6.5/10
28,377
235 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.

Director:

Writers:

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

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Edge (1997)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An intellectual billionaire and two lesser men struggle to band together and survive after getting stranded in the Alaskan wilderness with a blood-thirsty Kodiak Bear hunting them down.

Director: Lee Tamahori
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Elle Macpherson
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When a disgraced former college dean has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark, twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking fact about his own life that he has kept secret for 50 years.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris
Bad Company (2002)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When a Harvard-educated CIA agent is killed during an operation, the secret agency recruits his twin brother.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Chris Rock, Peter Stormare
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Thomas Q. Morris ...
...
...
...
Rod McLachlan ...
Kurt Smildsin ...
...
...

What You Missed at San Diego Comic-Con 2017

From the madness of the convention floor to the emotional panel reveals and star-studded interviews, catch up on all the unforgettable sights from Comic-Con.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ishmael  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,390,387 (USA) (4 June 1999)

Gross:

$34,098,563 (USA) (27 August 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

Ethan Powell: We have only one thing to give up. Our dominion. We don't own the world. We're not kings yet. Not gods. Can we give that up? Too precious, all that control? Too tempting, being a god?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
one of the most important movies ever made
17 June 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Every once in a while a movie comes out that has something to say. It has something to offer that is more than just Hollywood. It believes in something. In recent years movies like Dances With Wolves, JFK, Falling Down, Malcolm X, Boyz and The Hood and Saving Private Ryan are recent ones that come to mind. They make us examine who we are and what we are doing here and why we do the things that we do. They make us question our actions and they show us that we are perhaps not as great as we thought we were. Movies like this don't come around too often and that's because they have things to say that not only people don't like to hear, but because they don't want to know. Dances With Wolves made me feel guilty to be a white man, Instinct made me ashamed to be a human being.

There is a line in one of Pearl Jams songs that says " I don't question our existence, I just question our modern needs. " You will not find more profound lyrics than those ones and this movie takes that same idea and explores it deeper. It shows us the greedy nature of man and how destructive we all are. But it also shows us how beautiful it all once was, and how it all changed.

This movie has been so unfairly critisized by everyone from the media to even other people in this very forum that don't seem to understand what it is all about. By now we all know the story of how Anthony Hopkins goes to the jungle and lives among the gorillas and then ends up murdering people. But what we don't know is why he does it. How he gets to that fateful moment and what it is that makes him, a peaceful man, want to kill another human being.

The strengths in this movie are numerous but it starts with the performances. Hopkins is quietly brilliant as the emotionally traumatized and scarred former anthropologist. You can feel his pain even before he tells what it is that is eating away inside of him. Cuba Gooding is great as the doctor that goes on a journey with Ethan Powell. At first his interest in Powell is simply one of selfishness. But as he learns more about this complex man, the more he understands and empathizes with him. Also good in his role as the brutal prison guard is John Ashton ( remember him from Beverly Hills Cop? ). His character is very reminiscent of Clancy Brown's in Shawshank Redemption but he is very good here. But the real strength of the film is in the story and the screenplay.

The two writers for the film care about what it is that they have to say and they believe in it. You can feel what it is that they are trying to convey. And that is simply: why must we as human beings be so destructive? Why must we be so hateful and greedy and why do have to ruin everything that was once pure and serene? The scenes in this film that are meant to ask for your sympathy are not just gratuitous violence to sell tickets, they are there because things like this happen in real life and we never do anything to stop it. And that is a shame.

Denzel Washington's character in " The Siege " said, " You don't let any murderer go free. ANY MURDERER!!! " Well Hopkin's character was punished for his crime but what about the men that murdered those that weren't human? What crime have they committed? And what punishment do they receive for the act of murder against something that isn't human? There is no punishment. And that is what makes us sad individuals and that is what this movie is trying to tell us.

Give this movie a chance. It really is a gem and hopefully it will open just one person's eyes and ask them to change. If it can do that, then it has done it's job. I applaud everyone associated with this movie. I just wish more studios and directors and actors would have the guts to do this. I just hope some people can see this movie for what it is and not for what we critisize it for trying to be. And as melo-dramatic as this review may sound to some people and as melo-dramatic as this is also going to sound, it has to be said.

Thank you John Turtletaub for making this movie. You moved me and made me think about a great many things. I hope I'm not alone.


140 of 165 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page