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Overall Rating
3.12

Awesome: 22.67%
Worth A Look27.33%
Average: 14%
Pretty Bad: 11.33%
Total Crap: 24.67%

8 reviews, 102 user ratings


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by Slyder

"Flawed, Totally"
1 stars

You know, like Oz, I thought this flick was going to be great. I mean, it's written by Carl Sagan, one of the most recognized scientists in the world. Academy award winning director Robert Zemeckis, and Jodie Foster, what more would you want? Well, I was wrong, totally wrong. Sure, the film had its moments, but in the key moments it fails miserably, and falls short of its goals. I tried to like this movie, really tried, but, honestly, it was a mere piece of shit.

Lets see, Ellie Arroway (Foster) is a scientist, working for the SETI, and is sent to Arecibo, Puerto Rico to work on the big dish they have there, listen to alien signals and stuff. We also get to see flashbacks of her youth and her ambition for the outer space, plus the hurting from the death of her father Ted (David Morse). He meets Palmer Joss (Mathew McConaughey), a former reverend, whose writing a book and is trying to reach David Drumlin (Tom Skerrit), Ellie’s boss to get an interview and try to get stuck into politics. But Drumlin shuts Ellie down, and tries to find another dish station in the US, and does, thanks to an unknown fundraiser. Then after months of search she receives an alien signal, and soon after a few researches, they find out is a machine to travel through time and space, and the media and the hype explode. But who’ll be the one that steps into it?

Ok, so, writers James Hart and Michael Goldenberg, who adapted the script from Sagan’s best-selling book were fully concentrated to make the delicate matter of Science and alien life believable. I mean it’s the basis of the entire message. The high point of this film is that they succeed in this. My physics teacher always said that it would be mathematically impossible to think that we’re the only race in the universe, it would be a scary thought, no wonder God was created, to keep us calm and to guard us from fear. It’s true isn’t it? Well, that’s another point, but still, I applauded that point that the film makes, and if you’re a rational person, you’ll certainly know that there IS life out there in space.

Only in the last one there’s a problem, the characters ramble about God vs. Science and all that stuff, but if you listen to the outcome of the argument, there isn’t any outcome at all. It starts but never ends, that’s because it never does. The arguments are left halfway from the discussion and you never get the final conclusions of why God doesn’t exist or why Science is inaccurate. Maybe it’s to make you think, but you never get a neutral statement of why this is. It leaves you empty handed.

And unfortunately, while the film spends all the time in it’s point of end which is the extraterrestrial credibility, it crumbles on it’s point of origin, which in the end, manages to crumble and fuck up a really promising movie: terrestrial credibility. As the film approaches the obvious, where Ellie gets the signal, then all of a sudden everyone in the word can hear it. It appears on many new shows CNN and all that stuff. Of course you’ll tell me, “ well Slyder, Ellie said to call everybody.” True, so the next logical step for the US government is to immediately militarize the operation. Remember Roswell 1947? The same thing happened, and the US government acted quickly to shelter the case and say that it was just a weather balloon that went awry. I say it’s logical, since that’s been the policy for like 30 years, it has always been that way, but not here. The script handles the government all throughout the film like a bunch of idiots giving out the unprepared masses the news, when in fact this should be a national security mater. I mean these guys would’ve come with any excuse, shut Ellie up or threaten her and the thing would be a secret. But the script never does that, that never happens, and thanks to this factual error, the film drops the bombshell as the Government guy tell everything to CNN again about EVERYTHING. No way, that was some illogical shit.

The film also blows it in a big way, when the machine gets built. Now if you were a logical person, you wouldn’t just start building something when you don’t even know what the hell it is for. Enter the fear factor. Why do you think scientist spent like many, many years in investigating unknown phenomena’s and other things? But no, out of the blue, just a few days after discovery, the thing starts to get build. It was even more illogical and ridiculous to see that since this motherfucker cost like lots of trillions of dollars to build, there was no security at all to prevent that extremist Christian with C4 in his body from blowing the machine to hell. That blew the movie for me. It was so illogically unbelievable that you can’t help but to stare at the screen and sigh and say, “Well, there goes another great film.” With those plotholes, that’s more than enough to kill the greatness the film tried to get within its grasp. A friend of mine once advised me on a feature that I wrote to better stick with the facts than try to editorialize and come up with all types of nonsensical bullshit. The same is true with this film.

The film even topples from the start, Ellie’s relationship with Palmer is never believable, and there’s no chemistry at all, it’s a cold relationship, and it never develops, they just ramble, kiss, fuck and ramble again, but never comes out of that circle. At the end of the movie, you won’t even give a shit, about them, you’ll be better off distracted about the message brought through unfortunately ill-fated plotholes that for the sake of the storyline kills the point it tries to make.

The acting wasn’t even that great, worse of all McConaughey’s role of Palmer was totally extremely girlish like, that it was stupid, at times laughable. Foster overacts her role so many times, she looks more like she’s struggling, trying to impress the Academy to give her another Oscar nod if not the Oscar. The rest of the cast was ok, though you could see the embarrassment somehow in their faces. You can’t say anything about Zemeckis, he just did his best to come up with the ideas on how the film should be and look, and unfortunately it relied on a bad blueprint that in the end, instead of rocking the house, it ended burning the house down.

In the end, if you want to see this film, go ahead, just see it for what the film is trying to say, but if I were you, I’d read the novel. Sincerely, this film is not worth of your time. In most of its levels it never gives you the spark to make you think of what it has to say since it never really does. The message is clear; sadly the flaws blur it into almost total blackout. I feel sorry for Carl Sagan; this film should’ve been better if they wanted to honor a great scientist like him. What a way to make him rest in peace, it will make him roll over his grave even more. Bad, oh bad.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=375&reviewer=235
originally posted: 10/15/01 13:41:21
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User Comments

11/07/14 josh messier Best film I have ever seen period! 5 stars
7/17/12 Phil K a very interesting,thought provoking film... 4 stars
1/17/11 Man out 6 Bucks Failed to send catholic Hitler and christopathic crusading terrorists down a black hole. 3 stars
11/20/09 JsmmyE Hi! tSlEshY 1 stars
9/24/09 JR Great review, Rob. One of the top 20 films of all time. Fantastic.. 5 stars
9/05/09 rob enjoyable watch, but just too silly in places, they could have made the script sharper 4 stars
3/08/09 SandySue I liked it - Jodie Foster and Matthew pick good ones 4 stars
10/14/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
3/02/08 bronson Mejia intelligent 4 stars
7/27/07 R.W. Welch Murky sci-fi with romance angle that doesn't click. 3 stars
6/10/07 mb Very Interesting Story ... purely demonical New Age, however 4 stars
4/06/07 fools♫gold Intheend youchoosewhatyouwish2believe, andit'smuchbttrthn anythingEternalSunshine has2offer 5 stars
1/10/07 Booksworm "clark" is clearly an idiot.Excellent movie.FUCK anybody who doesn't like it. 5 stars
11/16/06 David Pollastrini a bit slow in places but still good 4 stars
8/26/06 brett An Awesome Beautifull sci-fi. 5 stars
4/30/06 R H Horton It sucks 1 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer Only movie I ever walked out on... not even "Batman and Robin". 1 stars
9/27/05 Carolyn Rathburn Good film, makes you wonder about life, out there 4 stars
9/21/05 Eric Fortune It was pretty good. The ending wasn't all it could be. 4 stars
9/04/05 Ritchie Kelly The movie is about Ellie's loneliness. She's at the loneliest age, in her 20s. She has no 5 stars
6/27/05 tony Very slow. slow everything. thank god my ass was itchy during this movie! 1 stars
6/20/05 Adam If you have insomnia rent this overated flick....ZZZzzzz 2 stars
5/22/05 Cham I watched the whole movie to find out that her father is an alien?!?!?!?! 1 stars
5/06/05 Mind Junkie It coulda been better 4 stars
4/24/05 Charlene Javier Call me stupid but it was boring! 2 stars
4/23/05 Kim I found it watchable. 3 stars
4/22/05 Roy Smith Worth a Look - if you love cliche's. It's actually boring! 2 stars
4/21/05 Carolyn Rathburn I enjoyed this film, it certainly makes you wonder what might be out there 4 stars
4/20/05 Krisan I liked it, i thought it had wonderful visuals 4 stars
4/20/05 Dan Good and intelligent sci-fi, but read the book first. 4 stars
4/17/05 Junior LaROche Loved it! Book was better, but Carl Sagan rocks! You have to like it for the story. 4 stars
4/16/05 Linda Denisen Thought it was worth watching and imaginative. 3 stars
4/16/05 Gail Crawford great sci-fi movie 4 stars
4/14/05 I-K No wonder they waited until Carl Sagan died to make it. 1 stars
4/14/05 Roy Smith Vince needs a brain implant. Proteus is far, far too kind. 2 stars
8/01/04 Vince Proteus should be executed. This is a great Sci Fi movie 5 stars
5/20/04 Proteus Excrement. Bumbling, preachy, and pretentious. tries for 2001, looks like Pigs in Space. 1 stars
4/13/04 John Humanity portayed at it's finest-- and worst 5 stars
4/08/04 Jon This film coulda used some trimming lengthwise; in any case, I liked it. 4 stars
2/18/04 Chicken731 Obviously if you think this movie sucks, you did not understand the ending. Read the book! 5 stars
2/13/04 Des This is an amazing film, it makes the audience think - why are all the ratings 5 or 1? 5 stars
12/26/03 Mason This movie is not for people with small brains. 5 stars
10/12/03 JimmyC Horrible 1 stars
9/29/03 Michael What's wrong with all the critics here - this is one of the finest movies ever made 5 stars
8/09/03 Nicole Very good, but the ending was kind of crappy 4 stars
7/09/03 natasha_theobald bold enough to expect the audience to think and accept the unknown 5 stars
6/18/03 Angolmois Manipulative schmaltz which manages to insult both emotions and intellect. 1 stars
4/04/03 Jack Bourbon At least Jodie Foster didn't get naked in this one. 3 stars
3/27/03 Ionicera good film, banal ending 3 stars
3/25/03 Jack Sommersby Heavy-handed nonsense. 1 stars
2/26/03 Francy Intelligent plot, great Jodie, serene and solemn music. 5 stars
11/19/02 Nevz Watch it up to the last 5 minutes. 5 stars
10/22/02 Charles Tatum B grade sci-fi with huge budget 4 stars
8/19/02 Nevz I loved this film, what an excellent story. 5 stars
8/05/02 KMG I COULD'VE DONE WITHOUT THE MORAL MESSAGE 4 stars
4/08/02 Film Guy One of the best films ever made 5 stars
3/29/02 George Good movie. Too bad OZ didn't get half of it. 4 stars
3/01/02 Andrew Carden Boring Sci-Fi Flick. Way Too Long, Although Woods Did An OK Job In His Meaningless Role. 2 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Such a slow film...I lost interest. 2 stars
12/26/01 doug Very good film!...until the end which totally screws it. Very stupid ending. 3 stars
10/26/01 Da Oompa This movie had SO much potential. I hate Skerritt almost as much as Alan Thicke. 3 stars
10/18/01 ron20003 Screw the movie - Read the Book 1 stars
10/15/01 Bod Goy Enough stones? I think it's possible for people to genuinely love this movie. Which I do 5 stars
8/29/01 Gary I hate this so much. This film annoyed me so much I almost ate my own fist. 1 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Jodie Foster's a rug-munching has-been. Fuck her and fuck this movie. 1 stars
7/06/01 Rich Cirivilleri poetry. Graceful, thoughtful, lyrical. Foster deserved the oscar. fuck the academy! 5 stars
5/28/01 cinkcool Good until the ending. Very anticlimatic. Ruins the movie. 1 stars
5/04/01 The Jedi Droid hated it 1 stars
4/24/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) I agree 150% with {{OZ}}'s review. Too bad he's the only one with enough stones to say it. 2 stars
3/27/01 Jesse L Do NOT see this movie if you are sober... 1 stars
3/17/01 S A It's a great film 5 stars
3/15/01 URA1999 This is the greatest film I've ever seen 5 stars
3/12/01 Jon Cotleur Let me get this straight: First Contact gets 'Awesome', Contact only gets 'Worth a look'? 5 stars
2/16/01 Jake This was actually quite comical so I gave it **. 2 stars
2/15/01 viking You're a complete twerp, Naushad !!! This is REAL sci-fi. 5 stars
12/02/00 Naushad Phoney SF.Story lacks pace and energy.Wooden performances.Utterly boring. 1 stars
11/13/00 The EVIL Penguin a fine experience 3 stars
10/13/00 Ant Jodie Foster, like she has done before, takes this film beyond the ordinary 4 stars
5/02/00 Overflow Bitch I loved it !! Well done. Foster great as usual, great story. 4 stars
4/12/00 TJ St John Intelligent science fiction!!!! 5 stars
3/04/00 yankee this asks great questions, what if...needs to be explored more, but then we might get crap 4 stars
12/28/99 gepetto one of the best movies to come out of the 90's 5 stars
10/17/99 Shelagh A special film. Wasn't Jodie Foster really good ? 5 stars
8/20/99 Japtalian I respect intelligent sci-fi and this was that. 4 stars
6/13/99 Vick Di Brecci Larry King and Bernard Shaw are whores and Clinton should have sued. 4 stars
5/10/99 Beachlovr9 Excellent 5 stars
5/03/99 HI! It ROCKED godammit! 5 stars
3/17/99 Ah Dooey Extraordinary sci-fi movie, definitely incredible than Species and its sequel. 4 stars
3/05/99 Eric Walker It moved me. Wasn't meant to answer questions...but to ask them. 5 stars
2/03/99 James E. Laczkowski This is one of the most extraordinary films of the decade! Jodie Foster is incredible 5 stars
1/15/99 Dasha I loved this movie, and Jodie was great as always 5 stars
1/09/99 Thorn Silvertree The first 180 seconds alone are worth the price of the film. 5 stars
12/10/98 Freyja Smart movie. Unfortunately, stupid audience. Go watch the Waterboy. 5 stars
11/25/98 Fred This wins the MTT award: for Most Tolerable Techies. Only good sci-fi movie of the 90's 4 stars
11/13/98 Jules Very close to the book. Boring and preachy. +Enough fucking worm tunnel sequences already! 2 stars
10/27/98 Silent Rob IF you enjoyed the Sagan book, this movie does deliver some of the goods. 4 stars
10/25/98 Lord Of The Dunce URGH! I HATED this movie. Zero chemistry between the leads and HUUUUGE plotholes. Ugh. Ban. 1 stars
9/17/98 Miss LILI The most FUCKIN BORINGEST movie ever !!!! 1 stars
9/17/98 Ben Affleck Not bad at all.. Smoothe sailing movie, with some really cool scenes. 4 stars
8/23/98 Mister Whoopee Nothing of merit except the cool steadicam shot. Otherwise, crap. 2 stars
8/17/98 {{{OZ}}} Total crap. Fooling morons into thinking they're seeing a good film by making it long 2 stars
8/17/98 J-Guy (The MFC) pretty good. the end was a let down. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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  11-Jul-1997 (PG)

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