The Terminal

Critics Consensus

The Terminal transcends its flaws through the sheer virtue of its crowd-pleasing message and a typically solid star turn from Tom Hanks.

61%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 206

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 408,060

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Movie Info

When Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), an Eastern European tourist, arrives at JFK in New York, war breaks out in his country and he finds himself caught up in international politics. Because of the war, the Department of Homeland Security won't let him enter or exit the United States. He's trapped at JFK -- indefinitely. While living at the airport, Viktor falls for a flight attendant (Catherine Zeta-Jones). She may have feelings for him too. But what good is love if Viktor can't leave the terminal?

Cast & Crew

Tom Hanks
Viktor Navorski
Stanley Tucci
Frank Dixon
Chi McBride
Joe Mulroy
Diego Luna
Enrique Cruz
Jude Ciccolella
Karl Iverson
Andrew Niccol
Executive Producer
Sacha Gervasi
Screenwriter
Jeff Nathanson
Screenwriter
John Williams
Original Music
Michael Kahn
Film Editor
Alex McDowell
Production Designer
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News & Interviews for The Terminal

Critic Reviews for The Terminal

All Critics (206) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (125) | Rotten (81)

  • So satisfied with its feel-good status, it seems oblivious to the bad casting decisions

    September 7, 2004 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Hanks is a likeable actor but rarely a subtle one. Viktor is another cutesy emotional heart-tugger in the Forrest Gump mould, all galumphing slapstick.

    August 31, 2004 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Nev Pierce

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • It's an odd fable: Viktor is the mysterious visitor who shows us what the American Dream is all about-in the movie's terms, compassion for others -- without ever wanting to become an American himself.

    August 7, 2004
  • Even in the desolation of an airport lounge at midnight, Viktor is too pure, we realize, to entertain the ghost of a dirty thought.

    August 1, 2004

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • A feel-good film of such originality and sweetness in a summer of otherwise derivative sequels and remakes that it practically qualifies for miracle status.

    June 24, 2004 | Full Review…

    Rex Reed

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • The concept was there; the production abilities were there. It's the execution that fell apart.

    June 24, 2004 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Terminal

  • Jan 31, 2014
    The Terminal is a completely charming look at one foreign man's unfortunate situation, stuck in an airport without a country. It's a little unbelievable but a good setting nonetheless for this comedic fish-out-of-water slice of life. Tom Hanks plays Viktor so effortlessly; the character reminds me of Andy Kaufman's "foreign man, "but Viktor's more believable. Catherine Zeta-Jones is gorgeous as always but more vulnerable here. I fell in love with her. The whole supporting cast is good; I liked the unexpected moments best, like the Indian janitor juggling during Viktor and Amelia's date. This Spielberg-directed picture may not be Philadelphia or Schindler's List, but I enjoyed it much more than most romantic comedies. It's the sweetest story I've seen in some time, though I do wish for a better ending for Amelia (Jones). The moral is something like: Some things are worth waiting for. It's a little sappy melodramatic, but you'll feel good after anyway.
    Clintus M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 14, 2013
    While The Terminal is an enjoyable Spielberg movie, it might be his most flawed. The film had good wholesome comedy, represented primary in the first twenty minutes. The drama in it withdrawed pity but not much sadness. While Tom Hanks offered a reasonable performance, I'm not sure if he'd be best fit. I think someone more European looking like Spacey would be the right guy for the job.The most dramatic flaw in this though was a huge lack of focus. It would leave a topic for forty minutes, then come back to it almost as if it was still going on. It didn't have anything central, or even, it would hop around un-evenly. So overall it's decent, but had much more potential.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Dec 20, 2011
    At first I found this to be a very bizaar film for Spielberg to direct. I wasn't dissapointed however. The Terminal; is a very heartwarming, cleverly written and interesting film for everyone to watch. It showcases another one of Tom Hanks best perfomances and his third collaboration with Spielberg. Com to think of it, this may of been based on a true story about some foreigner who did get stuck in the New York Airport.
    Luke E Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    The Terminal is a film I call a comedic masterpiece, and I realize I am in a huge minority when saying that. I have never seen a movie as sweet and funny as this, it was just a perfect mix of great jokes and sweet moments. The premise interested me, and when I finally saw this I realize that Spielberg has made the perfect blend pf drama and comedy. I guess I am a sucker, because the climax of the movie made me tear up a bit because it was so sweet and innocent, and Spielberg has made a winner again. Tom Hanks is extremely lovable and great and even his accent he gives is just funny because it makes Hanks look like innocent figure like in Forrest Gump. The entire cast is memorable including Stanley Tucci who plays one of the finest roles of his career. The Terminal is a perfect film in my view, you may disagree but I fell under the Spielberg spell that his movies cast just so incredibly well, and has made this one of my all time favorite comedies.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer

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