerized directions and GPS devices to drive to the next town, it seems an almost mythic scenario.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
For a 'space movie', both the special effects and photography are surprisingly pedestrian. Where it scores is in subtly restating traditional notions of male heroism.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
A movie for the ages.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
Well-crafted and well-acted recreation of the famous missile journey, marred by Ron Howard's white POV that disregards the broader political context
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
It may not be the best film of the year, but it's certainly made of the right stuff.
Mark Salisbury - Empire Magazine
...both fair history and a edge-of-your-seat popcorn thriller, a good example of the best work of which Hollywood is capable.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
If you don't remember the gripping events of April 1970 before seeing this film, you likely will remember them for a long time afterward.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
... tells a gripping true story efficiently. ... And yet, it still feels too packaged, too neat, too clean.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Looking Closer
Overrated yet nonetheless well done.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Susan Tavernetti - Palo Alto Weekly
It seems strange now, a quarter of a century later, than mankind, with vastly superior technology, lacks the will to venture to the other planets or even to go back to the moon. What a world of wimps we have become!
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Just like the mission itself, APOLLO 13 leaves the impression of being both a success and a failure.
Dragan Antulov - rec.arts.movies.reviews
But the visual impact here should pique the interest of plenty of other Hollywood filmmakers looking for a second life for their productions.
Kevin Lally - Film Journal International
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The transfer to the IMAX screen diminishes none of the film's drama, which was always much more about human emotions than technology.
David Barton - Sacramento Bee
The kind of history lesson that you wouldn't mind seeing again and again, no matter the format.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
If you thought Tom Hanks was just an ordinary big-screen star, wait until you've seen him eight stories tall.
Ted Fry - Seattle Times
This story is larger-than-life to begin with, so it is enhanced by the new super-size format. The movie grabs you and doesn't let go for nearly two hours.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
An irresistible combination of a rousing good story set on a truly grand scale.
Nigam Nuggehalli - culturevulture.net
Suffice to say that after seeing this movie in IMAX form, you'll be more acquainted with the tiniest details of Tom Hanks' face than his wife is.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
The sight of the spaceship on the launching pad is duly impressive in IMAX dimensions, as are shots of the astronauts floating in their cabins.
David Ehrenstein - New Times
On a purely pictorial level, this is one of the best-looking IMAX movies ever.
David Chute - L.A. Weekly
New technology was used for the space program and, appropriately enough, new IMAX technology enlarges the experience.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
It's a great American adventure and a wonderful film to bring to IMAX.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
Vividly chronicles the most dramatic space flight in history.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
A brilliant balance between true-life accuracy and movie-time excitement.
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
A definite feel-good movie.
Dean Essner - BBC
The depiction of the rocket launch remains one of the most exhilarating sequences ever captured on film; so realistic that NASA wondered where the filmmakers got the footage.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
There is no denying that on many levels it is an extremely taut piece of filmmaking, but frequently it is too much about a situation and too little about the people in the situation.
Scott Renshaw - Scott Renshaw's Screening Room
Apollo 13 is a blast for thrill-seekers and a joy for humanists who seek emotional truths in films.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
Surprisingly gripping and supremely entertaining.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Film Scouts
Toward the end ... the pace picks up considerably at this point, and the film becomes the heroic adventure that was intended.
Christine James - Boxoffice Magazine
I just wish that Apollo 13 worked better as a movie, and that Howard's threshold for corn, mush and twinkly sentiment weren't so darn wide.
Edward Guthmann - San Francisco Chronicle
A gripping movie about a time when America still worked.
Barbara Shulgasser - San Francisco Examiner
Apollo 13 gets my blanket recommendation.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Ron Howard's direction provides excitement and suspense, even if you already know the outcome.
Madeleine Williams - Cinematter
Apollo 13 is a terribly exciting experience, but it could have been a terribly moving one as well.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
The best thing about Apollo 13 is how moving it is during its most quiet moments.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The story is incredible.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
This film is a paean to the power of perseverance to solve even the most impossible problems. This one is well worth braving the crowds to see.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
A true story filled with suspense and human drama.
Chris Hicks - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Apollo 13 succeeds on its own merits and may be the only summer adventure blockbuster without bullets or warheads.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
A solid, if somewhat heavy-handed, account of the near-disaster that befell NASA's 1970 mission to the moon, done up by Howard with a steady, if not very imaginative, hand.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion