7.5/10
282,456
808 user 266 critic

The Aviator (2004)

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
1,163 ( 59)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 5 Oscars. Another 81 wins & 130 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis
Blood Diamond (2006)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

Director: Randall Wallace
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich
Ray I (2004)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A writer and wall street trader, Nick, finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
The Beach I (2000)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel York, Patcharawan Patarakijjanon
Lincoln (2012)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As the War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of Frank Abagnale Jr., before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and legal prosecutor as a seasoned and dedicated FBI agent pursues him.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Shakespeare's famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo
Body of Lies (2008)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordan Intelligence.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A teenager finds his dreams of becoming a basketball star threatened after he free falls into the harrowing world of drug addiction.

Director: Scott Kalvert
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, Marilyn Sokol
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Biopic of billionaire Howard Hughes, starting with his early filmmaking years as owner of RKO studios but mostly focusing on his role in designing and promoting new aircraft. Hughes was a risk-taker spending several fortunes on designing experimental aircraft and eventually founding TWA as a rival to Pan AM airlines owned by his great rival Juan Trippe. When Trippe's politico Senator Ralph Owen Brewster accuses Hughes of being a war profiteer, it's Hughes who gains the upper hand. Hughes also had many women in his life including a long relationship with actress Katharine Hepburn. From an early age however, Hughes was also germophobic and would have severe bouts of mental illness. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Martin Scorsese film See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, nudity, language and a crash sequence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El aviador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$858,021 (USA) (17 December 2004)

Gross:

$102,608,827 (USA) (27 May 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Production was delayed in October 2003, when wildfires in southern California burned several sets. See more »

Goofs

On the night Hughes shows his XF-11 to Robert Gross, which occurred Christmas 1944, a radio is shown on the table, a Zenith Transoceanic H500, that was not available until 1951. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Allene Hughes: Q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e.
Young Howard Hughes: Quarantine. Q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e. Quarantine.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Aside from company logos and the film's title, there are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 83rd Annual Academy Awards (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Howard Hughes
(1940)
Written by Leadbelly (as Huddie Leadbetter), John A. Lomax, and Alan Lomax
Performed by Leadbelly
Recorded by Alan Lomax, August 23, 1940, Washington DC
Courtesy of Estates of Leadbelly and Alan Lomax
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Perhaps the best movie of 2004!
14 December 2004 | by (Phoenix, Arizona) – See all my reviews

Leave it to Martin Scorsese, he is one of the few reliable directors who graces in age, still manages to make outstanding movies. I thought his previous film; GANGS OF NEW YORK was the best film of 2002 (and still stand by that comment). Scorsese who was once known for showing us the gritty realistic world of New York City's "Mean Streets" with the Little Italy thugs (MEAN STREETS), anti-hero loners (TAXI DRIVER), fallen hero (RAGING BULL), bizarre world of Soho (AFTER HOURS), realistic thugs (GOODFELLAS), gangsters controlling Las Vegas (CASINO; it wasn't in NYC, but it still had the similar theme), guilt ridden paramedic (BRINGING OUT THE DEAD), and the war between immigrants (GANGS OF NEW YORK). This is the Scorsese that all of us know about and remember. Yet Scorsese was also responsible for telling us about a single mother in the southwest struggling to survive (ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE), the final farewell concert of a fantastic rock/folk group The Band (THE LAST WALTZ), and the story of Jesus Christ (LAST TEMPTATION OF Christ). Now Scorsese has become the storyteller of one of the most enthusiastic and eccentric billionaires of recent years, Howard Hughes.

In THE AVIATOR, Scorsese portrays Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) as several different roles: filmmaker, womanizer, entrepreneur, engineer, germ-phobic, and aviator. The film tells about the achievements that Hughes accomplished such as the movies HELL'S ANGELS & THE OUTLAW, the building of an airplane that can fly above 20,000 feet, acquiring TWA and making it a international airline, and the design and building of the largest airplane ever the Hercules (now known as the Spruce Goose). Yet Hughes went through so many conflicts with his business: Pan Am Airline chief Juan Trippe (Alec Baldwin), Maine Senator Ralph Owen Brewster (Alan Alda), Louis B. Mayer (Stanley DeSantis); his romance: Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett), Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsdale); and himself: paranoia, and obsession compulsion disorder.

THE AVIATOR discusses all of those elements in rich detail, that after watching the movie, you begin to realize the amazing accomplishments that Hughes did. Wonder why the only thing we most remember about Hughes was being a recluse who was afraid of germs. And would like to know more about Howard Hughes and see the films that were discussed in the film.

This isn't a Scorsese film that people want another TAXI DRIVER, GOODFELLAS, CASINO, or RAGING BULL would expect. This is a different kind of Scorsese, one who is telling a story about a man, who is no different that him. A dreamer who dreams big and ignores what his advisors, and partners tell him, then come up with projects with amazing results.

DiCaprio proves that he his under-appreciated actor in this film. While most of the public see him as that goofy kid who shouts, "I'm king of the world!" in TITANIC. Yet most don't realize his talent with such roles as in WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE and CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. THE AVIATOR shows that DiCaprio is a great actor, giving a realistic portrayal of the eccentric Hughes in some scenes, and a man who cleanses the germs that represent people he dislikes or negative incidents. Blanchett does a amazing job with her performance of Katherine Hepburn with the way her head is tilted back to the pronunciation of words to the snobbish like personality she has when she is around her parents. While Beckinsdale also does a great job playing the very sexy Ava Gardner who has a love/hate relationship with Hughes, a woman who hates him at times, but will help him when he needs help.

The supporting performances by John C. Reily, Ian Holm, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, Danny Huston, and Matt Ross are all top rate and also deserve recognition as well.

And Scorsese proves that he one of the best directors of all time with several elements. First the pacing of the story, the film never drags and at running time of 169 mins. it kept my attention on what was going to be happening next. Second, some of the scenes of the film were of complete beauty and wonder. One scene that blew my mind was during the filming of the aerial scenes from HELLS ANGELS which showed how dangerous it was filming the dogfight scenes from that film, seventy years before computer generated images would replace that technique. Third, the acting by the actors was top notch and very convincing. Finally, the story of Howard Hughes himself was unique and original and I think there will never be another person like Howard Hughes.

This has been quite a year of movies: COLLATERAL, SIDEWAYS, KILL BILL VOL. 2, THE INCREDIBLES, RAY, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, THE TERMINAL, FAHRENHEIT 9/11, BOURNE SUPREMENCY, OCEANS TWELVE, CRIMINAL, SPIDER-MAN 2, MEAN GIRLS, HARRY POTTER & PRISONER OF AZKABAN, and SPANGLISH were all films that were amazing and all were among my favorite films of this year (yet I still need to see LIFE AQUATIC and FINDING NEVERLAND). But I think it will be hard to beat THE AVIATOR, for it's story, characters, and epic feel.

The Academy has snubbed Scorsese for 30 years; they did the same thing for Roman Polanski until THE PIANIST. Now I think its time for the Academy to acknowledge Scorsese for his craft and technique. While some people will believe that Scorsese should have won his Oscar back in 1980 with RAGING BULL, or in 1990 with GOODFELLAS, I feel that it's time to recognize Scorsese for something! And THE AVIATOR is one film that I think that most Scorsese devotees (like myself) feel is worthy of recognition. Plus, if this movie wins both Best Director and Best Picture, then two of my favorite directors will win Oscars (Scorsese and Michael Mann, who produced AVIATOR).

So that is why I am rooting and hoping that THE AVIATOR will collect Oscar gold. The best movie of the year, and don't miss it!!!!! ***** (Out of five)


127 of 221 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page