6.6/10
29,846
234 user 99 critic

Instinct (1999)

Trailer
1:57 | Trailer

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When a noted anthropologist who left society to live in the jungle is imprisoned for murder, it's up to a young psychiatrist 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 is caught committing a crime and subsequently imprisoned in a Florida mental institution, where aspiring psychiatrist Dr. Theo Calder 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. Calder manages to reach Ethan Powell and starts finding out why Ethan 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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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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$34,098,563, 29 August 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Loosely based on the book "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn. See more »

Goofs

Ethan tells Theo he will call him 'Tabibu Joua', which is Swaheli, and will remind Ethan of his home in Africa. Swaheli is an artificial language spoken along the East coast, and inland in East Africa. The mountain gorillas, however, live in Central and Western Africa, where Swaheli is not spoken... See more »

Quotes

Theo Calder: I'm Dr. Calder. You've been charged with one count of murder and found incompetent to stand trial.
Pete: She had a demon in her for a while. My neighbour, Mrs. Karsh.
Theo Calder: Mm-hmm.
Pete: It would come and go. Nobody saw it... except me.
Theo Calder: What did it look like, the demon?
Pete: Um... Did you ever see "Alien" with Sigourney Weaver?
Theo Calder: It looked like a giant insect?
Pete: No. It looked like Sigourney Weaver.
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Connections

References The Silence of the Lambs (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A slap in the face of today's consumeristic society
26 October 2001 | by haggarSee all my reviews

Dear reader,

this movie is fully packed with meaning. The title gives out very little about the true nature of this remarkable work of Jon Turteltaub. Apart from the excellent acting of both the main characters (Hopkins and Cuba Gooding) and the secondary roles, the movie is based on a script of rare quality.

This movie is certainly not going to be appreciated by everyone, certainly not by those unable to honestly look into the modern society and the workings of it, and their role in that society. This movie asks for soul-searching, and unless you are ready for it, unless you are ready to "give up control", you most probably won't like it.

I did like it, thanks also to the fact that I already have meditated on the issues the film raises, earlier in my life. This film is capable of polarizing, because it contains a lot of unpleasant truth, that humanity should accept in order to really advance. This is an important movie, a very strong statement on today's society's relationshipt to nature and it's inhabitants. In the same time, it's analyzing the question of imprisonment and the treatment of inmates. It also raises questions about friendship and loyalty in a way never seen before.

If you have not seen the movie and wonder whether you should, I will give you a hint without spoiling anything: if you didn't like Princess Mononoke, you will not like this movie, either.


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