Movie Review: 20th Century Fox's Hidden Figures - #HiddenFigures

Release: December 25, 2016 (Edwards Greenway Grand Palace); January 6, 2017 (Wide)
Director: Theodore Melfi
Screenplay by: Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi (writing credits not final), based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly
Producers: Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams, Theodore Melfi
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Glen Powell & Kimberly Quinn.
HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

My thoughts. Last movie screening of year! Good to close on a high note. Merry Christmas!

There are not enough movies that families can watch together. There it is. I said it. Time and again, I have sat in a theater wishing I was anywhere else.  And just as often, my kids have fallen asleep in a theater because they hated a film I made them attend. I admit that pleasing the entire family is a difficult equation to solve.  As the product of worthwhile biopics and entertaining story-telling, Hidden Figures yields a great movie time. Did you see what I did there? It's a movie about math. Okay, enough kidding around. 

Hidden Figures is phenomenal. It really is the kind of movie that everyone should see. It is true blue All-American history about our shared experience, for better or worse. It's the kind of history that no one is going to read about in schoolbooks, but everyone should know. I brought both of my tweens to see Hidden Figures and all three of us loved it. 

The story of early space travel is always interesting. Hidden Figures tells the story most people think they know, but shows it from a different perspective.  It holds a very timely message.  The film is captivating, uplifting and hopeful.  It is a must-see movie.

The ensemble cast was wonderful. I can't remember when I liked Taraji P. Henson as much as I liked her portrayal of the brainy Katherine Johnson. Octavia Spencer (as Dorothy Vaughn) and  Janelle Monáe (as Mary Jackson) both give strong performances in their companion title roles. The ensemble, including Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Kevin Costner, are also perfectly cast. 

I appreciated the pacing and direction of the story.  The two-hour run time flew by. I liked that the audience was given an opportunity to get to know each of the title characters. None of it felt forced, or rushed or extra. The characters, the saga, and the sub-plots were all balanced beautifully. 

It's a great movie for young girls to see.  It's great for young boys, for older boys, and for women of all ages. I can't imagine who wouldn't be served by the hopeful theme of Hidden Figures. Take a group and go see it. You will not be sorry. Hidden Figures opens in limited release on Christmas and nationwide this Friday. 

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