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The Terminal (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  18 June 2004 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 271,716 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 591 user | 142 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

An eastern immigrant finds himself stranded in JFK airport, and must take up temporary residence there.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dolores Torres (as Zoë Saldana)
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Bobby Alima (as Guillermo Diaz)
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Nadia (as Rini Bell)
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First Class Steward
Valeriy Nikolaev ...
Milodragovich (as Valera Nikolaev)
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Storyline

Victor Novarski reaches JFK airport from a politically unstable country. Due to collapse of his government ,his papers are no longer valid in the airport, and hence he is forced to stay in the airport till the war cools down. He makes the airport his home and develops a friendship with the people who work there until he finally has to leave. Written by Keith Francis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is waiting.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language and drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

18 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terminal  »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,053,199 (USA) (18 June 2004)

Gross:

$14,076,317 (Japan) (4 February 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sasha Spielberg:  The girl with the suitcase that Viktor tries to help is Steven Spielberg's daughter. See more »

Goofs

When Victor starts reading aloud the news headlines in the TV news, he pronounces "sixty-one dead in Khrakoshia", but the TV headlines actually say "61 dead". It is stated that Victor can't speak English, much less read it. How did he read the number correctly, then? See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
PA announcer: United Airlines announcing the arrival of Flight 9435 from Beijing. Customer service representative, please report to gate C42.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are unususally short, with just the studio name and the name of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in HBO First Look: Inside 'The Terminal' (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Strangers in the Night
Written by Bert Kaempfert, Charles Singleton & Eddie Snyder
Performed by Strings Unlimited
Courtesy of Countdown Media
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A happy movie, lots of fun...
9 July 2004 | by (My House, Canada) – See all my reviews

…'The Terminal' is the latest Hanks/Spielberg collaboration, and though it's not quite as good as 'Catch Me if You Can' or 'Saving Private Ryan' it still makes for a fun watch. The plot, as everyone already knows, is about Krakozhian (sp?) immigrant Victor Narvorski (Tom Hanks) whose home country – the fictional land of Krakozhia (think Russia or Czechoslovakia) – is torn apart in war while he is in a plane headed for New York. When he lands JFK airport head Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci) tells him that since he literally doesn't have a country he must stay in the airport terminal until all the hoopla settles. Dixon thinks that Narvorski will ignore him, escape into New York and 'become someone else's problem'. What Dixon doesn't know is that Victor is an honest man, and he will obey the rules and stay in the terminal until he's allowed to leave.

The character of Victor Narvorski is one of those classic movie characters who has no conceivable flaw (other than a minimal understanding of the world around him – and an accent) and dose everything he can to help everyone else. Similar characters that spring to mind are Peter Sellers' Chauncey Gardner from the 1979 satire 'Being There' and John Goodman's Charlie Meadows from the Coen movie 'Barton Fink'. All of these characters are dim-witted, but great people who put their own lives on hold to help their friends.

Some of these friends include Airport worker Enrique Cruz (Diego Luna), who Victor helps get hitched with a beautiful security guard (Zoë Saldana) and Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones) a nice, flighty flight attendant who Narvorski inspires to get out of a troubled relationship with a married man.

The Hanks and Zeta-Jones characters strike up a little romance, but luckily its not too overblown, it's more of a subplot than anything.

It takes sometime but soon Narvorski is accepted into a small group of Airport workers including Cruz, kindly Joe Mulroy (Chi McBride) and janitor Gupta Raja (Kumar Pallana), who at first thinks that Narvorski is a federal agent out to get him. These characters are all well written and even better acted, but I thought they could've been awarded with a little more screen time. After all, the three are very good actors. But I guess Luna is still riding off the success of 'Y U Mama Tambien' and McBride, despite the fact that he's been working for many years, is still trying to find a big role that's right for him (which I doubt he'll get from 'I, Robot').

It's Pallana who has the biggest role here, and man, does he deserve it. Very old, and very foreign, he was brought to surprising cult fame when Wes Anderson gave him the role of 'Pagoda' in the 2001 hit 'The Royal Tenenbaums'. Who doesn't remember the short, quiet, hilarious butler of the Tenenbaum family? His role in this is a great follow-up; he is funny, and surprisingly touching and dramatic in a very tense scene near the end that I wont spoil. In any other movie the role of the Indian janitor would be an easy target, but this character isn't funny because he's Indian, but instead funny because he's clever, a little cynical and wily. He stole every scene he's in from under Tom Hanks, or Zeta-Jones, or whoever. This is a long shot, but I think the man deserves an Oscar nomination.

The acting in this movie is the greatest factor – well, that and the huge Terminal set built only for the movie. Some critics are complaining about an underwritten and underused Catherine Zeta-Jones. Whatever. I call her under-necessary (Note: not UNnecessary, UNDER-necessary). I'm glad that her less-than-interesting character wasn't overused, I'm glad the movie wasn't turned into a straight-out romance.

The films deepest and most interesting character is Tucci's Dixon. On the surface he looks like your usual villain, but that's only to simpleton viewers who don't make any attempt to understand their movie characters. Dixon is not a villain. As it's established in the beginning, Dixon has been working the same job at the airport for seventeen years and wants desperately to climb up the latter. Because of this, he makes sure that he follows every single rule; he's the epitome of every by-the-book bureaucrat that we all love to hate. His motto is that in his work there're three important things, 'The person, the document and the story'. In the best scene of the movie Dixon refuses a Russian man to bring medicine to his dying father in Canada because he doesn't have the right form. This scene represents everything about the character of Dixon.

I was also interested in the relationship between Dixon and Narvorski. Dixon is at first refusing Narvorski because it's the rules, but as the film goes on and Dixon is further perplexed by Narvorski it stops being about rules and starts being about hatred and jealousy for Narvorski's joyful existence. He refuses to let Narvorski go to New York when he should be allowed to. In the film's most fulfilling scene Narvorski escapes and Dixon decides to give up chasing him, and you can see in his eyes that he's realized how ridiculous and stubborn he's been acting. This is Tucci's best performance. An Oscar for him, I say!

It is flawed, of course, in a few things. Narvorski's character is never developed, he stays the same person throughout the entire film, but that's fine, because Hanks keeps your interest and is at his most lovable. Also, the ending stretched on just a little bit…if I had my way it would've ended with Dixon happily watching Narvorski escape in his cab, the rest could've just as easily been implied. I think the ending is a very important part of any film, and this one was – in a way – ruined.

But, no movie is perfect, and I have no problem accepting this as a lighthearted picture with a few interesting characters. Have fun. 7.5/10.


61 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Are you f@#$ing kidding me andysacco
Why was noone else on Viktor's flight held up? jigo121
Oh God I hate this movie new-spirit-jazz
Arriving In America without any $$$$ ? shakeel_shaikh
Anybody speak Russian or Bulgarian? onebigFAn
The worst of Ton Hanks ivan-308
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