Hidden Figures

Rated 4.0

Katherine Johnson was part of a segregated division at NASA in the ’50s, a wing of mathematicians who did the work that computers do today. Hidden Figures depicts the humiliation she and two other historical African-American figures, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, went through while solving equations that helped put men safely into space. The women had to put up with a lot of racist bullshit, and the film shows their hardships, albeit in PG fashion. Taraji P. Henson plays Johnson, the “smart one” astronaut John Glenn personally demanded check the coordinates before his historical flight launched. Octavia Spencer is her usual great self as Vaughan, doing the work of a supervisor without the title and curious about that new IBM thing they just installed down the hall. Vaughan would become crucial to the implementation of computers at NASA, as well as being the agency’s first African-American supervisor. As Jackson, NASA’s first female African-American aeronautical engineer, singer Janelle Monae is so good, it’s easy to forget that this is just her second movie role. As a composite, fictional character named Al Harrison, Kevin Costner does some of his best acting in years.