Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D

Rated 4.0

The latest IMAX 3-D film offers a 50-minute retrospective of America’s Apollo program and the six expeditions to the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972, narrated by Tom Hanks (who also co-wrote the script with Christopher G. Cowen and director Mark Cowen). The movie skillfully combines NASA footage and stills with a detailed simulation of a generic moonwalk. (By keeping it hypothetical and not dramatizing any of the real Apollo flights, the movie is able to show some of the emergency procedures the astronauts had in place but, fortunately, never needed.) It’s a stirring and persuasive plug for resuming in-person space exploration—and it’s a lot of fun besides. Co-producer Hanks recruited a phalanx of stars to help with the narration: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Paul Newman, John Travolta and others.