The new trailer for First Man (which you can watch below) has been causing quite a stir in the past week because the film-makers decided to not include the scene where the astronauts plant the American flag on the lunar surface – a move many are calling "unpatriotic". The second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, let his thoughts be known in a tweet:

There's no doubt Aldrin is a hero. But, I don't find it useful to address accusations like "being unpatriotic" for the simple reason that the term is both loaded and fully ambiguous, and doesn't get a conversation anywhere really. But, is not including that scene the best move for the film?

That depends on first and foremost the filmmaker's goals in making the movie in the first place. Take as a parallel any other "based on a true story" film. While yes the "based on a true story" is a marketing ploy used by studios, we should not necessarily – as audience members – discount a film because it took certain liberties with the historical record, because a faithful rendering of that record is sometimes not at all what a film-maker is going for in the first place.

Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street was technically "based on a true story" of Hmong refugees who were dying in their sleep mysteriously. Will we discount his film then because he did not faithfully record that happening?

Of course not. What needs to be examined is how well the film-maker told the story he set out to tell in the first place. Is it compelling? Does it keep our attention as viewers in its writing, acting, and its visual storytelling (its use of cinematic techniques)? Does it resonate emotionally? In short – and referring back to the plethora of interviews conducted here – is it a great film?

With that said, First Man's director Damien Chazelle told Variety that his "goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America's mission to the moon — particularly Neil Armstrong's personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours."

So, will Chazelle compelling portray Neil Armstrong's thoughts? A statement from Armstrong's son and "First Man" author James R. Hansen gives us an idea:

"We've read a number of comments about the film today and specifically about the absence of the flag planting scene, made largely by people who haven't seen the movie. As we've seen it multiple times, we thought maybe we should weigh in.

This is a film that focuses on what you don't know about Neil Armstrong. It's a film that focuses on things you didn't see or may not remember about Neil's journey to the moon. The filmmakers spent years doing extensive research to get at the man behind the myth, to get at the story behind the story. It's a movie that gives you unique insight into the Armstrong family and fallen American Heroes like Elliot See and Ed White. It's a very personal movie about our dad's journey, seen through his eyes.

This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement 'for all mankind,' as it says on the plaque Neil and Buzz left on the moon. It is a story about an ordinary man who makes profound sacrifices and suffers through intense loss in order to achieve the impossible.

Although Neil didn't see himself that way, he was an American hero. He was also an engineer and a pilot, a father and a friend, a man who suffered privately through great tragedies with incredible grace. This is why, though there are numerous shots of the American flag on the moon, the filmmakers chose to focus on Neil looking back at the earth, his walk to Little West Crater, his unique, personal experience of completing this journey, a journey that has seen so many incredible highs and devastating lows.

In short, we do not feel this movie is anti-American in the slightest. Quite the opposite. But don't take our word for it. We'd encourage everyone to go see this remarkable film and see for themselves."

Catch First Man in theaters October 12 and judge for yourself – as Armstrong and Hansen suggest – whether this is a compelling, well-executed great film about an American hero.