Ron Howard‘s near-disaster flick might be the director’s finest hour (or two, rather), with a terrific ensemble cast, expert pacing and nearly non-stop suspense. It’s a model of its kind as far as studio films go — if every big Hollywood movie were as good as this one, it would be all smiles all summer long. Apollo 13 tells the story of men who went into outer space and ended up dealing with one crisis after another — and men (and women) back on Earth who helped get them home. Everyone here (Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, etc.) gives some career-best work, though special mention must be made of Ed Harris, the stern yet calm voice of Houston, the man you’d want on your side if you ever got into a doozy of a jam like this one.