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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 129,165 users   Metascore: 40/100
Reviews: 482 user | 123 critic | 20 from

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?


The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell; and one Oscar nominee: James Cromwell See more »


In the first shot of the orbiting Messiah ship, the angle of the shadows cast by the clouds doesn't match the angle of the sun. The shadows are almost directly underneath the clouds, as they would appear at or around noon. The sun's low angle should instead cast long early morning shadows. See more »


Leo Biederman: I talked to Civil defense. They said if you and I got married we'd be family, and I could get you in.
Sarah Hotchner: What about my parents? They're not your family. I don't want to go without my parents.
Leo Biederman: I'm the famous Leo Beiderman, and I haven't used my fame for anything, but I got them to let your family go, too. This is your only chance to survive.
See more »


Referenced in Friends: The One Where They're Up All Night (2001) See more »


Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)
Written by Bart Howard
Performed by Tom Jones
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.

87 of 121 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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