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Deep Impact (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Drama, Sci-Fi  |  8 May 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 130,211 users   Metascore: 40/100
Reviews: 483 user | 123 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

Unless a comet can be destroyed before colliding with Earth, only those allowed into shelters will survive. Which people will survive?


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Biederman
Eric Vennekor


Journalist Jenny Lerner is assigned to look into the background of Secretary Alan Rittenhouse who abruptly resigned from government citing his wife's ill health. She learns from his secretary that Rittenhouse was having an affair with someone named Ellie but when she confronts him, his strange reaction leads her to reconsider her story. In fact, a meteor, discovered the previous year by high school student Leo Biederman and astronomer Dr. Marcus Wolf, is on a collision course with the Earth, an Extinction Level Event. A joint US-Russian team is sent to destroy the meteor but should it fail, special measures are to be put in place to secure the future of mankind. As the space mission progresses, many individuals deal with their fears and ponder their future. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Heaven and Earth are about to collide. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense disaster related elements and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Impact  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$41,152,375 (USA) (8 May 1998)


$140,459,099 (USA) (18 September 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


'Deep Impact' was a NASA space probe designed to study the composition of the interior of the comet Tempel 1. On July 4, 2005, one section of the Deep Impact probe successfully impacted the comet's nucleus. This is coincidental, as the scientists behind the mission and the creators of the movie devised the name independently of each other, at around the same time. See more »


There is no possible way that Jenny Lerner could make it from Washington, DC to the family house on Cape Cod in the 2 or so hours she had after she let the helicopter go. It's a 500 mile drive, and there are 4 or 5 major metropolitan areas between, first getting out of DC, then Baltimore and the Tunnel, Philadelphia, all of NJ and NY, then the CT, RI and MA stretch. She'd have had to drive 300 mph on totally empty roads in order to make it in time. See more »


[Gus Partanza is blasted into space by the comet's out-gassing]
Andrea Baker: Oh, God, we're losing one. He's got escape velocity. 1,000 feet and climbing.
[Gus screams]
Spurgeon Tanner: Mark, Mikhail, get the hell out of there!
See more »


Featured in Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible (2010) See more »


It Must Be Angel Day
Written by Larry Dean & Larry Weiss
Performed by Larry Dean & the Shooters
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Superior to 'Armageddon'
26 August 2006 | by (Dundee, Scotland) – See all my reviews

It seems 1998 was the year Hollywood turned to the idea of the world being decimated by objects from outer space to fuel their disaster films. Both 'Deep Impact' and 'Armageddon' were released in that year but while I did enjoy the thrill and special effects of the latter film, I find 'Deep Impact' the superior of the two.

The film begins when a teenage amateur astronomer discover a comet on a direct collision course for the Earth. The world is then thrown into turmoil has humanity has to accept their possible extinction. While NASA sends a shuttle up with the intention to try to blow the comet to bits, the US government selects people to be saved in a cave they are building to withstand the event. Focusing on various unrelated characters, the film shows how people react differently to the destruction of all that they know.

The brilliant cast, including Morgan Freeman, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Devall, Elijah Wood, Ron Eldard and many others, all given great depictions of their characters. It is because of their ability to bring their respective characters to life that 'Deep Impact' stands up so well as it is a very emotional and character driven story, as opposed to 'Armageddon', which relied much more on humour and special effects to sell it. Téa Leoni is the only one who doesn't shine through like her co-stars as her performance is quite bland and doesn't capture her character's turbulent emotions. However, as the rest of the cast give great performances, it's easy to overlook her. And even though there is much attention given to establishing the characters doesn't mean the film skimps when it comes to the special effects. Both the scenes in space and those on Earth when the comet hits the planet are well-handled visually. It features some of the best special effects of planetary annihilation that I've ever seen (and I'm a big fan of these disaster flicks).

What makes 'Deep Impact' rather unique in terms of disaster films is that it gives a very human side to tragedy and devastation by showing how ordinary people cope in times of crisis but it avoids the trap of being trite and overly-sentimental. It's a shame the film is so underrated then as it is a film that would appeal to sci-fi fans and those seeking an interesting story with strong characters.

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