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Hidden Figures

7.82 h 6 min2017X-RayHDRUHDPG
An incredible & inspiring untold true story about three women at NASA who were instrumental in one of history's greatest operations – the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
Theodore Melfi
Taraji P. HensonOctavia SpencerJanelle Monáe
English [CC]
Audio Languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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4.8 out of 5 stars

13475 global ratings

  1. 87% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Valerie J.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 May 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
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This is an excellent drama based on a true story. The cast and performances are superb, the storyline mostly fun and always interesting, and the history behind it all is captivating and was unknown to me. There is revealing of racial prejudice (which is really hard to take) and the cruelty of it all, but what I love about this movie is that the three black women certainly showed NASA that melanin is only skin deep. I bought this quite recently and have seen it twice already. I loved it from smart to finish and although it is not comedy per se, there are plenty of smiles and laughs throughout.

After seeing the movie, I bought the book upon which it is based but, really, I couldn't get along with it at all.
37 people found this helpful
Paul TapnerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 06 August 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful minds
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Early in the 1960's, at the height of the cold war and the space race, America was looking to the skies A bright new future beckoned.

But old prejudices and ways of life held some of it's people back.

This is an adaptation of a book that tells the story of three African American ladies, who became instrumental figures at NASA. And all they had to do to get the recognition they deserved.

Katherine is a computer. Which in those days was a term for a person doing maths. She has an amazing mind and is brilliant at complicated calculations. Not least trajectory ones.

Dorothy is running the department of coloured computer girls. But nobody will make it a permanent position for her.

Mary is smart enough to be an engineer. But the law won't let her study to get the qualifications she needs for the job.

As America strives to get a man into space, these three ladies strive to be all they can be....

This is both history and empowerment. And it succeeds superbly at both. The direction and the music and style of the film give it a great sixties look. The history is fascinating, revealing a fair few things that might surprise you. And leave you aghast at how the indignities of segregation persisted and were seen as the norm by many,

The three leads deliver superb performances. Katherine's story does get a little more attention than Dorothy and Mary, but the latter two are not neglected. There's solid work from Kirsten Dunst in a supporting role. And a superb turn from Kevin Costner as Harrison, the man in charge of things. A man who can adapt far better to changing times than maths man Paul Stafford [Jim Parsons]. An interesting turn from Jim Parsons as Stafford is somewhat like Sheldon Cooper, but without the dismissive superiority, and he has even less ability to handle change than Sheldon ever did.

Glen Powell also stands out, with a superbly charismatic turn as John Glenn.

The empowerment side of this is spot on. And like all of that, it's a message that doesn't have to be specific to any gender or anyone else. It's something anyone can take heart from if you are open enough to do so. The film does manage to get beautifully emotional at points, particularly the opening introduction to Katherine, but it also has to cram in lots of exposition scenes. These don't get you in the same way, but they work fine anyhow.

The score as mentioned is nicely sixties, although the tone of it in some of the scenes of the effects of segregation isn't quite what you might expect. But you get used to it.

Great history, and the story of three remarkable people that really deserved to be told. It does them justice.

The dvd begins with a short anti piracy ad which can't be skipped, but then goes into the main menu,

Although the box just says English for language and subtitle options, the disc actually has slightly more:

Languages: English. Castilian Spanish. English audio captioned.
Subtitles: English, Castilian Spanish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish.


A stills gallery.
A commentary from the director and the lady who plays Katherine.

No limits - the life of Katherine Johnson. An eleven minute long look at her life and the film project itself. An absorbing and interesting watch.
Moving the decimal - honouring Katherine Johnson. A six minute long tribute. The first half of which is specifically about her, and might leave you with something stuck in your eye. The second is more about the film, but still good.
Filming in Georgia. Six minutes about the experience of the movie shoot and the locations they used. A good watch.
16 people found this helpful
HimynameisReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 December 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent Film! More Important Than Black Panther
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I love this film! It is such a necessity for Black people to see as it is based on historical people. When I saw it at the cinema, I remember feeling emotional at the end when the real women are shown during the credits. The acting is good and well produced and directed. I don't care much of Pharrell's involvement in the score, but he did put together a lot of nice things although at times I feel the music makes it lighthearted while at the root of this film is a dark subject matter which Black people are still facing. I also did not like the portrayal of most of the white characters who were made to look like they had minor prejudices with some bad apples thrown in. After all, those workers hid those people and took credit for their lives work. Lastly, I wish this had been as big or bigger than Black Panther because this film is far more important for everyone to see.
19 people found this helpful
Drake7Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 03 September 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
20th Century Physics, 18th Century attitudes
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Interesting story contrasting the modernism of the Space Age witht the colour segregation morality of 60's America. America was shocked and deeply frightened by the Russian advances in the 'Space race' and desperately needed mathematicians, scientists, especially as they were embarking on a Space Program without the use of Computers. In fact the people were the 'computers' and among those were women of colour, with exceptional ability. Segregation rules applied on the buses and almost unbelievably within the minds and buildings of NASA. NASA gradually sees the light!
Well told story, well directed and acted. A very interesting insight into the space race at that time and of Americas gradual move to a more equal society. Thankfully NASA now has a much more enlightened view of its workforce , many of the staff running current missions being of colour, and women!The story is somewhat reminiscent of the story of Alan Turing who was a major force in breaking the German codes in WW2, thus saving thousands of lives and shortening the war. But he lived at a time when societies prejudice against homosexuality caused him to be prosecuted and eventually driven to suicide.
15 people found this helpful
BobReviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 July 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the best movies I have seen for a long time
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Excellent movie! I loved how the main ('african american') female character really put some of the ignorant, but supposedly 'smart' white men, where they should have been anyway (by proving she was smarter than them) and how the 'guy in charge' sorted out 'a problem' of ladies facilities in a slightly entertaining way.
But supposedly 'very smart' people can also be so dumb sometimes that they don't realise how these things (about having no toilets in a building for 'black women' because of racial segregation being a bad thing, when 'black women' are also working there and they need to pee like everyone else) are obvious to even the some of least well educated people who would know the hours worked there are very long and the breaks short, so toilets need to close for EVERYBODY not just 'white people'!

And the white characters who insisted on taking credit for the black womens' work made me so angry I wanted to give them such a slap as to knock their blocks off!!

But that is what racial segregation, gender inequality & social inequality was & IS like since those with wealth and power always want something for nothing from those with a lot less resources and a lot less power.
7 people found this helpful
Anthony ManmohanReviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 June 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Black females 1940s - 60's in NACA & NASA
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Not entirely accurate or in the right order but highlighting the difficulties faced by black Americans prior to and during the space age.
Vaughn (Spencer) became the first African-American to become a manager at NACA, which was segregated having separate toilets and eating areas before it became part of NASA which was unsegregated due to its larger diversity in the workplace.
She worked at the West Area Computing Unit with other African-American females who were known as "human computers" and referred to as the West Computers.
They played a major role before the complete reliance of computers by launching John Glenn into space in 1962, who named his spacecraft "Friendship 7". He wouldn't launch without Katherine (Henson) confirmed calculation; she calculated the flight-paths of space travel and as far as to the moon.
The Space Age had begun in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik 1 and a year later in 1958, Mary (Monàe) after finishing her courses, was promoted to becoming the first African-American engineer in NASA.
4 people found this helpful
J. Scott-mandevilleReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 February 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Hidden gems
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Hidden Figures is a not only a fascinating account of the contributions of three clever women to the Space Programme in the USA, but a wonderfully acted portrayal of black women, in what is, to all effects, an alien environment, trying to make their way through an almost exclusively white preserve of science in 1960s segregated America. The film balances the women's personal lives with their professional struggle to be heard and recognised. There are some wonderful scenes where the women's talents are shown to be equal to, if not superior to, their male counterparts and also some searingly pertinent political scenes (such as the segregated loos). Although dramatic licence for the sake of the film's drama was taken, the importance of the breakthrough that these women represented on behalf of black equality is pertinently emphasised. The film maintains interest throughout, mainly through the superb performances by Taraji P. Henson as mathematician Katherine Goble Johnson, Octavia Spencer as supervisor Dorothy Vaughan, and Kevin Costner as director Al Harrison, who combines authority and sympathy to the difficulties faced by the women in NASA.

A film well-worth viewing, an insight into NASA in the 1960s and an interesting perspective on black professional women rarely seen in movies.
2 people found this helpful
Militant BiochemistReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 July 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Inspirational film
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Inspirational film. Some brilliant female mathematicians performed the calculation is necessary to send man into space. Just think about this for a minute. When Barnes Wallis designed the R100, stress calculations for each frame member tools weeks. These ladies were willing to do the same thing for the space programme and they were African American. This adds extra poignancy because segregation laws at the time prevented them from using the same lavatories as white staff at NASA. The film deals tactfully with this issue but makes the point that true grit and especially true expertise will win through. I choose not to remember the inane British politician who said that “I think people have had enough of experts” We need experts to fix our cars, improve health care and do lots of useful things. The film makes the point that regardless of whether they were black, blue green or orange, the expertise was needed and The management machine responded accordingly. Excellent acting. The lead is outstanding and Kevin Costner does a great job as I normally old engineer who has to get the rocket into space and not have any problems in doing so
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