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Contact (1997)

tomatometer

42

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 11

No consensus yet.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 201,123

My Rating

Movie Info

The search for life outside our solar system becomes a personal and spiritual quest for a young researcher. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) is a scientist who lost her faith in God after her parents died when she was a child. However, Ellie has learned to develop a different sort of faith in the seemingly unknowable: working with a group that monitors radio waves from space, Ellie hopes that some day she will receive a coherent message from another world that will prove that there is a world beyond

Dec 16, 1997

Warner Home Video

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All Critics (62) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (23) | DVD (23)

Something like one of those mysterious asteroids that get the astronomers all worked up: a large body of gaseous matter surrounding a relatively small core of solid substance.

February 16, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When it's good, it's very good. And when it's not, it can be as silly and self-important as a bad '50s sci-fi movie.

February 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like Jodie Foster's hopeful space voyager in the picture, "Contact" may not travel quite as far as it hopes to go, but the trip is worth taking nonetheless.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Begins with a big bang, gradually falls into a lull and finally succumbs to entropy.

June 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Contact takes forever to lift off.

June 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Features heavy-handed exposition, repetitive, maudlin flashbacks, uneven performances and endless sermonising.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thoughtful adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel.

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Uma ficção científica que confere peso semelhante aos dois termos do gênero: se sua narrativa ficcional é intrigante e bem desenvolvida, sua ciência jamais se entrega ao implausível.

July 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

...one of the best pure science-fiction films since 2001.

October 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

No wonder the astronomer's philosophy of contact boils down to this: Don't call me, I'll call you.

August 20, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

With all the science and technology, Zemeckis and the writers made room for spiritual debates (some of them painfully slight), political commentary, and a strangely tepid and inert romance...

January 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

Magical, captivating entertainment.

October 13, 2007 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

When Contact finally comes alive, it leaves you frightened and thrilled and emotionally overwrought, as only a child can be. The rest is pandering.

June 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate

The result is a film far too cold-blooded for summer audiences.

June 8, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Foster's voyage is an astronomical letdown, largely because Zemeckis' ideas of heaven and earth don't extend beyond what can be envisioned as a celluloid event.

November 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

It is a good sci-fi yarn.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

By hating the two-dimensional villain ... the audience feels they have found 'the bad guy' and aren't challenged to consider the flimsiness in Arroway's or Josse's perspectives.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

The story doesn't always do justice to the mind-bending visual opening of Robert Zemeckis' movie, which features Jodie Foster as an annoyingly intense scientist.

June 28, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Gran, gran película, una de esas que merecería más páginas...

January 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinenganos
Cinenganos

Even the computer generated graphics are a bad fit.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Audience Reviews for Contact

Robert Zemekis and Jodie Foster take on Carl (who died before the film was finished) Sagan's optimistic speculation on what the first alien (as in: from space not Uzbekistan) contact might be like. Interestingly the hypothesis goes (like in K-Pax) to thought being the fastest way to travel. Science geeks everywhere will sumptuously bathe in the obligatory sense of awe and wonder. Billions and billions of stars.
April 19, 2012
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

It's nice to see a science-fiction movie go into depth about things and not just have aliens blowing things up everywhere. Discussions about religion and the existence of god, relationships, space and other things really give great depth to the movie and it's characters. The concept here is great and original, and the execution surprisingly engaging and incredibly interesting and realistic. A great, but little known film from a great filmmaker with a great, cast that performs beautifully. Come in contact with Contact at least once.
December 29, 2011
Raymond Wieser

Super Reviewer

I loved the novel profoundly, but for this movie, it falls short.
October 31, 2011
Adriel Lim

Super Reviewer

While the film starts out really slow, taking its time to introduce its main character, her dreams and motivations, it soon picks up pace once the signals from outer space arrive. The struggle with the government, religious fanatics and the race for the spot to travel to the unknown civilization are getting more and more exciting by the minute, though. The film does raise interesting questions about how mankind would react to such news and what religious dimensions that would entail. The acting is top notch too, of course. While the rather philosophical ending that leaves a bit of space for interpretation may not be to everyone's liking, it is still a brave solution to such a film and yet leaves the audience very satisfied with the result.
September 17, 2011
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

    1. S.R. Hadden: [over video feed from Mir space station] I wanna show you something. [shows satellite feed to Ellie] Hokkaido Island.
    2. Ellie Arroway: The systems integration site.
    3. S.R. Hadden: Look closer. [zooms satellite feed to reveal second machine] First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price? Only, this one can be kept secret. Controlled by Americans, built by the Japanese subcontractors. Who, also, happen to be, recently acquired, wholly-owned subsidiaries...
    4. Ellie Arroway: [speaks with Hadden] ... of Hadden industries.
    5. S.R. Hadden: They still want an American to go, Doctor. Wanna take a ride?
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. S.R. Hadden: [to Arroway in the tone of Hannibal Lecter] Clever girl.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Kent: Dr. Arroway will be spending her precious telescope time listening for... uh... listening for...
    2. Ellie Arroway: Little green men.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Palmer Joss: You could call me a man of the cloth, without the cloth.
    – Submitted by R.I. M (2 years ago)
    1. Young Ellie: Dad, do you think there's people on other planets?
    2. Ted Arroway: I don't know, Sparks. But I guess I'd say if it is just us... seems like an awful waste of space.
    – Submitted by R.I. M (2 years ago)
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