'Fly Me to the Moon' Movie Reviews: Critics Share Strong First Reactions

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Fly Me to the Moon, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum

Following a round of Fly Me to the Moon screenings, critics shared plenty of positive reactions in their early reviews.

Set during the 1960's Space Race, Fly Me to the Moon sees NASA's director running the Apollo 11 Moon launch (Channing Tatum) bring a marketing specialist (Scarlett Johansson) in to stage a "backup" fake landing.

This throws the entire mission for a loop as Tatum and Johansson's characters quarrel, eventually leading to an unexpected romantic bond between them.

Directed by Arrowverse creator Greg Berlanti, the film's all-star ensemble cast includes names like Ray Romano, Woody Harrelson, and Jim Rash.

Fly Me to the Moon's First Reactions From Critics

Fly Me to the Moon Scarlett Johansson channing tatum
Fly Me to the Moon

The first press screenings were held Apple Studios and Sony Pictures’ for Fly Me to the Moon.

Critics in attendance shared mostly strong early reactions to what they saw from the new summer romantic comedy on X (formerly Twitter).

ComingSoon's Jonathan Sim praised the "wonderful chemistry" between leads Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson, calling them "hilarious, charming, and so damn lovable:"

"'FLY ME TO THE MOON' is an absolute treat. Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson have wonderful chemistry in a perfect date movie that depicts a sensational retelling of a historical event. Hilarious, charming, and so damn lovable in every scene."

Standard News' Luke Hearfield was not as high on the film, calling it "forgettable." 

He was "hardly smitten over Tatum and Johansson," recalling only a "few chuckles" in a "very plain" outing:

"Just watched 'Fly Me to The Moon' and it was pretty forgettable. Not outright bad but very plain. Few chuckles here and there but I was hardly smitten over Tatum and Johansson as a pairing. Also was far too long for what it was. So yeah it’s fine but was hardly moonstruck by it.

USA Today's Ema Sasic saw Fly Me to the Moon as "a mystery movie," getting "plenty of laughs" and loving the way it "[tugs] at the heartstrings:"

"Saw 'FLY ME TO THE MOON' as a mystery movie - it’s so charming! Plenty of laughs and it manages to tug at the heartstrings too. Scarlett Johansson is delightful & plays to her comedy strengths. Channing Tatum is good, especially opposite her, but I don’t buy him as a 1960s man"

She also called Jim Rash her MVP as "the world's most dramatic director" and gave Woody Harrelson credit for his work as well:

"Jim Rash is my MVP as the world’s most dramatic director. Lots of laughs from my theater crowd anytime he appeared on screen. Woody Harrelson was great too doing his usual schtick"

Critic Rory Cashin thoroughly enjoyed Johansson's work, praising her for giving "one of the most magnetically charismatic performances" in 2024 to date:

"Fans of Scarlett Johansson will find a lot to love in 'FLY ME TO THE MOON.' She delivers one of the most magnetically charismatic performances of the year so far."

YouTuber Larry Chillson of Chillyboy Productions added his own positive review, not seeing anything "ground-breaking" but noting how it gives "a lovely enough watch:"

"'Fly Me to the Moon' was last night's mystery movie! This historical fiction rom-com doesn't offer up anything ground-breaking but it does provide a lovely enough watch!"

Chillson added more positive commentary in his YouTube review, noting how his favorite aspect of the movie was "the magic Greg Berlanti was able to inject" into it. 

He specifically pointed out how Berlanti "conveys the idea behind the importance of the space program" with its 1960s setting.

He went on to praise Tatum and Johansson's performances, commenting on how they had "very lovely chemistry" as an on-screen couple.

What to Take From Strong Fly Me to the Moon Reactions?

Romcoms have come back into the movie landscape with force over the last couple of years thanks to projects like A Family Affair, Anyone But You, and The Idea of You.

The upward trend in terms of reviews for those movies seems to continue with Fly Me to the Moon, although this one takes a different direction as a period piece set in a story tied to American history. 

Both Tatum and Johansson have plenty of well-reviewed credits to their name in this genre, and for the most part, they seem to have won critics over with their on-screen chemistry.

Throw in an excellent supporting cast and well-written comedy, and there seems to be excitement building amongst the general public to see what the film has in store.

Fly Me to the Moon should be able to generate solid buzz and box office revenue with its release date, which comes two weeks before the hotly-anticipated Deadpool & Wolverine.

How it performs the rest of the summer remains to be seen, although it should stand strong with little competition in terms of its own genre.

Fly Me to the Moon debuts in theaters on Friday, July 12.

Read more about other summer blockbusters below:

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- In This Article: Fly Me to the Moon
Release Date
July 12, 2024
Channing Tatum
Jim Rash
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.