Contact - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Contact Reviews

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½ September 1, 2016
This is a movie that deals with many subjects all at once, which is very hard to do. But, thankfully, these subjects never seem to get in the way of each other. Religion, loneliness, loss, wonderment, and yes, aliens. All of these things come together to form a more "real" take on what would happen if we were to be contacted. No showy, extravagant attack on Earth; just two civilizations deeply interested in one another. Of course, the questions of God and faith would come into play due to the fact that almost all of the population believe in some sort of a higher power. These are things that this film explores and navigates through. Yes, if someone like Arroway, an atheist, were to find this and try to be the one who makes true contact with another world, she would be questioned about her faith. Yes, we don't know how an alien civilization would work in taking us to their world, and yes, it could be confusing and misunderstood. It portrays confusion, disbelief, and skepticism in how it really would come about.

But, of course, this is a film. Dr. Arroway is the protagonist, and a very likable one. The audience wants to see her succeed and gain recognition, so it gives us that in very convenient ways. The romance that's not really a romance between Jodie Foster and McConaughey is believable, but almost unnecessary. I believe the director and writer both understood this, which is why nothing really blossomed between them and was mainly created to display the gap between two characters with wildly different beliefs and mindsets. The two characters displayed how the world would be torn if such a thing like this were to ever happen, with very well-written and interesting conversations between them.

Overall, this film does raise questions, but sadly, it answers them, unlike Prometheus (2012) or Under the Skin (2013). It is a crowdpleaser with great performances by Foster as the lead and McConaughey. The relationships between Foster and her team are fully formed and believable, especially with the character of Kent. This film is mildly thought-provoking, gripping, and a hell of a lot of fun.
½ July 28, 2016
I have heard that Contact bears similarities to the recently made Interstellar. While this is true to some degree, I think it's important that Zemeckis get full responsibility for this misfire. Foster is really great here but once again, Contact is another Zemeckis film with easily forgettable plotting and special effects that simply don't stand the test of time, even at the time of creation. It seems that perhaps, Zemeckis's reputation may be a bit inflated.
July 20, 2016
So I saw Contact the movie a long time ago and thought it was both clever and entertaining. Recently, I watched it again and got super excited about the science -- tri-solar planetary systems and communication to other planets. The book is now sitting on my desk, and though the poetry is nice and the character development is deeper, I find it a little less believable.
½ July 11, 2016
It's tense and intellectually gripping in all the right places, but its abundance of one-sided drama tends to stretch the length unnecessarily.
May 5, 2016
Contact is "out there" (huh-ho!). I think the message the film is trying to convey is that science and religion don't have to be at odds, and that discovering new things should be welcomed. My favorite scene was when they first discover the alien transmission. It was incredible. Something I had a problem with was how Matty M's character was so involved with the President. Why is Palmer Joss so important, anyway. He's just some dude, and he and Ellie Arroway just happen to meet up several years later. Right... So be it. The film was worth my time, though.
½ May 2, 2016
I would readily admit this is one of my favourite science fiction films from the 90's. It's intelligent, well-acted and directed, and the special effects it has HELPS the story rather than IMPEDES it. Though she hasn't done much lately, either in the director's chair or acting, Jodie Foster is one of my favourite contemporary American actresses, and it's intriguing how her great talent's been utilized of late (ie., 'Elysium', and I'm still very mad at Spike Lee for having Christopher Plummer call her a 'cunt' in 'Inside Man').

Personally, I must admit that I myself have worried what other worlds' inhabitants would think of our civilization from the messages it might get from Earth. Though I thankfully haven't lost any sleep over it (I have 'Thumper' in the apartment above me to thank for that), as Led Zeppelin would say in the classic 'Stairway to Heaven', '...and it makes me wonder'.

As what happens in most of these movies, it's rather anticlimactic once the different cultures meet. I'll say to my dying day that the most difficult thing to do in cinema is end a film. Here (unlike perfect sci-fi masterpieces, like '2001: A Space odyssey' or the more recent 'Children of Men') the decent but otherwise unspectacular ending makes me avoid a perfect rating here. But it's awfully close, worth both owning and rewatching, and provides fairly early evidence (which would come to bold fruition in 'Killer Joe') that Matthew McConaughey could actually act. It's also a tossup between this, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and 'Back to the Future' for my favourite Zemeckis moment.
May 1, 2016
At times unnecessarily silly, other times hyperbolic, but in essence a compelling inspirational drama with an unusually self-sufficient female protagonist. Also a decent sci-fi that makes science accessible to curious viewers.
April 21, 2016
it seemed like the movie that NEVER ended! I was so interested for what seemed like the fist half of the movie. but after she deciphered the Hitler thing it all went down hill for me . I completely lost interest!
April 10, 2016
Good concept, but overall pretty frustrating/disappointing. This movie should be entitled Contact: Bureaucracy around every corner. Lots of stuff that just didn't add up. Such as not believing the only person to go through this futuristic machine and then not bothering to repeat the experiment.
½ April 8, 2016
It tried to hard to be thought provoking like 2001 or sentimental like ET. The acting wasn't very good, but the script is really what made it terrible. "What? Another machine was built?? How convenient!" And "Sweet! Aliens can take on the form of humans! That should save on CGI." But what it really comes down to for me is the fact that they over explain everything. I'm sure the people that are interested in seeing this movie know what prime numbers are.
April 2, 2016
This is not a movie to watch if you want mind-numbing special effects or non-stop action. This film embodies, for me, what good science fiction should be. It makes you wonder "What If?", and makes you think. Does it have its excitement? Sure, in its way. This is more of a thought experiment, the way I see it. Foster is good, maybe a bit too emotional at times, and the other actors play their parts well. I think we can all relate to dislike David Drumlin, the self-absorbed glory hound of the film. Overall, a four. Not what I would call great, for a few reasons. The cinematography and score are both a bit lacking for my taste, but the story itself does a wonderful job of compensating for what the film is missing. If you haven't seen it, I think it's worth the time if you're interested in astronomy at all.
April 1, 2016
Good movie, could of been helped by being a little shorter.
March 22, 2016
Though several scenes could have been removed to shorten the length of this film, Contact is a fascinating and smart sci-fi drama that would delight fans of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Interstellar, and Gravity. It's realistic in its depictions of what would happen the moment humanity discovered intelligent alien life - including how the role of religion would play - thanks to the strict adherence to the science written in the source novel from the legendary astrophysicist Carl Sagan. Great performances, thought-provoking sequences, surprising tension, and an intriguing resolution.
March 22, 2016
The only flaw in this film is Palmer's (Matter McConahay's) presence. He alone devalued the storyline by forcing some terrible, uninteresting relationship into a plot that did not need his presence. Aside from Palmer, this movie is excellent and poses layered questions about humanity and our ethics if we are ever to come into contact with aliens.
½ March 20, 2016
It's interesting to find a movie that shows two characters perspectives on the same event. Well acted and directed, there really isn't anything negative to say about it.
March 17, 2016
Started off very good but sadly became worse and worse as it went on.
½ March 11, 2016
This is a movie that I had never heard of before finding it on Netflix and now that I've watched it, I'm actually very impressed. It's a very unique sci-fi film. On one hand, it's a very long movie and feels it. The pacing here is very slow and for that reason alone, this is not a movie for everyone. On top of that, there's a strong religious aspect to this movie that might turn some viewers off. As a staunch athiest, I actually really liked this element of it, although I think they took it a bit far in select parts. This is not to say that it's ABOUT religion, but still, that aspect of it is certainly there.

What really impressed me is despite the fact that it looked really dated (by its CG and the actors' clothes/hair and whatnot), the reactions of the different types of characters to the presence of an alien signal getting in contact with humanity was surprisingly realistic. From the sleazy politicians only wanting to capitalize on it for their own gain to the military people assuming the worst case scenario to the public taking different stances based on their personal beliefs and religions, it all felt to me like what might actually happen if a scenario like this ever arose. Does that mean it's ALL realistic? No. It takes considerable liberties with certain things and 1 or 2 of the performances felt a little overdone, but overall it's a sci-fi movie with a shockingly real world slant (at least until the end).

I feel like I should really dislike this movie, as certain core elements to it are things that normally would turn me off to watching it, but in the end I thought it was a really great movie. Borderline fantastic actually, despite how dated it may look today. If you're a fan of sci-fi and have the patience to stick with its slow pacing, this is definitely one to check out.
March 5, 2016
Focuses on thought provoking ideas and doesn't overdo it on special effects.
February 22, 2016
Want to watch this again!
February 11, 2016
Pretty decent sci-fi flick. It reminded me of Interstellar, before Interstellar.
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