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The Mosquito Coast (1986)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 5

Harrison Ford capably tackles a tough, unlikable role, producing a fascinating and strange character study.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1

Harrison Ford capably tackles a tough, unlikable role, producing a fascinating and strange character study.



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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 14,945

My Rating

Movie Info

Harrison Ford delivers one of his most-acclaimed performances in Peter Weir's adaptation of Paul Theroux's novel (scripted by Paul Schrader). Ford plays Allie Fox, an inventor embittered by the blighted landscape of the contemporary United States. As he tells his oldest son, Charlie (River Phoenix), "Look around you. It's a toilet." He moves his wife (Helen Mirren) and kids -- Charlie, Jerry (Jadrien Steele), April (Hilary Gordon), and Clover (Rebecca Gordon) -- to the rain forests of Central


Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense

Nov 6, 2001

Warner Bros. Pictures

Watch It Now


Latest News on The Mosquito Coast

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (5) | DVD (6)

A stretch for Ford, but worth it. Unique and fascinating character study.

October 16, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Examines the consequences of a father's egotism on his family.

August 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Meandering film that doesn't really seem to know where it's going or what it is.

August 27, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

It's a testament to Ford's talent that we actually care what happens to him, because in a lesser actor's hands, we'd be hoping that some cannibalistic natives would eat him.

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

It's easy to forget how well Harrison Ford can play an unlikable character.

November 1, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

Harrison Ford gives one of his best performances in this underrated film.

September 27, 2002

Weird and smoothly engaging. Harrison Ford does some great (non-hero) work here.

July 26, 2002

one of the most underseen guy movies ever

July 26, 2002
Hot Button

Audience Reviews for The Mosquito Coast

Definitely not for all tastes. This challenging film boasts a full committed performance from Harrison Ford, possibly his best work, with strong support by Helen Mirren and River Phoenix. Weir guides us through a complex portrait of a deeply flawed perhaps insane man's quest for what he sees as a simple life but which twists him into a demagogue imperiling his family on his fruitless journey. Tough going but a good picture.
February 9, 2011
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Harrison Ford has made one movie that lost money, this one. Which is a damn shame as it's one of his most interesting. "...(He's) the most dangerous kind of man, a know it all, who is occasionally right." Ford drags his family to South American to bring the ice (and therefore civilization). Chaos ensues.

Weir's direction is concise and tight, performances all round are fantastic. It's a shame that the failure of this drove him to the milk toast that is Dead Poets Society.

An awesome double feature with There Will Be Blood or Fitzcaraldo.
November 3, 2010

Super Reviewer

A gripping, uncompromising look at a family who follows their father (Harrison Ford) blindly into Central America, due to the father's utter disgust on how corrupted America has become - so he elects to try his luck out in the jungles where he puts his skills on display. This is a solid film, which is worth watching due to Harrison Ford's roaring, knockout performance as a man unaware of his own hypocrisy, and uncaring towards his family's feelings. Helen Mirren and River Phoenix also give very subtle, but still strong performances. Although this film has its flaws (such as the over-zealous extreme Christian missionary who chews up only five minutes of the film - five pretty bad and exaggerated minutes), the strengths of the film and the way the plot unfolds naturally (never once feeling artificial) is a thing of beauty to watch. Definitely a film I will want to revisit in a few years again.
September 10, 2010
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

A semi-remake of the Swiss Family Robinson, mixed with the story of a self-righteous scientist going crazy. This has an important story and lesson about independence and isolation, for that it's very effective. I really enjoyed all the performances, River Phoenix and Helen Mirren stand out along with Harrison Ford in one of his only villainous roles (but it's sure effective).
July 28, 2010

Super Reviewer

Movies Like The Mosquito Coast

    1. Allie Fox: Strictly speaking there's no such thing as invention. It's just magnifying what already exists.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
    1. Allie Fox: It's an absolute sin to accept the decadence of obsolescence.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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