Contact - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Contact Reviews

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March 3, 2017
Despite some typical Hollywood tropes in the first act, this movie is almost perfectly drawn out, based on the book by Carl Sagan, detailing what would likely happen if/when contact will ever be made, how humans and the world would react, plus it is also a great personal journey. I must've been in a wormhole for 20 years, I don't know how else to explain just now seeing this for the first time...Thank you Carl Sagan.
January 26, 2017
I like the fact that this is a "space alien" movie that takes the time to address all the craziness that would undoubtedly happen here on Earth if we made contact, rather than jumping straight to green, tentacled predators. I also like the acknowledgment of how vastly superior the technology of the alien species would probably be, and how the actual experience of making "contact" would not necessarily be on terms that make sense to us.

Grade: A
January 7, 2017
"Contact" is a realistic look at how man's first contact with aliens might actually occur. It is easy to draw comparisons to the recent hit "Arrival" but they are different enough that they can be treated as their own entities. One of the main factors that maintains the realism is the lack of spaceships. We all love "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" but the spaceships put the fiction is science fiction. Moreover, this film focuses more on the debate of science-vs-religion than it does the actual aliens. I didn't appreciate the blatant anti-religious sentiments, nor were they necessary. I understand that the film is trying to make a statement about the struggle for science and religion to coexist but it clearly favors science and portrays religion as a disillusioned, extremist belief. The casting is interesting. I would never picture Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey in the same film but they work well together. I don't know if there is a reason for Foster's constant throat clearing (perhaps some line that I missed about the dust of New Mexico bothering her allergies?) but it is very distracting. James Woods plays the snotty Congressional investigator well and John Hurt brings an interesting dynamic to his character, but overall the acting is nothing special. Something that is special is the work of the special effects team. One of the best moments of the film is the payoff when we get to see the machine and the editing team did a great job of using news footage to explain how the machine works. Director Robert Zemeckis harnesses his inner-Kubrick for the wormhole sequence and interprets space travel in a surrealist way that looks so fantastic that we have to believe it. I wish that there was more resolution at the end but it is appropriate for leaving things open-ended. "Contact" was decades in the making for Warner Brothers and while it science-vs-religion theme gets in the way of the story, it still delivers during the final 20 minutes of the film.
½ December 28, 2016
A really good movie!! I thought it was really entertaining. Really good story, and a great cast. Really enjoyed this one.
December 9, 2016
A pretty realistic look at what first contact with an extraterrestrial species may be like - probably more realistic than 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', as they only hear them, rather than see UFOs. The building of the gyroscope machine and the the science vs religion debate are both handled well. Foster carries the film as Ellie - Woods is good and McConaughey and Skerritt are underutilised. Ending is good, but not amazing. Very enjoyable sci-fi film that still holds up!
December 2, 2016
What is evidence?
The sci-fi movie called 'Contact' was made in 1977 by Robert Zemeckis. Its main characters are Jodie Foster and Matthew McCoonaughey. While staying with her father(David Morse),she was interested in universe. So, her father supported Jodie Foster to become an astronomer.
If there was the most memorable sceces but i was fun, she dropped out in the wormhole and met an alien(David Morse).she was young, father dead. So, she felt lonely and thr background of the scene was her painting that she drew when she was young. But, I don`t like this movie. because, I like romence movie. If you like philosophy and religion movie. You will feel the charm as 'Interstellar'.
November 30, 2016
I really love this movie! Better than Interstellar!
November 30, 2016
Now that I've seen Arrival. I have to give Contact a perfect rating. Arrival lacked the mystery and wonder of Contact.
November 23, 2016
terrible. so many old movie qualities. so many huge flaws in the story. also the entire movie focuses more on stupid side stories than the main story. like the religious ramifications of meeting aliens.


or like how they didn't believe her and basically discredited her with something that she would immediately know can't be true (the source of the signal was confirmed by multiple stations, couldn't have been from a satellite launched by a human). even if it was supposed to be for a cover-up, it's not plausible. and i can't believe they didn't run the dummy test on the second machine. smh. or the fact that religious leaders were helping make government decisions on sending someone into space.

the only cool parts of this were the stuff that had to do with actual space exploration and alien contact. i thought most of that was interesting. (1 viewing)
November 20, 2016
Contact does not have the final resolution that other great space movies contain, but it is deep in character development with Jodie Foster's performance and presents a meaningful story of acceptance between science and religion through Robert Zemeckis's direction.
November 15, 2016
Many years I watched it and did not like it. Now I can see how this story is to find a humanistic view of the meaning of existence hedging in the common ground of science and religion.
Super Reviewer
November 9, 2016
With all the fun popcorn sci-fi movies we get each year, I think people forget how interesting and cerebral science-fiction can be. Contact is an ambitious look at the lengths of our universe and our human reach, but it sometimes gets a little too obsessed with itself to make a great watch.

Directed by the great Robert Zemeckis and stars Oscar winning Jodie Foster as Dr. Arroway, a scientist who first discovers a potential connection to a life form from an unidentifiable place. Contact is mostly a film about a young girl devoting her life to the research and passion of her late father, but it deals with some heavy themes and ideas. Some ideas are perhaps way to grand scale and broad for the film's grasp, but at its core I really dug the bond between a father and his daughter here. David Morse plays her father in a limited role, but his presence is felt throughout the film.

Jodie Foster's performance as Dr. Arroway is also a highlight. As much as it appears this is an ensemble piece with established actors, this film is largely on her shoulders, and she always kept me engaged. Unfortunately, her character is given a love interest in Matthew McConaughey's character, Palmer Joss. It's one thing to have a one-note character as a love interest. But it's even worse to have that very character ONLY be used when the plot feels like it needs the audience to be more invested in an "emotional moment". The Joss character is merely a plot device and is a hindrance on the enjoyment of Contact as a whole.

But Joss wasn't the only highly flawed character. As Arroway gets closer to analyzing the 'aliens' message to the humans, a character named S.R. Hadden secretly meets with Arroway. This scene, along with every scene he appears in, is completely tonally out of place. This is Contact's biggest issue. The film's first half is tonally balanced and grounded in realism (at least for sci-fi), but once Hadden enters the picture it feels much more heightened than it does grounded. His character seems like a villain straight out of a Bond film, and that just didn't fit in with the rest of the story.

I like what this film challenges us to think about and explore. And to its credit, the third act's payoff is truly unlike anything I have seen before, so there's no shortage of originality there. But to me, the writing with a few characters and unbalanced tone is what really killed my enjoyment after awhile.


+Harrowing journey full of intriguing reveals

-But the tone is all over the place

-As are the writing for certain characters

½ October 21, 2016
Descent movie, the end could've been better though.
October 16, 2016
Robert Zemeckis' "Contact" is one small step for man, one giant step for heavy-handed sentimentalism. It's also a thoroughly engrossing science fiction flick with thought-provoking messages about faith and science. It was also interesting to see a great early performance from Jena Malone.
September 25, 2016
Very watchable and remarkable special effects carry this movie to almost the heights of the stars that it was aiming for.
½ September 11, 2016
A little drawn out, but there's some really great elements here. The themes of faith and science are a little heavy handed, but they bring up great discussion.
September 9, 2016
One of the more thoughtful sci fi movies out there.
September 2, 2016
When story films were character driven. When plots were created out of thin air. When movies were viewed not because of the material but because of who was starring in the film. When movies kept you on the edge of your seat and every word meant something to the story moving forward. When computer graphics were simply to envision a couple gorgeous landscapes and or action sequences to add context beyond what real life can replicate on the big screen and not tell and entire film on the green screen. Contact, is story driven film with so much exposition that at the times if you're not a fan of films like these, it would leave you begging for more and frequent action scenes. The complicated yet satisfying sci-fi plot of Contact leaves you with questions of science over religion or religion over science and which is the best path to follow. Yet this film with its ever evolving characters throughout instill that moral conundrum within you to a "what would you do if you were Ellie?". Though, it pits these two questions against each other by the end of the film you find yourself thinking they both are one in the same. I won't spoil this movie if you haven't seen this film, but it will leave you questioning yourself once the credits roll. Not with questions of "what the hell did I just watch?", but with questions of "are we alone in the universe?" and so forth. Those! Are the type films that deserves to get praised not because it's religious or scientific, but because you learn something new within yourself of questioning or seeing the world in a different light. Contact is a type of lost art in the film industry now a days but I have to say it will transcend generations to come and beyond. What an amazing and spectacular film!! 10/10
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.
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