6.3/10
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135 user 108 critic

The Astronaut Farmer (2006)

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A NASA astronaut, forced to retire years earlier so he could save his family farm, has never given up his dream of space travel and looks to build his own rocket, despite the government's threats to stop him.

Director:

Michael Polish

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Bob Thornton ... Charles Farmer
Virginia Madsen ... Audrey 'Audie' Farmer
Max Thieriot ... Shepard Farmer
Jasper Polish ... Stanley Farmer
Logan Polish ... Sunshine Farmer
Bruce Dern ... Hal
Mark Polish ... FBI Agent Mathis
Jon Gries ... FBI Agent Killbourne
Tim Blake Nelson ... Kevin Munchak
Sal Lopez ... Pepe Garcia
J.K. Simmons ... Jacobson
Kiersten Warren ... Phyllis
Rick Overton ... Arnold 'Arnie' Millard
Richard Edson ... Chopper Miller
Elise Eberle ... Madison Roberts
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Storyline

Texan Charles Farmer left the Air Force as a young man to save the family ranch when his dad died. Like most American ranchers, he owes his bank. Unlike most, he's an astrophysicist with a rocket in his barn - one he's built and wants to take into space. It's his dream. The FBI puts him under surveillance when he tries to buy rocket fuel; the FAA stalls him when he files a flight plan - it's post-9/11, after all. His wife is angry when she finds out their bank is initiating foreclosure. Charlie fears failure and decides, precipitously, to launch. Are twenty-first century American dreams just a sign of insanity? Are those who believe in dreamers only fools? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rocket | bank | fbi | space travel | fuel | See All (160) »

Taglines:

If we don't have our dreams, we have nothing.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material, peril and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Astronaut Farmer See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,454,319, 25 February 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,996,440, 22 April 2007
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

FBI Agent Mathis is played by Mark Polish, who co-wrote the screenplay with his twin brother, writer/director Michael Polish. See more »

Goofs

Farmer's orbital path, due to the rotation of the earth, would not pass over the launch point until 24 hours or roughly 18 orbits have been completed. After nine orbits the path of the capsule would take it mostly over Europe and Asia, then dipping into the Southern Hemisphere, nowhere near the southern U.S. The producers might originally have envisioned a 24-hour flight (and filmed it that way) but for some reason the number of completed orbits was changed to 9 in the script. See more »

Quotes

Arnold 'Arnie' Milan: You got bad credit, but, uh, you got great character.
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Crazy Credits

During the credits, an interview on The Tonight Show is shown between Farmer and Jay Leno. Pictures play during the credits as well. See more »

Connections

References Good Morning America (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Merry Go Fairground
Written and Performed by Jay Duerr
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User Reviews

 
A Great Rocket Ride
22 February 2007 | by manoymanoSee all my reviews

This is a wonderful movie. Simple and elegantly made. There are many layers to this movie that haven't been written about on this site. More like frustration and negativity seem to fuel these message boards. Cynicism is alive and well. The knit-pickers can make a nice lint blindfold if they choose not to see this movie for what it is: entertainment. Like Spielberg, Capra and many others the Polish brothers have arrived with a classic piece of storytelling.

The Polish Brothers have depth and while it seems it's their glossy turn to make a Hollywood movie they continue with their wit and edge, try and spot "The Last Supper" scene. Look for the homage to "The Right Stuff", "Apollo 13" and "Armageddon". The son is named Shepard after the astronaut. And I assume that the daughter is named Stanley after Stanley Kubrick since the Grandpa is named HAL ( 2001 : Space Odyssey). There's definitely an undertone for the hardcore Polish brothers fans. The dialogue alone is worth the price admission. Of course you'll need to suspend your disbelief for a story that seems so far fetched, a man launching himself into space, although I have read of 2 rocket men who have attempted this same idea-- but every time you walk into a movie theater you have to surrender some logic. Just the fact it's called a "movie" should tell you something before you purchase the ticket.

It's unfortunate that most reviewers feel like victims and have a need to share their boredom. I can imagine this movie not doing good with men who have lost their inspiration or desire. My brother in fact didn't like this movie because he said it wasn't possible. I don't remember him having this much trouble with "E.T." or "Forest Gump". My brother gave up his dream of being a writer, he now teaches high school drama. I debated with him over the fact this movie is also metaphorical and it's about everyones dream. That is why the rocket is named "The Dreamer" because everyone is dreamer, or has a dream they're building. This movie really shook up my brother and his dislike of this movie should motivate him.

I enjoyed this movie so much. I was able to bring my dad, kids and husband and that in itself is a triumph and the filmmakers should be awarded for that.

9 out of 10 stars, only because I am keeping one star for my dream.


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