Silent Running 1972

Silent Running

Critics Consensus

It doesn't fulfill the potential of its ambitious themes, butSilent Running stands as a decidedly unique type of sci-fi journey marked by intimate character work and a melancholic mood.

68%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 28

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,065

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Movie Info

After the end of all botanical life on Earth, ecologist Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) maintains a greenhouse on a space station in order to preserve various plants for future generations. Assisted by three robots and a small human crew, Lowell rebels when he is ordered to destroy the greenhouse in favor of carrying cargo, a decision that puts him at odds with everyone but his mechanical companions. Lowell and his robots are forced to do anything necessary to keep their invaluable greenery alive.

Cast & Crew

Bruce Dern
Freeman Lowell
Cliff Potts
John Keenan
Ron Rifkin
Marty Barker
Jesse Vint
Andy Wolf
Steven Brown
Drone
Larry Whisenhut
Drone
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Critic Reviews for Silent Running

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (9)

  • The production lacks much dramatic credibility and often teeters on the edge of the ludicrous.

    June 4, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The film is enjoyable for its intimacy, seriousness, and intelligent character work, virtues not perpetuated by the subsequent new wave.

    June 4, 2007 | Full Review…
  • A wonderful film.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Silent Running is no jerry-built science fiction film, but it's a little too simple-minded to be consistently entertaining.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A movie out of the ordinary - especially if you like science fiction.

    October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Its simplicity and unique approach to the subject matter undeniably makes it a sci-fi spectacle in a class of its own.

    August 31, 2020 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Silent Running

  • Aug 12, 2015
    Ma Earth can no longer grow food after we pollute the bejesus out of her and so we build a greenhouse in space to preserve the idea of growing food. "Ahhh, its only a knucklehead idea anyway. What were we thinking? We got synthetic food, don't we? Close it up!" Bruce Dern is the idealist who fights the powers-that-be in this not-too-far-from-hippie sci-fi horror story. The action's okay is all. There's terrible bits of Joan Baez singing that'll make you put the work end of a shotgun in your mouth. Eh.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2015
    not too preachy considering it's obviously spawn of the hippy flower power era. a very intense, slighty unhinged portrayal from bruce dern
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2014
    Silent Running is an entertaining and exhilarating Sci Fi classic with a great cast and a good story. The film is quite engaging, and the effects are well done and like 2001 before it, have influenced the genre. Bruce Dern is great in the lead role, and this ranks up there as one of the finest examples of 1970's Sci Fi. Of course Star Wars would reinvent the genre altogether, but you simply can't deny that Silent Running broke ground in terms of effects. Though not a perfect film, Silent Running will certainly please genre fans. The idea behind its story is quite simple, but the execution is well done, and it would later set the stage for future genre films. Dern like I said is good here, and he holds things together. If you're expecting an action packed thrilled ride, you'll be disappointed. This is more of a Sci Fi drama, but it it's quite entertaining nonetheless. Silent Running is a must watch for genre fans, or anyone looking for a classic Sci Fi film that has a well structured story. Enjoyable, but slow paced, Silent Running is one of those films that you need a few viewings to get into. The film stands out as a great genre film, one that helped shape the genre for what it is. Even if it's not a great movie, it's still a Sci Fi classic for what it helps achieve in terms of ideas and concepts in the genre. Sure, it may be tedious at times, but it definitely is worth seeing if you love this genre of film.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Apr 15, 2013
    A good thematic approach to sci-fi, handled with superb special effects and a strong lead performance (which is pretty much the only performance of the movie) that just gets uncredibly preachy and cheesy when it didn't need to. It's also overly long and pointless at times, when it should've been the opposite. The desperation of the lead doesn't really come across as often as it should've but all in all, a solid effort.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer

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