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Short takes

Not recommended under 8, parental guidance 8-9, suitable for 10 and over (themes, lacks interest for younger children)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Armstrong
  • a review of Armstrong completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 September 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to themes, and possible lack of interest.
Children aged 8–9 Parental guidance recommended due to themes. Some parts may need to be explained for younger viewers.
Children aged 10 and over Ok for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Armstrong
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes
Length: 100 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Through the use of interviews, personal letters and family home videos the movie, Armstrong, shares the remarkable story of Neil Armstrong (voiced by Harrison Ford). A young boy growing up in rural Ohio who, from the time he was a small child, was fascinated by planes and how they worked; Armstrong learned to fly before he could drive and went on to become one of the most famous men in history. Audiences get a real glimpse into the quiet life Armstrong led and come to appreciate the man that he was, whether as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, an engineering student at Perdue university, a husband and father, or part of the NASA space program. Sharing his story, family and friends attest to his quiet kindness, his unshakable calm and his hard-working nature that saw him rise through the ranks to become the first man on the moon and who, in a moment of glory, helped unite a troubled world.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

War; the perils of a dangerous job; family breakdown; and the loss of a child.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • When the US gets involved in the Korean War Neil describes to his family some of the violence in war such as friends dying or being badly burned and accidents that take place on the ship. There are images and re-enactments of explosions taking place and the audience hears about the impact that the death toll had on crew members including Neil himself.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Neil describes how he managed to fly his badly damaged aircraft back inside the safe zone and eject outside enemy territory.
  • A group of highly trained astronauts are burned to death inside the space capsule when a spark ignites the oxygen in the chamber. The audience sees the blacked and melted remains of the capsule but not the bodies.
  • There is footage of the space shuttle Challenger exploding just after take-off as well as footage of plane crashes at Edwards Airforce Base.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Though told in a sensitive way, Neil’s young daughter has a brain tumour and despite the radiation and their best efforts to keep her alive, she passes away.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Nothing of additional concern.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

It is unlikely that children over the age of thirteen would be frightened by this movie.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • A man, watching the launch of Apollo 11, drinks a can of Budweiser beer.
  • Numerous personnel in the control tower are wearing T-shirts with IBM emblazoned on the back.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • A man drinks beer at the launch.
  • A man is seen smoking.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • The term “hell”.

In a nutshell

Armstrong is a biographical documentary based on the extraordinary life of Neil Armstrong. It draws heavily on interviews with family and friends and incorporates historical clips from NASA, news and press conferences. The film will appeal to space enthusiasts and older audiences.

The main messages from this movie are to follow your dreams wherever they may take you; to work hard; to be a good person; to show courage even in the face of impossible odds; and to always remember that it is not about the man but rather about the team.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Courage
  • Humility
  • Kindness
  • Unity
  • Dedication and Teamwork

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Focussing all your time and effort on work and leaving little time left over for family.
  • The potential dangers of professional fighter pilots and astronauts and the importance of everyone doing the best job that they can as even small aspects can have huge effects on others.
  • The importance of protecting this “island oasis” (Earth) as it is the only known place in the universe capable of supporting human life.