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Contact (1997)


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 62
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 23

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 12

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 201,567



Movie Info

She's known it since she was a young girl, when she would magically connect with distant voices on her father's shortwave radio. She's known it since college, when she chose the search for intelligent extraterrestrial messages as her discipline. She's known it since she bargained for just hours a week of satellite time to sweep the heavens for evidence. And she knows it every time she stares at the countless stars dappling the infinite night sky... Something is out there.

PG (for some intense action, mild language, and a scene of sensuality)
Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
James V. Hart , Michael Goldenberg
In Theaters:
Dec 16, 1997
Warner Home Video



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Critic Reviews for Contact

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (20) | 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.

Full Review… | February 16, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 16, 2011
Top 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.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 9, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

Contact takes forever to lift off.

Full Review… | June 8, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 8, 2007
Top Critic

Thoughtful adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel.

Full Review… | December 22, 2010
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.

Full Review… | July 31, 2010
Cinema em Cena of the best pure science-fiction films since 2001.

Full Review… | October 6, 2009
Movie Metropolis

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

Full Review… | August 20, 2009

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...

Full Review… | January 17, 2008
Turner Classic Movies Online

Magical, captivating entertainment.

Full Review… | October 13, 2007

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

Full Review… | June 8, 2007
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.

Full Review… | November 4, 2005

It is a good sci-fi yarn.

Full Review… | April 9, 2005
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.

Full Review… | June 28, 2004

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

Full Review… | January 12, 2004

Even the computer generated graphics are a bad fit.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Audience Reviews for Contact


Robert Zemeckis crafts a very good science fiction drama, but in many ways it does lack a bit. The sheer scope of the film is grand, its ideas are very good, interesting and captivating, but there are times that the film feels a bit underdeveloped and it could have stood out more due to the fact that it has some very good ideas and acting on display on-screen. Watching the film, I felt that at times, it felt a bit too preachy, and it could have toned down a bit, but as a whole, Contact is an engaging picture, one that boasts impressive performances and a good story. However, I felt that the film considering what it deals with should have been much better as well. This isn't a bad film by any means, but it does leave a bit to be desired in terms of its story. The problem is that it tries to be far too ambitious, and it leaves a few things to dwindle and it never comes to fruition, which is a great shame because Contact really could have been a remarkable and highly memorable Science Fiction drama that could have stood out among other genre films. Contact is a good film, but it's not one Zemeckis' best efforts. For what it is, it's entertaining film, but at times we can see that the story strains a bit and it tries to overshadow the sometimes lacking plot with far too ambitious ideas, which like I said never really comes to light, and it's a shame because Contact had all the ingredients of a great Science Fiction picture, but it could have been so much better as well.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer


Fascinating story about first alien contact. Brilliant story telling in which complex ideas are communicated simply enough to be understood by a non-technogeek audience. (I could have done with a little less religious grandstanding though.)

Christian C

Super Reviewer


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.

Apeneck Fletcher

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.

Raymond Wieser
Raymond Wieser

Super Reviewer

Contact Quotes

S.R. Hadden: [over video feed from Mir space station] I wanna show you something. [shows satellite feed to Ellie] Hokkaido Island. Ellie Arroway: The systems integration site. 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... Ellie Arroway: [speaks with Hadden] ... of Hadden industries. S.R. Hadden: They still want an American to go, Doctor. Wanna take a ride?
– Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
S.R. Hadden: [to Arroway in the tone of Hannibal Lecter] Clever girl.
– Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
Kent: Dr. Arroway will be spending her precious telescope time listening for... uh... listening for... Ellie Arroway: Little green men.
– Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
Palmer Joss: You could call me a man of the cloth, without the cloth.
– Submitted by R.I. M (3 years ago)
Young Ellie: Dad, do you think there's people on other planets? 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 (3 years ago)

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