The Postman (1997) Poster


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See it, then decide
tony etchells15 August 2002
It's a depressing fact that the moviegoing public is being brainwashed by critics to hate everything involving Kevin Costner. When released in 1997 this breathtaking, thought-provoking epic was largely ignored and limped to a box office gross of $14 million, thanks to some vicious reviews.

Lest we forget, Costner made the magnificent Dances With Wolves, but that was in the days when we were told it was okay to like him. His directorial follow up is every bit as good. He knows about directing. He coaxes great performances from his casts. He has real vision and takes chances. Like Michael Cimino, his efforts are belittled and mocked while directors with clearly less talent are applauded.

So to all those people who stayed away in droves and screw their faces up at the mention of this film, I say watch it before you criticise it. Don't rely on some magazine writer to tell you who's good and who's not. Your brain is there for a reason.
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Well... I am glad to see that I am not the only person who liked this film
A-Ron-219 February 2000
I truly do NOT understand why The Postman was attacked as viscously as it was by the film media (there films much more worthy of the Golden Raspberry Awards in 1997). I loved this film and was very impressed with the loving amount of dedication that it demonstrates on the part of the actors, writers and director. This was a GOOD movie: it had a strong and intelligent story; excellent and interesting characters; and real feel for the post-Apocalypse genre. I felt that Kevin Costner's everyman act worked beautifully in this film and created a sense of reality for the character and of his situation.

As far as the sci-fi novel by David Brin, this film exceeded it in every way possible. Where Brin had to rely on cheezy sci-fi standards (like supersoldiers) to resolve his story, this film does using only two men, both frauds, and both with radically different understandings of what constitutes a proper society. That is what made this film great (and I rarely use the term great), that this film was essentially an examination of America and what America means. It was a parable of sorts about the types of men Americans are and what they are capable of (notice that the head bad-guy had a traditional, classical education, while Costner did not; he appreciated these things but they were not at the center of his belief system... I wonder why).

While I do not agree with every aspect of this film (I am a Medievalist and a Platonist, so I don't necessarily feel the same way about the Western Canon that the film-maker may have), I still find it to be a beautiful reflection on the psyche of the American everyman. America has a tradition of rejecting the absolutist ideals of the past in favor of the pragmatic relativism of today, and I think that this film is a parable of the divorce of America from the traditions of Europe.

Overall, this is a complex and entertaining film and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in examinations of American culture and tradition, perhaps as a double feature with Citizen Cane (I am not, however, claiming that the Postman was as good a film as Citizen Cane, only that they have a similar theme... what does it mean to be an American?).
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Don't listen to it's critics, see the movie for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
sol20 September 2003
A Far better movie then it's critics make it out to be. "The Postman" is a good solid film about the end of the world and the chaos and confusion that follows with the unwitting soul that destiny choose to bring those who survived the apocalypse back to a better life and promising future.

Corny yes but in a positive and constructive sort of way. With the cast of Kevin Costner on down giving the film the sort of believability that you just don't see in most of the "End of he World" movies that have been projected on the silver screen since "Things to Come" back in 1936.

"The Postman" unlike most "End of the world" movies carries through the entire movie, which is almost three hours long, a positive and uplifting theme that you rarely get to see in these type of films. The ending of the film, call it corny it you will, was really moving without being obnoxious like it could have been had it been made by a lesser talent then Kevin Costner.
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Very unfairly treated movie
professor_asphincter17 February 2003
I know a lot of people hated this movie. I know why. It is a little saccharine in places and yes, it is not always believeable. But this is one of the few time a screenplay is better than the book it was based on. This film always fills me with such positive energy and hope. it is funny in places, sad in places, tragic and action-packed in places. Costner plays Eric with such a fresh attitude, and you can almost hear the voices in the characters head pulling his loyalties. The cast is perfect and in many places the cinamatography is sublime. The cross cuts are so clever it made my eyes ache with envy that i didnt think of them and the action sequences are fast and timed to perfection. this remains one of my favourite films and in all honesty people should give it a little more respect. no matter what you think of the script and characterisation technicly this film is top draw. Sets, locations, effects and design grab you by the hand and take you someplace you actually want to go. i would much rather make and see films like this than dross like 'chaicago' and 'moulin rouge'. this is a film for grownups with a bit of imagination and respect for the film makers art.
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not bad
KHydak16 May 2000
I liked this movie, unlike most people, I hadn't heard anything at all about this movie prior to seeing it. I wasn't expecting to see a bad movie.

What I found was an interesting Epic. It isn't a great movie , but it is a good movie. I honestly don't understand why anyone would call this the "worst movie ever" as I have heard on several occasions.

Give this movie a chance, don't go expecting instant gratification.
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A much better movie than the "user ratings" would indicate.
TxMike21 November 1999
I've seen this movie twice, and it is overall better than 80% of the trash movies being released these days.

Those of you familiar with statistics and "normal" distributions, look at the "user ratings" for this movie. A full 12% give it a "1" rating, which is obviously bogus. Look at the shape of the distribution, and you'll see that the valid rating for this movie is somewhere between 7 and 8, which are the most "common" ratings, which makes perfect sense. A 7.5 on a 10 point scale is where most people would rate it.

It has such an uplifting story of a re-construction after a war, and banning together to fight evil, that I don't see how anyone with a heart could give it less than about 6 or 7. See it if you haven't already!
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First of all...I liked it...I really did!
gagliano13 February 2000
First of all...I liked it...I really did! It is a film by Kevin Costner, starring Kevin Costner, surrounds Kevin Costner's character, and a movie that is simply...Kevin Costner. But if you liked Kevin Costner in such films as "Dances With Wolves", "Robin Hood", "The Bodyguard", and even slightly in "Waterworld", then you will like this film. I know it is three hours long (I got refills on both the popcorn and super-size soda and still ran out), but I didn't find it as unbearable as those less-than-perfect-movie-critics have claimed. I found the time to go by quite like you would expect three hours to go by and didn't find myself being bored or dozing off. Yes, the story line was a bit predictable and Kevin played the reluctant hero that he is known for...but I liked it. Bottom line...if you want to do something nice for your postman, tell them you are going to go see the film in their honor...because like their motto says...not rain, nor shine, nor sleet, nor nothing...not even the lack of being a country will stop the mail from getting through.
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Not as horrible as all that
fcfig30 November 2004
"The Postman" is one of those films that has become almost synonymous with the concept of "lousy, awful, horrible, terrible, stinking mess of a movie." Like "Plan 9 from Outer Space," "Ishtar," or "Gigli," it is sometimes invoked in this manner on Internet message boards or in chatter between friends. But is "The Postman" truly such a horrible disaster? I would argue that its bad reputation is overdone.

Make no mistake, this movie is no "Citizen Kane." There is no way, by any stretch of the imagination, that this could be called a "great" movie. But every week B-movies that are orders of magnitude worse come out. What is it about this one that accounts for its enduring lousy reputation? This in itself is an interesting question.

Part of the answer has to do with Kevin Costner. It is hard to imagine now, but at one time (especially in the wake of "Dances with Wolves") his reputation in Hollywood was towering and unassailable. Costner squandered his mega-star status with a series of expensive yet mediocre duds such as this one, and in the end "The Postman's" crime is not that it is a truly terrible movie, but that it is simply a not-great movie that deflated the public's hopes and expectations of what Kevin Costner film should be. The curse of too-high expectations.

The worst aspect of this movie is its occasional pomposity and self-importance, derived from Costner's own enormous mid-90s ego, and it is easy to laugh at the final scene or various dramatic sequences with swirling symphonic music and glistening slo-mo shots. But if you can get beyond this and look at the movie as just a somewhat entertaining way to pass a few hours, it really isn't that bad, especially if you are a fan of the "dark future" genre of films. Will Patton in particular provides a good, convincing performance, as do a number of other minor characters.

And the world of "The Postman" -- a decayed, post-apocalyptic, decentralized

America where the federal government has collapsed -- is interesting in its own right. Remember, this film was borne of the early/mid 1990s, a time that gave us Timothy McVeigh, anti-government sentiment, Waco, and fear about "militias." There was a sense in the air that America could possibly disintegrate and fragment into local areas battling each other in the long run. This world view seems very alien in the post-9-11 era, where there is much more of a consciousness of being an American, "rallying around the flag," and the role of the federal government as a powerful military force, for good or for ill. Nowadays fear of outsiders and terrorism has largely replaced fears of internal anarchy and domestic unraveling. "The Postman" reminds us that not so long ago America envisioned its dark possible futures in a very different way than it currently does, and this in itself is instructive and worth pondering.
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Bum Rap
Zuria10 August 1998
I found the movie to be better than anticipated (perhaps because I feared the worst, thanks to all the "anti"hype). Costner did a great job transforming a hokey script into an attractive film. It's use of symbolism and Shakespearian references were well placed, though seemingly not accepted. This only strengthens the fact that movies "wax too philosophical" for the general audience, especially an American audience which usually can't handle any movie beyond 1 and a half hours. This is why the Action genre is so popular while the Epic genre sees a rare release. Also, Great scenery and camera work help the story along, not to mention good acting. In its roots, Postman is an old fashioned movie without the heavy, overdone special effects we badly crave(Armaggedon, Starship Troopers). The Postman is merely a metaphor for strength, courage and conviction. The movie could have been about "The Cook" and still work as well. Shame on Hollywood for trashing such a great star!! (lest we forget the references to "Kevin's Gate" during DANCES WITH WOLVES, The negative buzz surrounding ROBIN HOOD, and even WATER WORLD.) Movies that went on to become hits!!
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A Very good post-apocalyptic film
comet_chaser928 August 2002
This film was excellent. The acting ranged from average to good, the fight scenes were convincing, the costume design was superve, and the set design phenomenal. The problem with this film is, that it's sci-fi, and as we all know, sci-fi has that nasty habit of making people think. And hay, who likes to do that nowadays? This film asks the question...what if, right now, all of civilization fell apart. no more super-market, no more police, no more government. The truth of all things would be would be just green paper, your television would be a piece of junk, and everything that you lived for would take a back seat to survival. Who would you be? a Warrior, a wonderer, a tyrant, a diplomat? would the meek inhereit the earth? would the rich and powerful be pathetic and powerless when their paper-empires crumble in the nuclear war? and America...would that dream of the land of the free, home of the brave survive after it's government has been destroyed? and who would preserve it? who would insure that after the End, the government of the people, by the people and for the people would not parish from the Earth? would you? This film is a must-see for thinking people...for all you brainless slaves of the critics...stay home and watch Titanick(Hurl!) for the tenth time.
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SO long and so dumb
murphyclm5 October 2007
I have to say up front I'm not a big fan of Kevin Costner to begin with so I only picked up the movie because I couldn't find what I was really wanting from the library the other day. I don't know what I expected but I decided to take it as a comedy. What a dopey movie, so darn unrealistic, as if that many people wouldn't figure some way of killing that overbearing general guy and his men, come on, what a bunch of wimps. I'll take Arnold Schwarzeneger (sp)? any day of the week in a Conan the Barbarian movie, at least those are entertaining. I finally gave up on it and turned it off. The only good thing I will say is it didn't cost me a dime since it came from the library. If you have to watch it, at least do like I did and hit your library. Better still, pick up a Conan movie.
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Plainly awful
Nexus_07 Replicant30 July 2015
When everyone thought Kevin Costner have learned from the Waterworld disaster, he stroke back with this. Just wishful thinking. The postman is simply Waterworld on the ground. A post apocalyptic world with some bad guys that have as their leader a very very bad guy. The best way they have to have fun is harass people around. Have seen that before? Yes, you have. Since Mad Max script writers have been insisting on the idea, translating it to different environments as if that was a way to make something new and creative. And, heavens! I really can't understand the true obsession American script writers have with the "Militia" thing. Must perhaps be due to the fact that in USA the gun rules since the old west times and their psychology can't get rid from that fetish.
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In Costner we trust - not
johnno-1717 March 2009
I suppose one could say that parts of this film aren't as bad as parts of "Waterworld," but that obviously doesn't pay it any compliments.

Actually, this film reminds me a lot of the old Italian post-apocalyptic thriller "The New Barbarians" (I Nuovi barbari,(1982)) - except that it's nowhere near as fun.

The two films share much the same plot. But the Italian film cost less than $200,000 instead of tens of millions, has a lot of funky looking cars instead of horses, takes place in gravel pits rather than the grand Northwest, and the rape scene is very gay. But it is fast paced, completely unpretentious, unabashedly ridiculous - a real hoot.

The acting in "The Postman" is just as bad as that in the Italian film, but the dialog is far worse without being any funnier, the characters much less interesting. And it drags and drags. Also, there's nowhere near the sheer amount of action that there is in the Italian film. And it's so pretentious, you'll look for cues for genuflection. Actually, pretty depressing - after watching this, you'll realize there was nothing worth preserving from apocalypse.

Overall a B-movie pretending to be an A-movie, ending up just a plain old bad movie.
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What a SUPER JUNK!!!
Misc230 November 1999
I rented this movie this weekend with my wife and a really good friend. By reading the description of the film my wife thought this movie must be nice, so we agreed to give it a try. What a waste of time! First there is too much unecessary violence, second the story line is just stupid and retarded. American Postmans, with guns, are restoring the goverment and saving the world from evil. What a great tale! We basically could not finish the movie... it deserves less then a star!!
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Oh boy, this movie was boring.
simonbekaert14 April 2002
Well, this movie is just really plain boring. I'm glad I just saw it on television. Renting the movie would have been a complete waste of money.

This is Kevin's second attempt on making a post apocalyptic movie. And just like waterworld he failed.

If you like to see a good movie about a lonesome guy wandering in a post apocalyptic desert, go see 'Mad Max the Road Warrior'.

Okay, in this one Kevin comes up with a more original story than Waterworld (the story of Waterworld was just stolen from the "Road Warrior").

On the other hand, waterworld was still enjoyable as a simple action-adventure movie. 'The postman' however is just boring and pretentious.

Kevin Costner may try as hard as he can, he will never be the mean guy and hero-against-his-will-type like Mel-'Mad Max'-Gibson was.

The postman is a three hour-long torture of stupid dialogues, bombastic symbolism and self-glorification.

I even feel pity for Tom Petty. His cameo in this movie is supposed to be funny, but is just as boring as the rest of the movie.

0 out of 10.
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Tma-17 December 1998
I knew this film had received poor critics before I watched it. I just hoped it would be somewhat entertaining - a few good scenes at least. It was a joke. Me and my friend laughed from beginning to end. It´s a poor excuse for a boyhood dream (Kevins) come true. "Here I am!, close up!, I´m a hero!, close up!, slow motion - make sure the wind blows through my hair!, I´m a hero!, slow motion, close up!" etc. This one is just soo bad! It REALLY stinks : )
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Surprisingly Bad
harryk10029 August 2001
The film looks like a very long US Postal Office advertisement. This is the only explanation I can give. It is in memory of the Pony Express and its contribution to the civilisation of the Wild West. The film is technically astute with excellent photography and sound effects but really lacking in script, dialogue and everything else. Why waste your time.
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Postman, Postman, Postman
betjeman28 May 2001
This film ranks among the worst I've ever seen. The concept is great, the scenery pretty good (though not particularly outstanding), and it starts off pretty well, but the music is pompous and grating in the extreme, the acting ludicrous, the continuity of the story lumbering, the dialogue pathetic (I have never heard one single word repeated so many times as 'postman' in this flick) and the ending made me want to retch. While the film starts pretty well, it soon degrades into a mishmash of scenes that have no real effect on those before or after it and the scenes in bridge city were completely confusing and unnecessary.

5 out of 10 for the first hour, 1 out of 10 for the next 2.
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pray nobody makes another movie like this
thedoctor9822 July 2000
Let me help you visualise how this film was made. Somebody said "I'd like to make a movie based on the idea of how the US Postal Service is a good idea, it just needs restructuring." Unfortunately, rather than give it to the "TV Movie of the Week" people, they gave it to Kevin Costner.

"I want this movie to have people in the aisles, screaming GOD BLESS AMERICA", he must have said. "I want patriotism! I want to throw in as many classical references as I can, the plot isn't important. I also want to have sex scenes with a very attractive woman, preferably somebody else's wife. Oh, and let's make it over two and a half hours long."

And there you have it. This is designed only for Americans to be able to sit through, and I doubt if even they could manage it for the full length of the film. There aren't enough ideas for 60 minutes, let alone 165. The moral of the story seems to be "God bless this country", but it will have most people screaming "God, why, oh why?"
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The Postman Should Ship with Tylenol to Help Ease the Pain
Calhoon10 September 1998
The Postman was absolutely the worst movie I have ever seen. More than 3 hours of Waterworldesque plot without the water or any of the interesting parts. This movie dragged on and proceeded to turn an initially ridiculous plot into a mind numbing voyage through a post apocalyptic world as void of entertainment as it was of technology. This is the first movie that I have ever been unable to watch from start to finish, and actually took me four separate sittings to watch the entire film.
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A mangy dog with fleas...
dexter-323 March 1999
Sorry, Zuria, and others who wrote favorably...THIS FILM IS TERRIBLE!!!! Besides the weak story (which vaguely resembles the so-so novel), poor editing, and bad casting (Will Patton!!!???), this film suffers from and reveals a major flaw: Kevin Costner is not a good enough actor to carry a film. There, I said it. Another reviewer commented that "there's x hours of my life wasted", and boy was he right. Naturally, "The Postman" had to be 3 hours long, too. Save your money and spend your time cleaning the refrigerator - you'll be a better person for it.

A "1" out of "10". Like "Armageddon", it should be a ZERO!

N.B. Why can't Hollywood adapt a film from a novel that has really no romantic interest, and leave it that way? This film's romantic leads had no chemistry.
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Is there anything lower then 1?
bomobob6 April 2009
Kevin Costner had the dubious distinction of producing the worst film of all time in "Waterworld", but the little scoundrel actually outdid himself with this one. This stands pretty much alone as the most unwatchable film of all time. So unwatchable in fact, that I just had to see it through to the end. The editing is dreadful, as whole scenes turn up in completely the wrong places. The "God Bless America" style of chest beating is absolutely stomach-turning, and just sends the film into one tailspin after another. There is no depth whatsoever to Costner's character, which ironically suits his acting abilities perfectly. I would recommend this film to anyone who craves masochistic forms of film entertainment. It actually is so bad that it's impossible to walk away from.
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Ed Wood on a multi-million dollar budget
fubar-25 October 1998
I've always wondered what kind of movie Ed Wood would have made if he had been given a mult-million dollar budget. Now I know. The performances all around were laughably bad, especially Kostner and Patton. The latter may have ruined an otherwise promising career, though I doubt considering the number of bad actors making millions in films these days. Not that I didn't enjoy it. I did, but for the same reason I'd enjoy an Ed Wood film. It was so bad it was good. Move over 'Plan Nine...'! You've got some serious competition!
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10 things I'd rather do than watch this film again
mfmoore-113 October 2007
Top 10 things I would rather do than watch this film ever again.

#10. Listen to Bobby McFarren's "Don't Worry Be Happy" for two hours straight.

#9. Beat myself in the head continuously with a 9 iron while watching a complete round of LPGA golf.

#8. Quit my job and join the postal service.

#7. Watch Waterworld again....wait....yeah OK, watch Waterwold.

#6. Spend an afternoon antique shopping with my mother in law on super bowl Sunday.

#5. Eating five pounds of raw squid and power vomit for two hours.

#4. Ride one leg of the Tour De France on a bike with a fireplace poker for a seat.

#3. Get stuck in an small, sweaty, service elevator with Bjork, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Fran Drescher for two hours.

#2. Eat and poop 10 large pinecones. The pokey kind, not the flakey kind.

#1. Turn this director's cut edition I rented into some sort of pointy edged weapon, then hunt and kill Kevin Costner for sport with it. Preferably on horseback or jetski.
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Self Indulgent trash
cmoyton28 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Not until this was released on blu ray did i manage to catch The Postman.What have i been missing all these years - absolutely nothing apart from the best part of three hours i wont get back.

Its interesting watching this in light of more recent post apocalyptic flops but The Postman takes the biscuit. The script is totally overloaded with schmaltz - a pure glucose overdose. The cast seem to be taking the whole thing so seriously when they are participating in a joke. The only good thing about the movie is Will Pattons performance as the bad guy but his eyesight is failing as he cannot recognise Costner without his facial hair.

It also is annoying that Ribisi (playing a loon again) and Russo (playing a bad ass again) are offed in the first half hour as they were entertaining. But hey great looking blu ray.
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