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Contact (1997)

PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  11 July 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 186,257 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 598 user | 157 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine.



(novel), (story), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sami Chester ...
Vernon (as SaMi Chester)
Timothy McNeil ...
Laura Elena Surillo ...
Cantina Woman
Michael Chaban ...
Hadden Suit
Willie (as Maximilian Martini)
Thomas Garner ...
Ian Broderick


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Get ready for human's biggest discovery ever! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some intense action, mild language and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

11 July 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Contacto  »

Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,584,908 (USA) (11 July 1997)


$100,853,835 (USA) (31 October 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Linda Hunt was considered for the role of President of the United States. See more »


When Dr. Arroway first hears the alien signal at the VLA, she shouts into her walkie-talkie the Right Ascension and Declination that the signal is emanating from. Twice, she says, "Declination plus 36 degrees," but when she repeats it the third time, she accidentally says "Declination 36 hours." See more »


[first lines]
Young Ellie: CQ, this is W9GFO. CQ, this is W9GFO here. Come back?
See more »


Referenced in StarCraft: Brood War (1998) See more »


Angry Days
Written by Joey Cape
Performed by Lagwagon
Played briefly during the opening sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

the 2001 for the nineties
7 August 1998 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

Brilliant movie. Contact is based on the breathtaking novel written by the late Carl Sagan. It stars Jodie Foster as Ellie Arroway, a girl obsessed by what's out there. She intercepts an alien message, after which a mission is set up to go and meet the extra-terrestrials. But make no mistake, this is no Star Trek. This is a very pensive, intelligent movie that is times heartbreakingly sad. It is the 2001 for the nineties, since that movie was obviously somewhat of an inspiration. The ending may disappoint somewhat at first view, but actually turns out to be quite haunting if you give it a chance. Enjoy wonderful acting, great direction and amazing special effects. Read the book first though. You won't regret it.

100 of 140 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Does anyone believe in aliens? damis68
Eighteen hours in the pod and.... garyleigh-661-284912
Occam's Razor fail - How to destroy an otherwise great film. Chiffmonkey
Why didn't they send another person through the device??? oz_mant
I couldn't really get into it despite loving Interstellar ohdearurdead
Interstellar... DArKnight108
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