I enjoyed this movie, although I would not describe it as a must-see. It is best for showing the rickety and claustrophobic nature of the moon landing program.
Three points struck me in particular, both concerning progress. First, the space shots in this movie are not better than those of Stanley Kubrick in his 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. There are even several Kubrick homage shots, and they don’t look any better than the originals, and arguably somewhat worse. Perhaps most cinematic progress has come in shooting or better yet constructing dense scenes, but that does not apply to space.
Second, I walked to my (non-fancy) car and turned on the ignition right after watching the movie. It was immediately striking how much better and more reliable was the software in my car than in the whole well-funded moon program. In this sense technological progress has been immense. That said, most cars in operation today are not that much better than cars from 1969, and they perform more or less the same functions, albeit more safely. Improving car manufacture is not that hard, but improving the usefulness of cars in our daily lives is where the problem lies. So this supports the “the consumer space is already filled out” interpretation of the great stagnation.
Third, perhaps it is the very absence of the internet and advanced information technology that made the moon program possible. When Armstrong arrives at the moon, you realize it is pretty boring and it has not so much to offer, either in 1969 or today. Would they have gone to such trouble if there had been better problems to work on? Well before the end of the movie, I found myself wanting to check my email and refresh my Twitter feed.
By the way, this movie has bombed at the box office, perhaps not a good sign for the revival of adventure in contemporary culture.