MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 1,124 this week

The Mosquito Coast (1986)

6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 18,348 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 93 user | 20 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build an ice factory in the middle of the jungle. Conflicts with his family, a local preacher ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 35 titles
created 31 Jan 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 24 Mar 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 12 Jul 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 19 Aug 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 09 Sep 2012
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Mosquito Coast (1986)

The Mosquito Coast (1986) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Mosquito Coast.
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Deliverance (1972)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty
The Road I (2009)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A post-apocalyptic tale of a man and his son trying to survive by any means possible.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Blood Diamond (2006)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Set in 1898, this movie is based on the true story of two lions in Africa that killed 35 people over a nine month period, while a bridge engineer and an experienced old hunter tried to kill... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Hopkins
Stars: Michael Douglas, Val Kilmer, Tom Wilkinson
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Stranded on an island, a group of schoolboys degenerate into savagery.

Director: Harry Hook
Stars: Balthazar Getty, Chris Furrh, Danuel Pipoly
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe, Fred Ward
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Shipwrecked on an island, the castaway boys eventually revert to savagery despite the few rational kids' attempts to prevent that.

Director: Peter Brook
Stars: James Aubrey, Tom Chapin, Hugh Edwards
Fail-Safe (1964)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it's a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted?

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Fritz Weaver
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman's son witnesses what his father does for a living.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Rob Maxey
First Blood (1982)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Vietnam Veteran uses his combat skills against the lawman of a small town when he arrests and abuses him.

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna
The Edge (1997)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A billionaire and two other men are stranded, unequipped, by a plane crash in a dangerous wilderness. How many will survive to be rescued?

Director: Lee Tamahori
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Elle Macpherson
The Beach I (2000)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel York, Patcharawan Patarakijjanon
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Mr. Haddy
Andre Gregory ...
Reverend Spellgood
...
...
Mr. Polski
...
Michael Rogers ...
Francis Lungley
Hilary Gordon ...
April Fox
Rebecca Gordon ...
Clover Fox
...
Hardware Clerk
Alice Heffernan-Sneed ...
Mrs. Polski (as Alice Sneed)
Tiger Haynes ...
Mr. Semper
William Newman ...
Captain Smalls
Edit

Storyline

An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build an ice factory in the middle of the jungle. Conflicts with his family, a local preacher and with nature are only small obstacles to his obsession. Based upon a Paul Theroux novel. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He never bargained for what he found. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Mosquito Coast  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$14,302,779 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's failure at the box office was mainly attributed to Harrison Ford's performance, which many critics found to be too forced and over-the-top. See more »

Goofs

While Allie Fox and his family are being lashed by violent winds and near horizontal rain during a hurricane a couple of palm trees in the background are standing perfectly still. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charlie: My father was an inventor, a genius with anything mechanical. Nine patents, six pending. He dropped out of Harvard, "to get an education", he said. I grew up with the belief that the world belonged to him, and that everything he said was true.
Allie Fox: Look around ya, how did America get this way? Land of promise, land of opportunity. Give us the wretched refuse of your teeming shores. Have a Coke. Watch TV.
Charlie: Have a nice day.
Allie Fox: Go on welfare. Get free money. Turn to crime - crime pays in this ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Reel Paradise (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Sing Alleluia
Words and Music by Gary Johnson
Performed by Grace Gospel Primary School Choir
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A classic of the 1980's
30 August 2000 | by (In shame (2005 update)) – See all my reviews

I can almost guarantee that anyone who has seen 'The Mosquito Coast', then looked at the subject line of this review, thinks I'm crazy. The truth is that this film is deeply flawed and undeniably weak in many regards, but it had a quality I cannot describe. This is the only film I have ever seen that, despite many shortcomings, manages to come out of the storm relatively unscathed, and become an unforgettable, almost haunting, movie.

The production values are immaculate. Peter Weir's direction is excellent, and is in top form here. He has crafted a thick shell that blocks the flaws from coming up to the surface, an indescribable feat that very few directors have accomplished. The musical score is good, not outstanding, but it's fitting, and surprisingly subtle. There is only about six minutes out of the entire film that has musical accompaniment, which makes for a very unique experience, and not necessarily a bad one. The tropical cinematography is dazzling, and the decision to shoot on location in Belize instead of on a studio back lot really paid off, contributing greatly to the film's success.

As good as the mentioned characteristics are, nothing is as good as the acting, especially that from the two leads: Harrison Ford and River Phoenix. Prior to this, Ford had made a name for himself with big budget action roles, with several failed attempts at drama (Hanover Street being the best example of that). It wasn't until 1985's 'Witness' (which Peter Weir also directed, that Ford was taken seriously as an all around actor. Personally I think Ford's performance here greatly overshadowed his work in 'Witness', and is a career best for him, even in the light of 'Regarding Henry' and 'Presumed Innocent', both made after his. He takes the character of Allie Fox, and moulds him into a selfish, driving maniac, blind to the wishes of others, only caring for himself. Phoenix, on the other hand, deserves even more acclaim, for several reasons. For one, this was only his third film, after 1985's 'Explorers', and 'Stand by Me', made right before this. Secondly, he was only 15 at the time of the shoot, and had little acting experience, yet he easily out acted most of his co-stars. Though his performance wasn't quite as refined as Ford's was, he still reached a level of near perfection and set the stage for a glorious, and ultimately tragic, career.

The story is one of utter genius, one of the few original ones popping up in an industry full of sequels, remakes and rip offs. Based on the 1981 bestseller by Paul Theroux, and co-starring Helen Mirren, 'The Mosquito Coast' deserves a place among the best films of the 80's.

But wait, I'm not done. Despite a great exterior, deep inside the movie is troubled. It's as if director Weir pushed all the movie's problems deep down under the surface, then piled layer after layer of... something, on top of it, hiding them from the clueless audience. My main problem with the movie is that it yearns to break away from it's literary roots, a problem that could've been easily avoided had the right script come along. Entire conversations are lifted from the text, and there isn't a single line that doesn't have an equal counterpart in the novel. For me this got extremely tedious as, hours before popping in the tape for a second viewing, I had finished the book, and the two are much too similar.

Another problem I have with it is that the scenes are much too short, with none of them running over about a minute and a half. An obvious result of this is that many subplots remain unresolved, and several concepts are hinted at, but go without further explanation, making for a confusing story. If the screenwriter had put a little more effort into making the film different than the book, with new scenes, we would have seen a much better end product.

A third, albeit a smaller one, is that the production team apparently spent too much time making sure that the movie would get a PG rating, though it would've been much better had it gotten an R, or even a PG-13 rating. That would've allowed Ford a little more breathing room to tweak his character, possibly allowing Allie to become less sympathetic, more of a madman.

I can't think of much more worth saying to put in this review, so I'll end it with this note: see the movie, even if you've read the book, but don't do the two back to back.


42 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Am I the only one who thought it was weird that primitives talk English Fuwisu
Horrible Movie themightymick01
Ford's words even more true today bpicking-1
river phoneix natz62
Is The Book Recommended? dumb_brunette
PLS HELP ME UNDERSTAND THIS QUOTE!!! IT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!! LOL salsa32
Discuss The Mosquito Coast (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?