MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 495 this week

Contact (1997)

PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  11 July 1997 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 182,306 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 595 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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (story), 3 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 31 Mar 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 27 Dec 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 02 Apr 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 07 Jan 2014
 
a list of 28 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Contact" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Contact (1997)

Contact (1997) on IMDb 7.4/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Contact.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Abyss (1989)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A civilian diving team are enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn
Sphere (1998)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A spaceship is discovered under three hundred years' worth of coral growth at the bottom of the ocean.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After an encounter with U.F.O.s, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr
K-PAX (2001)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Prot is a patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from a far away Planet. His psychiatrist tries to help him, only to begin to doubt his own explanations.

Director: Iain Softley
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack
Gattaca (1997)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law
Sunshine (2007)
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A team of international astronauts is sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans
Event Horizon (1997)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Dark City (1998)
Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun and run by beings with telekinetic powers who seek the souls of humans.

Director: Alex Proyas
Stars: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly
Cube (1997)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

7 complete strangers of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in an endless kafkaesque maze containing deadly traps.

Director: Vincenzo Natali
Stars: Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett
Moon (2009)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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.

Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman becomes a mysterious interrogation after the retiring scholar reveals to his colleagues he never ages and has walked the earth for 14,000 years.

Director: Richard Schenkman
Stars: David Lee Smith, Tony Todd, John Billingsley
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

A message from deep space. Who will be the first to go? A journey to the heart of the universe. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

11 July 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Contacto  »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to make contact, intelligent life would likely choose such a "standard" cosmic frequency as hydrogen and multiply it by a transcendental number such as pi. Not only would this frequency be a common place to look for radio signals, it would be an unmistakable sign of intelligent life. See more »

Goofs

When giving testimony at the inquiry, Ellie states that the travel lasted 18 hours for her and just a second for the witnesses. She had no way of knowing the exact duration of her experience since she didn't have a watch and any scientist who admitted being subject to a vivid illusion would know that subjective time is hard to reckon. Besides, the duration of the static recording was unknown to her and the public. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Features Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Semi-Charmed Life
(uncredited)
Written by Stephan Jenkins
Performed by Third Eye Blind
Played briefly during the opening sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Foster Makes "Contact"
25 June 2001 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

All of the greatest work by the greatest scientists has been done while they were very young, when they were stupid enough to believe that two-plus-two-equals-five, and pursued it instead of listening to all of those who were much older and wiser who said Don't Waste Your Time. Einstein, it has been said, asked all of his important questions before the age of twenty-five, then spent the rest of his life working on them. `Contact,' directed by Robert Zemeckis, is the story of a young scientist, Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster), who like Einstein and all the greats before her, has been asking questions and seeking answers since she was very young. And now, as a member of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) team, she is able to pursue her obsession with the mysteries of the galaxies and the infinite universe that surrounds us. Her job is to sweep the skies, using the most sophisticated equipment available, for a signal from deepest space. It may be her job, but for Ellie it's a labor of love, for she is convinced that there is something, or someone, out there somewhere, because otherwise, she reasons, what a terrible waste of space it would be. Ellie may be a dreamer, but she knows in her heart that it is the dreamers who over the years have been responsible for making us evolve, making us learn and grow because they are the ones who take insane, foolish ideas and pursue them. And to her, two-plus-two will always be five.

Ellie loves her job and believes in what she is doing, but it's been a struggle over the years, as she and others have had to constantly fight for the funding necessary to keep the project alive, begging for dollars from short-sighted, unimaginative people with vision that goes only as far as the bottom line of their budget book. It's been a tough row to hoe, and she's had to swallow a lot of pride over the years, but then one day it all pays off, when in one magic moment she hears what she's been waiting for all her life: A signal from a distant end of the galaxy-- someone attempting to communicate, to make contact, with the people of the Earth.

Ellie and her team soon realize that, whomever it is, they are using the universal language of prime numbers in their attempts at making contact; and when Ellie deciphers the code, she discovers something monumental in the bargain. But it's a message of global importance, something much bigger than she and her team alone, and she soon find herself fighting to remain a part of the drama that is only beginning to unfold-- the first interaction between human beings and an alien life form. And it's only the beginning of the adventure and the wondrous places this film is about to take you.

Jodie Foster gives a performance here that demonstrates what a gifted, talented actor she is. Her Ellie is convincing and believable, and someone to whom you can genuinely relate, no matter who you are or where you're from, because there is something universal in Ellie's passion and longing to discover the truth and to see beyond the veil of our limited mortal capacities. There's a strength to Ellie, born of a combination of intelligence and innocence, as well as tenacity and faith, and Foster manifests all of these complexities of her character beautifully, with a performance that should've landed her an Oscar nomination. In this role, she is simply as good as it gets.

As the young Ellie, Jenna Malone gives a terrific performance, also, which certainly captures the same spirit that we find in the adult Ellie. And there's a maturity she brings to the character that far exceeds her years. She was a perfect choice for the part, and if this is any indication of what she is capable of, Malone has a successful career ahead of her.

The supporting cast includes David Morse (Ted Arroway), Matthew McConaughey (Palmer), Geoffrey Blake (Fisher), William Fichtner (Kent), Tom Skerritt (David), James Woods (Kitz) and Angela Bassett (Rachel). Zemeckis did a brilliant job of bringing this film to fruition, especially in the way he allowed Foster the time to really develop her character, by giving her that extra moment at just the right time that ultimately meant so much in the final analysis. Too often it's those few minutes that wind up on the cutting room floor that make the difference between a good film and an exceptional one; and between Zemeckis and Foster, they took it to the edge by taking some chances to realize that combined vision, which in the end made this a great film. Thoroughly engrossing and entertaining, `Contact' will transport you to places you can only imagine, and it's all done with style and in a way that makes this a truly memorable cinematic journey. It's what the magic of the movies is all about. I rate this one 10/10.


106 of 141 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Eighteen hours in the pod and.... garyleigh-661-284912
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
This movie never addressed the Fermi Paradox redban02
This Movie Needs a sequel!! edindenco-154-269285
Discuss Contact (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?