The Mosquito Coast (1986)
Critics Consensus: Harrison Ford capably tackles a tough, unlikable role, producing a fascinating and strange character study.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
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 America, where he plans to create a new civilization starting with his own nuclear family. Allie's family compliantly goes along with his scheme to build a free society, but slowly notices that his obsession has turned him into a tyrannical fascist. Rather than create a utopia, Allie's driving egomania demands total subservience from his downtrodden brood. … More
as Allie Fox
as Rev. Spellgood
as Mr. Polski
as Mrs. Polski
as Mr. Semper
as Capt. Smalls
as Mrs. Spellgood
as Emily Spellgood
as 1st Convert
as Man at Bar
as Mr. Haddy
as Francis Lungley
as Mr. Maywit
as Mrs. Maywit
as Ma Kennywick
as Allie Fox
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Critic Reviews for The Mosquito Coast
A stretch for Ford, but worth it. Unique and fascinating character study.
Meandering film that doesn't really seem to know where it's going or what it is.
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.
It's easy to forget how well Harrison Ford can play an unlikable character.
Harrison Ford gives one of his best performances in this underrated film.
Weird and smoothly engaging. Harrison Ford does some great (non-hero) work here.
one of the most underseen guy movies ever
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.More
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.
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.More
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).More
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