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Overall Rating

Awesome: 30%
Worth A Look50%
Average: 15%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 5%

1 review, 14 user ratings

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Capricorn One
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Good story well-told."
4 stars

Probably the best movie O.J. Simpson was ever in.

Peter Hyams' cynical, paranoid thriller looked particularly eerie in the wake of the Columbia disaster. Three astronauts (James Brolin, Sam Waterston, and O.J.) are set to embark on the first manned flight to Mars. At the last minute they're pulled aside and Hal Holbrook explains that the life-support systems were faulty, but that NASA can't afford to blow its credibility by cancelling the flight. So the astronauts are forced to go along with a faked Mars-walk.

Then the unforeseen happens when the unmanned Capricorn One explodes on re-entry. The astronauts realize that in the eyes of the world, they're dead, and NASA means to make that part true. So the men escape to the desert and split off into separate directions. Elliott Gould is the disreputable reporter who's on to the cover-up. The excellent cast also includes Brenda Vaccaro as Brolin's "widow," Karen Black as Gould's reporter acquaintance and would-be lover, James Karen as the vice-president, David Huddleston (the big Lebowski himself) as a congressman, and Telly "Keep your goddamn head down" Savalas in a great funny bit as a cropduster pilot.

There's some terrific aerial stuff too the two helicopters in pursuit of the astronauts have an amusing way of turning to face each other, as if conferring, when they're on the trail of their quarry. The climactic chopper/cropduster chase is pretty wild as well remember these were the days before CGI, when some psychos actually had to get in those planes and swoop all over the desert.

Solid, tightly written entertainment. I remember catching Sam Waterston's final joke scene on TV as a kid.

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originally posted: 04/04/07 11:45:52
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User Comments

12/16/20 Pallace Hugely entertaining paranoid thriller. Finally broke down and bought it for repeat viewin 5 stars
4/09/15 Nick It fucking sucked 1 stars
5/28/14 Jack God, how I love this movie. Back when Hyams was in his prime. Wonderous & funning! 5 stars
1/12/10 rjs Fond memories of a well crafted thriller 3 stars
11/25/08 brian A couple of dumb plot holes limit it, but great ironic unintentional humor with OJ. 4 stars
6/10/08 ben dover amazing conspiracy movie 5 stars
3/30/08 Pamela White Great movie shows what our government will do to keep a secret 5 stars
6/17/07 al smith a timeless classic 5 stars
4/04/07 David Pollastrini Great fx for it's time! 4 stars
3/15/05 Jeff Anderson An endlessly enjoyable film. The cropduster chase scene was the best. One of Hyams' best!!! 5 stars
7/11/04 Evan I thought it was good 4 stars
2/05/04 tatum Great idea, average flick 3 stars
2/05/04 R.W. Welch Cleverly concocted government conspiracy flick. Lotsa fun. 4 stars
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  02-Jun-1978 (PG)


  02-Feb-1978 (PG)

Directed by
  Peter Hyams

Written by
  Peter Hyams

  Elliott Gould
  James Brolin
  Brenda Vaccaro
  Sam Waterston
  O.J. Simpson
  Hal Holbrook

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