In 1986 a New York reporter (Steve Coogan) is sent to Concord, New Hampshire, to write about the high school students of Christa McAuliffe, who's scheduled to lift off aboard the space shuttle Challenger. The newsman also hopes to catch up with an old college friend now teaching at the school, but when he arrives his pal has died, leaving behind a clique of social misfits who worshipped him. First-time filmmaker Jonathan Glatzer adapted this drama from a stage play, adding the reporter character and a boatload of plot developments calculated to say something about our need to create heroes. The thesis-driven story precludes much dramatic discovery, and the looming shuttle disaster only exacerbates the sense of heavy-handedness. With Olivia Thirlby, Hilary Duff, and Josh Peck. R, 107 min.