Movie Review: Hidden Figures

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Ella Butler, Staff Writer

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The movie Hidden Figures is a movie telling the untold story of three African-American women who worked very different jobs for NASA.

These women are Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer), Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae). Katherine Goble (becomes Katherine G. Johnson later on), is a computer at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. She works alongside her colleagues, Mary Jackson, who is an aspiring engineer, and Dorothy Vaughan, unofficial supervisor.

The movie shows many events, from Katherine getting asked to join the Space Task Group, to Mary taking night classes at a boy’s school so she could get her engineering degree, to Dorothy stealing a book from a white-only library, reading up on FORTRAN, and being the only woman at the time to know how to run the IBM 7090 computer.

These women went through Jim Crow laws in 1960s Virginia, and they still succeeded in getting John Glenn in orbit around the Earth. Jim Crow laws and racism did not stop them from accomplishing their goals.

The verdict? The movie was very inspiring. The audience was laughing a lot, and everyone was entertained, especially when Dorothy and Mary ditched Katherine to “get a slice of pie”. Yet, it really was helping Katherine get some time with Jim Johnson (Mahershala Ali), a former army general.

It’s a very good movie for the family, because even though it shows racism and sexism, the film also shows that those factors shouldn’t get in the way of success.

An important quote in the movie was before John Glenn (Glen Powell) was set to launch into orbit around the Earth. The IBM 7090 computer messed up the calculations, and he then asked for Katherine to check them. Even though Katherine was a woman of color, John Glenn wanted her to check the calculations, over a computer. He trusted her with the math, and was impressed that NASA still used “old-fashioned brain power”.

There wasn’t really anything to dislike about this movie. Jim Johnson was shocked when Katherine told him that NASA lets women do calculations, to which Katherine responded that NASA lets them do that not because of their gender, but because of their intelligence.

In conclusion, Hidden Figures was a great movie to see in the theater. It was humorous, and very inspiring. It was nominated for a few Oscars, but didn’t win any. It is definitely worth your popcorn and your laughs. 

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