The Aviator (2004)

The Aviator



Critic Consensus: With a rich sense of period detail, The Aviator succeeds thanks to typically assured direction from Martin Scorsese and a strong performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, who charts Howard Hughes' descent from eccentric billionaire to reclusive madman.

Movie Info

Martin Scorsese directed this fast-moving, epic-scale biopic documenting the life and loves one of the most colorful Americans of the 20th century, Howard Hughes. The Aviator follows Hughes (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) as the twentysomething millionaire, having already made a fortune improving the design of oil-drilling bits, comes to Hollywood with an interest in getting into the picture business. It doesn't take long for Hughes, with his passion for airplanes, to jump from producer to … More

Rating: PG-13 (for thematic elements, sexual content, nudity, language and crash sequence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Logan
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 24, 2005
Box Office: $102.6M
Miramax - Official Site


as Howard Hughes

as Katharine Hepburn

as Ava Gardner

as Noah Dietrich

as Juan Trippe

as Professor Fitz

as Sen. Ralph Owen Brew...

as Jack Frye

as Jean Harlow

as Errol Flynn

as Johnny Meyer

as Glenn Odekirk

as Faith Domergue

as Mrs. Hepburn

as Robert Gross

as Louis B. Mayer

as Joseph Breen

as Roland Sweet

as Allene Hughes

as Dr. Hepburn

as Secretary
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Aviator

All Critics (214) | Top Critics (48)

This handsome movie is an oddly well-behaved one to come from the preternaturally energetic Scorsese.

Full Review… | February 3, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This almost-great epic has one foot in legend: it's a vision of an American titan that could have sprung from the insides of Hughes's own obsessive, perfectionist head.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007
Top Critic

Despite a pacy, technically brilliant but otherwise slightly ordinary first half-hour or so, Scorsese's Howard Hughes movie is his best since The Age of Innocence.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's a measure of The Aviator's complexity and ambiguity that it can be read equally as a celebration of rugged, capitalist individualism and as a leftist critique of cutthroat free-market competition.

Full Review… | September 26, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

Its primary appeal is its speed: It rushes along, from scandal to air crash to movie romance to Senate hearing, each anecdote well realized but never tarried over.

Full Review… | May 20, 2005
Washington Post
Top Critic

This undoubtedly is the movie Scorsese set out to make, and he made it exceedingly well. Still, we can fault him for choosing to celebrate its subject instead of examining him.

Full Review… | April 21, 2005
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Aviator

It's quite a good performance by DiCaprio but overall the film is not that compelling and, unfortunately, is too long.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

An interesting biopic well-acted by DiCaprio. Nothing very bold about the film but it is well shot.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

Leonardo DiCaprio is stunning in the role of Howard Hughes, a millionaire film director at heart, but his soul is within his aviation career, building planes for the war. This film may not be perfect, but the writing and direction is. The flaws are in the plot and order of events. With questionable dialogue and cheap CG effects, "The Aviator" might as well be a fictional story, but the backstory of this legendary director/aviator is far too compelling to look away from. I cannot say that I love this film, but I absolutely loved the camerawork and the performances. "The Aviator" is but a fantastic film to add to the Scorsese shelf, but fails to provide any spectacular moments to remember in the future. I highly enjoyed this film for what it was!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

The Aviator Quotes

– Submitted by MarieBella C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by MarieBella C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by MarieBella C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Nova Q (2 years ago)

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