Nearly a half-cen­tury has passed since the ma­jes­tic mo­ment when Neil Arm­strong stepped care­fully onto the lu­nar land­scape, left foot first, tak­ing that gi­ant leap for mankind.

Whether you were alive then and glued to the TV, or re­lived it later through that iconic, grainy NASA footage, what you prob­a­bly re­mem­ber is just that: The majesty.

You’re prob­a­bly not think­ing much about the deaf­en­ing noise, the claus­tro­pho­bia, the ter­ror of blast­ing off in a rick­ety sardine can that could fail at any mo­ment for any of a thou­sand rea­sons. Or the fact that Arm­strong and Buzz Aldrin could have ended up stranded, left to die on the moon; Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon had a speech ready for that dark sce­nario.

You will, though, be think­ing of these things as you watch “First Man,” the lat­est in­stal­ment in di­rec­tor Damien Chazelle’s me­te­oric ca­reer — and sorry for the space pun, but it’s en­tirely apt. An in­ti­mate char­ac­ter study that some­how be­comes grand just when it needs to, “First Man,” based on the book by James R. Hansen with a script by Josh Singer, is a wor­thy suc­ces­sor not only to Chazelle’s “Whiplash” and “La La Land,” but to

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