6.6/10
32,025
244 user 86 critic

Instinct (1999)

When noted anthropologist Dr. Ethan Powell, who left society to live in the jungle is imprisoned for murder, it's up to young psychiatrist Theo Caulder to get through to him.

Director:

Jon Turteltaub

Writers:

Gerald Di Pego (screenplay) (as Gerald DiPego), Gerald Di Pego (screen story) (as Gerald DiPego) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Hopkins ... Ethan Powell
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Theo Caulder
Donald Sutherland ... Ben Hillard
Maura Tierney ... Lynn Powell
George Dzundza ... Dr. John Murray
John Ashton ... Guard Dacks
John Aylward ... Warden Keefer
Thomas Q. Morris ... Pete
Doug Spinuzza ... Nicko
Paul Bates ... Bluto
Rex Linn ... Guard Alan
Rod McLachlan ... Guard Anderson
Kurt Smildsin Kurt Smildsin ... Guard #1
Jim R. Coleman ... Guard #2
Tracey Ellis ... Annie
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Storyline

Nearly two years after having gone amiss in Africa, renowned anthropologist Dr. Ethan Powell (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is caught committing a crime and subsequently imprisoned in a Florida mental institution, where aspiring psychiatrist Dr. Theo Caulder (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) 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. Caulder manages to reach Ethan and starts finding out why he 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:

Nothing is more savage than civilization. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some intense violent behavior | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Winston gorillas in were so authentic, few people viewing the film ever realized that the animals were not real. "One of the greatest compliments I got from a friend," said Paul Mejias, "was when he said: 'I saw Instinct. Which were the real gorillas and which were yours?' That said it all." "The combination of the art and technology that went into our gorilla heads and suits," added Winston, "the gorilla performances of the actors in those suits, and the fact that they were shot in a natural environment resulted in some of the best gorilla work I've ever seen. We'd had to go through a learning curve on Congo. But with Instinct, we nailed it." See more »

Goofs

In the end credits, David B. Nowell's credit for aerial photography is misspelled as "aeriel". See more »

Quotes

Theo Calder: Your father may be very ill.
Lynn Powell: Really? I thought maybe he was just in bad mood.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conversations with Jon Turteltaub (2000) See more »

User Reviews

 
Why isn't this movie more well known?
3 June 2003 | by mybahSee all my reviews

I think this is a GREAT movie. It has a story line that while not complicated, is very different. And it is a great story that is very facinating. There were a number of great character acts too. There are a number of characters in the insane prison from a number of "unknown" actors that really give the movie added personality. It made me want to look up these actors to see what else they do. The scenes with the gorillas were tastefully done, with no over kill that made it look somewhat artificial, which so many movies tend to do. For example, 'Greystoke' starring Christofer Lambert as Tarzan, was an attempt at realism, but had the apes portraying some very human like relationships. Not so with 'Instinct'. The only thing I found spoilt the movie a bit was to suggest that an American insane prison setup would find it necessary, even encouraged, for inmates to be violent to each other. This ridiculous aspect brought the quality of the movie down a notch or two. The relationship between Hopkins and Gooding was fantastic. And the intense scene between them involving 'duck tape' really brought forth the message the movie was giving. SO, why is the movie more well known??? I guess the movie promoters just didn't do their job very well. OH WELL!!! Movie gets 8/10 from me.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 June 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ishmael See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,390,387, 6 June 1999

Gross USA:

$34,105,207

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,105,207
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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