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Apollo 18 (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  2 September 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 45,673 users   Metascore: 24/100
Reviews: 324 user | 226 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

Decades-old found footage from NASA's abandoned Apollo 18 mission, where two American astronauts were sent on a secret expedition, reveals the reason the U.S. has never returned to the moon.


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Cast overview:
Deputy Secretary of Defense (as Mike Kopsa)
Mission Control
Lab Tech #1 (as Kurt Runte)
Lab Tech #2
Kim Wylie ...
Laura Anderson
Noah Wylie ...
Ryan Anderson
Nate's Girlfriend
John's Fiancée


In the early 70's, Commander Nathan Walker, Captain Ben Anderson and Lieutenant Colonel John Grey are assigned in a secret mission to the Moon to protect the USA from USSR using detectors. Nathan and Ben land on the Moon in the Liberty module while John stays in orbit in the module Freedom. They collect rock samples and bring them to the Liberty. They also find footprints and the body of a Soviet cosmonaut on the moon. Soon they hear weird noises and they find that they are not alone in the satellite. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There's a reason we've never gone back to the moon.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some disturbing sequences, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

2 September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apolo 18  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,704,271 (USA) (2 September 2011)


$17,683,670 (USA) (11 November 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (as Datasat Digital Sound)|


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of Lt. Col. John Grey was less prominently featured in earlier versions of the film. See more »


At the beginning of the movie it is stated that in order to conceal the additional manned mission to the Moon, the DoD justifies the launch of the extra Saturn V rocket with the need of putting a very heavy payload in Earth's orbit. However, the launch footage of Apollo 18 shows liftoff of a complete Saturn V with escape tower. As the latter have been so far used only in crewed launches, this would have been revealing (at least in part) of the manned nature of the mission. See more »


Ben Anderson: [shouting hysterically into comms] I did mine! You do your job, you get me home!
Ben Anderson: Houston, please.
Deputy Secretary of Defense: We'll stay on this channel with you, but this decision is final. You've done a great service for your country, son... and for mankind.
See more »


Referenced in The Sugarcube Critic: Mare in the Moon (2013) See more »


Cheap Day Return
Written by Ian Anderson (as Ian Scott Anderson)
Performed by Jethro Tull
Courtesy of EMI Music Canada Film & Television Music Placement Division & BMG Chrysalis Music Publishing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Faux space documentary better than predicted
20 September 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Framed as leaked "found footage" from the era of space exploration in the 1970s, Apollo 18 is an attempt to out conspiracy the already rife conspiracy theories concerning the lunar landings. The trouble with framing something as being documentary style footage is you have to get the science right and be free from any loopholes that might break the audience out of the illusion. Apollo 18 falls short on this count. López-Gallego manages to recreate to a certain extent the lunar missions. Portrayed through the various cameras feeding live footage back to Earth we have a Big Brother style look into the doomed from the start space mission. The two man crew of the lunar lander also film themselves on 16mm cameras. Herein lies some of the flaws in the director's logic. We need to get into the character's perspective to relate. This is solely done through these 16mm cameras. They film themselves on the moon's surface as well as personal records in the module. The rest is all caught on remote cameras, the audience being allowed to see the threat before the crew do, privy to the danger the Department of Defence has exposed them to. The live footage makes sense to have been documented; however the 16mm film rolls do not make it out, they share the crews dire fate. How then are we seeing the actions of the crew amidst this found footage? It makes no sense pulling any reasonably astute watcher beyond the line of suspension of disbelief.

It seems clear López-Gallego wants us to care about the cast. We need to care for the conspiracy theory to resonate. The story very directly harks into the era of Watergate where the powers that be cannot be trusted. But his illusion of found footage does not stand up at all well. Does the story really fail on this account? No. It's actually fairly entertaining as it goes. The tension builds; the threat is revealed and played out. However the conspiracy theme and the documentary framing lend the film no real benefit and do not pay off. While there is reams of data on the films website to build the conspiracy it is not present enough on screen to sideline the notion we are victim to a none to subtle slight of hand.

What the film did do with the early footage was remind me why, as a child, I was so fascinated with space. It shows with sufficient realism what the actual Apollo astronauts did and how we as a planet reached for the stars. This is not history as it tries to suggest, but it is a reminder, to me at least, of how sad it is that we no longer pursue such epic destinations as the moon or beyond.

59 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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We've been back to the moon. tunasauce
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What were these flash things ? adamnico-691-391569
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