Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by
Kaufman's love for the Yeager character pays off in the magical closing sequence of the film, when the "best pilot in the world" eyeballs anew Air Force jet and says, "I have a feeling this little old plane right here might be able to beat that Russian record."
Consistently compelling, capturing all the ambiguity and tension of the book.
Rarely has a film made a historic accomplishment seem so vivid and personal.
Time Out
Kaufman (like Tom Wolfe, whose book The Right Stuff this is taken from) is well enough aware of the media circus surrounding the whole project, but still celebrates his magnificent seven's heroism with a rhetoric that is respectful and irresistible.
Director-writer Philip Kaufman's script brings a wealth of humor to a faithful retelling of the astronauts' fascinating stories, the actors fit smoothly into their roles and even physically resemble their characters, and the direction is well-paced and visually exciting.
Washington Post
A GREAT American movie in a new epic form, The Right Stuff fuses the comic and the heroic to emerge as a knockabout social comedy that also packs a thriller inspirational and -- why deny it?-- patriotic wallop.
In a brash, beautiful, deeply American film, Kaufman has combined the resources and ingenuity of movie making with the freewheeling, damn-the-conventions style of of the New Journalism and come up with a generous, high-spirited look at the bravery and lunacy that was that era.
There are moments of dramatic licence, but overall The Right Stuff is a terrific historical film about the space race: accurately reflective of a complex reality, beautifully filmed, and done with wit, energy and an impressive sense of balance. Top marks.
Slant Magazine
The titular “stuff” is shown to be a combination of courage, determination, and recklessness, but, as Kaufman’s stirring epic reminds us, an equally important motivation for greatness is the fear of being merely second best.
THE RIGHT STUFF, Philip Kaufman's rousing, funny screen adaptation of Tom Wolfe's book about Project Mercury and America's first astronauts, is probably the brightest and the best rookie/cadet movie ever made, though the rookies and cadets are seasoned pilots and officers.

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