Critic Reviews



Based on 13 critic reviews provided by
Not a particularly original or insightful film of its kind, and marred slightly by the whining of Cramer in the lead role, this is nevertheless enjoyable fare for kids.
The time-shift plot may be a bit too complicated for a children's film, and the sheer amount of talk necessary to explain it may cause some restlessness. But when the film shifts into the action mode in its second half --the flying saucer returns to aid in David's rescue--it becomes quite bright and lively.
The film doesn't have the pace or the scale of Back to the Future, but it does have the same sweet moment when a child declares his love for his parents because he's seen them in a different light. Joey Cramer is quite winning as David.
At times a bit too precious, especially inside the young navigator's spacecraft, but the warm regard for character, as well as for our often-inhospitable planetary home, makes for a reasonably good time.
Flight of the Navigator may not have the originality of a true classic; and while its special effects provide some dazzling moments, they are not quite fresh enough to be brilliant. But the film is so absorbing, such constant fun, that it may well be the best family film around.
There's no mistaking Flight of the Navigator for a really first-rate children's picture like, say, The Black Stallion. But Flight of the Navigator is an enjoyable film that encourages kids to use their heads. Unlike those children's movies that spoon-feed their audiences, this film keeps setting up challenging situations that young moviegoers must think through.
The Associated Press
Flight of the Navigator won't earn a place among Disney's classics, but it's a perfectly entertaining sci-fi movie that does a creditable job with the stale human-meets-alien theme. [18 Sep 1986]
Never brave enough to feel far-reaching (or, ironically, far-fetched, when time-travel and space flight are so popular at the movies), Navigator still fulfills its mission, distracting the family for bang-on an hour and a half.
Whereas its plot may be derivative--and at several junctures, unconvincing--Flight of the Navigator nevertheless manages to develop considerable humor and poignancy from David's predicament and what he does about it.
Instead of creating an eye-opening panorama, Flight of the Navigator looks through the small end of the telescope. Life on Earth is magnified but without an expansive vision.

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