7.5/10
266,733
800 user 265 critic

The Aviator (2004)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 25 December 2004 (USA)
Trailer
1:54 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $9.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
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
904 ( 235)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 74 wins & 115 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 6.4/10 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
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
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars' worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two documentary filmmakers chronicle their time in Sonagchi, Calcutta and the relationships they developed with children of prostitutes who work the city's notorious red light district.

Directors: Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman
Stars: Kochi, Avijit Halder, Shanti Das
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
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
J. Edgar (2011)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts
Documentary | Crime | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Alex Gibney exposes the haunting details of the USA's torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Alex Gibney, Brian Keith Allen, Moazzam Begg
Lincoln (2012)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As the Civil 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
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
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:

For some men, the sky was the limit. For him, it was just the beginning. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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

In his speech at the Golden Globes, Leonardo DiCaprio revealed that Michael Mann had a hand in writing the film's screenplay. See more »

Goofs

Robert Gross's eyeglasses are too thin and modern for the time period. 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

There are two different Panavision credits used: the "Filmed with Panavision Cameras and Lenses" credit, and after that, the "Filmed in Panavision" credit, despite being shot in Super 35. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Chase Australia: Episode #2.31 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Milenberg Joys
(1925)
Music by Paul Mares, Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (as Ferdinand Morton), and Leon Rappolo
Lyrics by Walter Melrose
Performed by Vince Giordano and His Nighthawks Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Open the Door...
13 February 2005 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" is grand spectacle with a reverence for the nostalgic, set in simpler times. As a snapshot of Howard Hughes's life from 1927 to 1947, "The Aviator" is a portrait of a man of genius and unmatched innovation, and also a man debilitated by severe obsessive compulsive disorder and extreme depression. "The Aviator" has an amazing performance by Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, and a mesmerizing performance by Cate Blanchett, who seems to inhabit the role of Katherine Hepburn-- the love of Hughes's life. However, the one indelible image I have of the film is the scene in which Hughes is frozen in the men's restroom, because he can't make himself touch the door knob for fear of germs and contamination. Granted this was a time before obsessive compulsive disorder existed as a diagnosis. The scene is intended as a dramatic arc, distinguishing a tragic flaw in Hughes. However, for me it seemed overly indulgent, and was curious regarding the scene length. Much like most of the nearly 3 hour movie, this is an exercise in indulgence, and attention to detail that is only that. Scorsese's balance between Hughes's genius and his great suffering is good melodrama, but not very inspiring. I have a particular affinity for Howard Hughes the man. Had John Lone's (and Michael Mann's) story followed Hughes through the 1950's and beyond, the story would be even sadder. "The Aviator" illustrates the highs of genius, and the abyss of near insanity. This is an accurate depiction of an amazing man's life, but it is skewed toward the broken aspect. So just personally for me, it was frustrating to watch. To Scorsese's credit, one gets that he has immense compassion for Howard Hughes.

Hughes' life sentence is established in the opening scene. Hughes's mother while bathing the young Hughes, tells him something that perhaps leads to his obsessive compulsive nature. Apparently he is incomplete in his relationship with his mother, and the story surrounding what she said.

Fast forward to 1927, when Hughes left his father's wealthy drill bit tool company in Texas, to be a maverick film maker in California. Hughes is an ambitious and novice film director, but he is smart and has unmatched drive. However, his real genius is as a pilot and an innovative designer of airplanes. His gifts for fame and fortune are established. Hughes (DiCaprio) then pursues a touching romance with Katherine Hepburn (Blanchett). This is the highlight of "The Aviator", even amidst the spectacular aerial cinematography, because it is just about relationships that move people. There is a wonderful moment when Hughes lets Hepburn take control of his plane as they fly above Los Angeles at night. As great as the chemistry is between Dicaprio and Blanchett, this romance part of the story goes on a little too long in the context of the movie.

From this point on, the movie becomes increasingly darker. Sure, Hughes has his share of triumphs, but everything is tempered by his spiraling decline into depression and his debilitating obsessive compulsive disorder. The acting is outstanding throughout the picture. This is Leonardo DiCaprio's most mature performance. He truly captures Hughes's intensity, genius, and charm. His suffering also elicits great compassion. Cate Blanchett is outstanding as Kate Hepburn. At first one wonders whether she is doing a caricature of Hepburn. She is not. She is being Hepburn. Blanchett's performance is simply stunning. An unrecognizable Kate Beckinsale is awesome as Ava Gardner. Beckinsale gives surprising layers to Gardner, who is really not all that she appears to be on the surface. John C. Reilly is fabulous as Hughes's CFO. In an understated fashion Reilly's performance anchors the movie. Alec Baldwin as Pan Am CEO, Juan Trippe, and Matt Ross as Hughes's engineer Glenn Odekirk give strong performances.

Scorsese's "The Aviator" is spectacular to view, and has a sense of history and tragedy. He offers an interesting portrait of the dichotomy between genius and madness, with an emphasis on the dark. This choice really lost me. "The Aviator" is amazing work, that is not very inspiring, though it was probably not intended to do so. That is a bit of a disappointment.


43 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Leo was robbed! JakeGittes04
Green and blue eyes ronan-j-mcintyre
Beckinsale the weakest link Eurasiana
One masterpiece that I did not like cesium14
Buttons or zippers - what's that about? teresah233
Hepburn Role Was Horrible shaunwebb66
Discuss The Aviator (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page