Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Prizes American ingenuity, courage, teamwork, and commitment during its years of space pioneering; quietly and subtly promotes the value of curiosity and further exploration. Gene Cernan delivers insightful messages of perseverance throughout: "You've got to have a passion or a love for what you're doing, or you shouldn't be doing it." "Whatever you do, just do your best and someday, I promise you, you're gonna surprise yourself." "Risk is the price of progress." It's crucial to learn from one's mistakes and have humility.
Positive Role Models
Basic story of an "ordinary Joe" who achieves greatness. Gene Cernan is smart, loyal, honest, thoughtful, grateful, unpretentious, and able to keep his unusual accomplishments in perspective. He's clear about his struggle to balance family life with his career and accepts responsibility for his failures. Other members of the NASA family are also portrayed as committed, responsible, and fully team-oriented. No ethnic diversity in either the movie or the space program during the time depicted.
Violence & Scariness
Actual footage of several space program disasters, including the deaths of test pilots Charlie Bassett and Emmett Lee, and of the Apollo I fire that trapped and killed Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. Sad aftermath of these events is given attention; funerals and interviews with loved ones are especially poignant. Suspenseful moments during which Cernan and teammates are at risk.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
A sprinkling of swearing: "goddamn," "sonofabitch," "hell," "crap," "butt."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
It's implied that the tight-knit astronaut colleagues partied and drank while off-duty.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Man on the Moon is an in-depth documentary profile of Eugene (Gene) Cernan, the last U.S. astronaut to walk on the moon in December 1972. In telling one man's story, the film captures the profound spirit, the worldwide excitement, and the accomplishments of the U.S. space program during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Cernan is an exceptional storyteller; his keen observations, memories, and ability to relate what happened to him in the program as a whole will give young viewers a full and engaging picture of an important, uplifting period in American history. Extensive film from the period, photographs, and newsreel excerpts created during both training and missions keep the film very real. Actual footage of two tragic accidents during that time, along with the sadness and impact of the astronauts' deaths upon families and the world at large, may be disturbing for some young or highly sensitive kids. A touch of swearing is heard from outer space, as well: "damn," "hell," "crap," "butt," and "sonofabitch." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Gene Cernan's warm, articulate, insightful presence works along with solid direction, editing, and a nicely coherent structure to make this an incisive film about the U.S. space program. The whole world was watching, rooting for its heroes, fascinated by possibility. As the movie progresses, one can't help but be nostalgic for an America at the top of its glory and scientific prowess. At the same time, the story told is faithful to both the risks undertaken and the side effects of the program's intensity for those who served. We see the tragic endings and the wives and kids left behind due to the program's level of commitment. From a perspective spanning decades, Mr. Cernan tells it like it was and like it is. Saddened by the knowledge that it may never happen again, Cernan walks through the rusty, abandoned space center in which he spent his most productive years and has to look away. The Last Man on the Moon is a terrific, must-see movie, especially as an engaging way to introduce kids to the wonders of science and scientific discovery.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.