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The Aeronauts

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United Kingdom · 2019
Rated PG-13 · 1h 41m
Director Tom Harper
Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Courtenay, Phoebe Fox
Genre Adventure, Drama, Romance

Based on a true story, The Aeronauts follows James Glaisher, a pioneering meteorologist desperate to prove his theories about the atmosphere. He teams up with daredevil pilot Amelia Wren to build a hot air balloon and fly higher than anyone has before, risking both their lives to advance human knowledge of weather.

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What are critics saying?


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

There’s enough potential with the balloon’s feats to justify an entire feature-length experience set within its basket, but The Aeronauts constantly interrupts the journey to shoehorn random tangents on the ground, and busies up the drama with underdeveloped side characters.


Screen Daily by Fionnuala Halligan

A thrilling, action-packed, wide-vista yarn from the sharp quills of Jack Thorne and co-writer and director Tom Harper, this Amazon-backed project is deceptively simple yet surprisingly deft.


The Playlist by Gregory Ellwood

A hodgepodge of a story that only really works when Glaisher and Wren are in the sky. And when they are it’s absolutely gorgeous.


The Telegraph by Helen O'Hara

We know that this cast can produce magic together, and that this director can inject pace into unlikely topics. It’s just this one that seems to have feet of clay.


Empire by Ian Freer

The title might sound like something from Marvel Phase Six, but The Aeronauts is an exhilarating period flight of fancy, occasionally weighed down by backstory, but buoyed by Redmayne and especially Jones.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

It is a film with charm and the chemistry between Jones and Redmayne has something rather platonic and even sibling-like, but that isn’t to say there isn’t a spark of sorts.


TheWrap by Sasha Stone

The Aeronauts serves an important purpose as an aspirational film for young girls who either love science, or whose parents hope they see the movie and understand that women can be just as excited about taking a hero’s journey as any man.


The Observer (UK) by Simran Hans

Inspired by real events, the film is at its best when it leans into the action-adventure genre; director Tom Harper smartly uses camera-shake and closeups to immerse the audience in the weather’s volatility.


The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy

The Aeronauts achieves impressive elevation as a bracing and sympathetic account of two early and very different aviators who together reached literal new heights in a perilous field of endeavor.


Variety by Tomris Laffly

The duo [of Redmayne and Jones] hand-in-hand elevates [The Aeronauts] ... from a flimsy action-adventure to something worth watching on the biggest possible screen, even if it operates on a handful of clichés with little character-based substance to speak of.

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