6.5/10
28,722
237 user 99 critic

Instinct (1999)

When a noted anthropologist who left society to live in the jungle is imprisoned for murder, it's up to a young psychiatrist to get through to him.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Gerald DiPego), (screen story) (as Gerald DiPego) | 1 more credit »
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4,755 ( 186)

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Thomas Q. Morris ...
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Rod McLachlan ...
Kurt Smildsin ...
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Storyline

Nearly two years after having gone amiss in Africa, renowned anthropologist Dr. Ethan Powell is caught committing a crime and subsequently imprisoned in a Florida mental institution, where aspiring psychiatrist Dr. Theo Calder takes over his important case. Dr. Powell, who has been with a group of gorillas during all that time, is not talking at all and seems to be living in a dreamworld. Very slowly, Dr. Calder manages to reach Ethan Powell and starts finding out why Ethan killed two of the poachers. Yet Theo's case is not just about why the murders have happened, but also about how Dr. Powell became the being he is in the first place. With Ethan's silence broken, Theo is introduced into a world beyond common human comprehension: The true nature of being. He learns that mankind's control of everything is a mere illusion and that the true values of existence can't be found so easily. Ethan changes Theo's view of things forever. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man's mind is another man's mystery. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some intense violent behavior | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

4 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ishmael  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,390,387 (USA) (6 June 1999)

Gross:

$34,098,563 (USA) (29 August 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Missy Lantz was so disturbed by the on-set intensity of the film, that she asked to be removed from the production. See more »

Goofs

In the end credits, David B. Nowell's credit for aerial photography is misspelled as "aeriel". See more »

Quotes

Ben Hillard: You help the ones you can.
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Connections

References The Shawshank Redemption (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful and intelligent assessment of the human condition
2 January 2001 | by (Westport, CT.) – See all my reviews

On any level, this film has to be considered one of the most incisive and painful commentaries on the human condition. Above the acting (superior performances), above the direction, above all the production values is the constant message that we as a race are marching toward an open grave pit. For all our possessions, for all our wealth, for all our so-called achievements, we have yet to learn to respect the intelligence of nature and to act accordingly. "Instinct" is in every living organism and to deny one's own instinct is to go against the natural order. The prison system in this country doesn't work because it is used to destroy man's spirit instead of supporting it. Until we learn how to live in harmony and love with all the other living organisms, we will continue to destroy what we seek to build. Don't buy those Christmas presents - support your wildlife fund. We don't need things, we need spiritual reconnection with the earth we live on. Dr. Powell, as played by Anthony Hopkins, is one of the most highly evolved beings ever seen in a movie. To the writer I am grateful for his creation, to Mr. Hopkins I am grateful for giving us a character to emulate. This movie has made a lasting impression on me. I hope it does the same for everyone who sees it. Open your heart because if you don't, then you will create your own inner prison and live a messy life that the rest of us will have to clean up.


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