Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway, who passed away when she was nine years old leaving her then orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her NSF superior David Drumlin, as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders and other scientists such as Drumlin, try to take over her work. When the messages received from space are decoded, ... Written by
William Fichtner's character in the film, a blind astrophysicist with enhanced hearing as a result of his condition, is named Kent Clark, a play on the name of Superman's alter ego, Clark Kent. The character is based on a real-life blind SETI scientist, Kent Cullers. See more »
As Ellie steps down the stairs of the U.S. Capitol after testifying, the limousines drive away on a road that is on the west side of the U.S. Capitol. In fact, there is no road there at all, only steps that lead down to a small reflecting pool. This road was added via CGI. See more »
My only regret about CONTACT is that I didn't see it in a theater.
This movie works on so many levels. It is a fabulously balanced concoction of thrills, suspense, action, politics, acting & characterization, awe, and...(ahem)...INTELLIGENCE! (And not just the alien kind!)
Some have compared this movie to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY...with, perhaps, some justification. There certainly are more than just passing similarities. However, whereas 2001 relied on hardware to (almost) the exclusion of all else and placed a greater emphasis on "spectacle", CONTACT strives for more substance on the human and sociological level. It touches one's emotions in a way that most movies never attempt to, much less succeed. In this, CONTACT could just as well be compared to Steven Spielberg's masterpiece, E.T. But whereas E.T. was meant to wake up the "child" in us, CONTACT succeeds in waking us to the next level! This most definitely is THE movie for BRAINIACS!
I rate CONTACT a STRONG 8 out of 10.
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