Parents' Guide to

October Sky

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Inspiring tale for older tweens and up.

Movie PG 1999 108 minutes
October Sky Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 16 parent reviews

age 10+

Makes me cry ... Everytime!

Boy Scout Leaders (Wood Badgers) know this movie. It lets you work through Forming, Storming, Norming, and then Performing. Homer is a real person, and is more than friendly. The film itself is beautifully shot, and directed with emotion.
age 10+

Based on true events. Great movie to demonstrate grit, perseverance, and friendship.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (16 ):
Kids say (24 ):

This true story of a boy from a small town who dreams of becoming a rocket scientist is one the best films of the past year and one of the best family movies ever made. We know from the beginning where the story is going, just as we knew with Rocky. The triumph of the underdog is one of literature's most enduring themes. As long as it is done well, audiences are happy to go along. It is never done better than it is here in October Sky. The script, the production design, and the acting are all superb.

Gyllenhaal's expressive eyes show his simultaneous longing for the stars and for his father's approval. Cooper makes a role that could have been a one-dimensional tyrant multi-layered and complex, even sympathetic. Plot twists that might seem heavy-handed or melodramatic work because we know they really happened, and because these characters make us believe. We care so deeply about them that when we see real home movie footage of the real-life Homer's experiments we feel as though they are a part of our family.

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