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(2016) (Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer) (PG)
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- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: Three African-American women must contend with racism and sexism in the early 1960s as they work for NASA and its attempts to put astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
- It's 1961 and Katherine G. Johnson (TARAJI P. HENSON), Dorothy Vaughan (OCTAVIA SPENCER) and Mary Jackson (JANELLE MONAE) are African-American women working for NASA at its Hampton, VA base. Dorothy runs the "Colored Computers" division, although she's yet to be designated as the supervisor, something she brings up with her white and somewhat racist boss, Vivian Mitchell (KIRSTEN DUNST).
Mary is the most outspoken of the three and wishes to be an engineer, something her white supervisor, Karl Zielinski (OLEK KRUPA), agrees with, but she learns she suddenly doesn't have enough education and must attend additional classes. The only problem is that they'll be taught in an all white class and the state of Virginia won't allow her to attend, something not lost on her husband, Levi (ALDIS HODGE), who believes their kids should be shown that sort of racism that's still facing them.
Katherine is a widowed mom of three kids who lives with her mom. She's just been assigned to the Space Task Group to analyze and crunch numbers for Director Al Harrison (KEVIN COSTNER) who's under pressure to keep up with the Russians in terms of putting a man in space. Those working for Al -- be that his assistant Ruth (KIMBERLY QUINN) or mathematician Paul Stafford (JIM PARSONS) -- don't look kindly on Katherine suddenly being in their group.
And while she must also contend with sexism from outside the walls of NASA -- initially from Col. Jim Johnson (MAHERSHALA ALI) of the National Guard who's taken a liking to her but underestimates her intelligence -- she gets a big ally in the form of astronaut John Glenn (GLEN POWELL) who wants the smartest person running the numbers regarding putting him into orbit. As the women go about their jobs and how that affects their personal lives, they must contend with the sexism and systematic racism that complicate their efforts.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Those interested in the true story might want to, as might those who are fans of anyone in the cast.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
- For thematic elements and some language.
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