Instinct (1999) Poster

(1999)

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Why isn't this film more well known?
Tehr3 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I just watched the network premiere of it on CBS and was blown way by how good it was. However, I'm even more shocked by the fact that I hadn't heard of it. I went to Box Office Mojo and found out that it only made 35 million dollars. I don't understand why this film was poorly received. The performances from all four lead actors were absolutely great. Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr. had great chemistry with each other and I love to see another movie with them together in lead roles. Maura Tierney consistently proves what a versatile actress she is and I'm convinced that she will become an even better actress. Donald Sutherland was his usual charming self and although is screen time was limited, he made up for it with his wonderful performance. The story of the movie is about a man, Ethan Powell (Hopkins), who is brought from Africa with charges of murder after living in the rainforest with gorillas for two years and hasn't spoken a word since his capture. Gooding Jr. plays a psychiatrist, Theo Caulder, who is assigned to him, who is determined to reach out to him and figure out what happened to him. Sutherland plays Gooding Jr.'s superior while Tierney plays Hopkins daughter. There were a lot of nicest touches in this movie such as Powell realizing that the camera, not his presence, bothered the gorillas, and Powell observing that the gorillas in the zoo were different from those in the rainforest. The scene where Powell demonstrates to Caulder that he needs to break down his illusions of freedom and control was really done well. I was impressed by the fact the reason for why Powell cracked was not only because gorilla hunters viciously killed Powell's gorilla family but also because of the items he left in the forest lead the hunters to the gorillas and, therefore, felt responsible. Overall, I thought this was a terrific movie and that everyone should go see it!
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10/10
one of the most important movies ever made
baumer17 June 1999
Every once in a while a movie comes out that has something to say. It has something to offer that is more than just Hollywood. It believes in something. In recent years movies like Dances With Wolves, JFK, Falling Down, Malcolm X, Boyz and The Hood and Saving Private Ryan are recent ones that come to mind. They make us examine who we are and what we are doing here and why we do the things that we do. They make us question our actions and they show us that we are perhaps not as great as we thought we were. Movies like this don't come around too often and that's because they have things to say that not only people don't like to hear, but because they don't want to know. Dances With Wolves made me feel guilty to be a white man, Instinct made me ashamed to be a human being.

There is a line in one of Pearl Jams songs that says " I don't question our existence, I just question our modern needs. " You will not find more profound lyrics than those ones and this movie takes that same idea and explores it deeper. It shows us the greedy nature of man and how destructive we all are. But it also shows us how beautiful it all once was, and how it all changed.

This movie has been so unfairly critisized by everyone from the media to even other people in this very forum that don't seem to understand what it is all about. By now we all know the story of how Anthony Hopkins goes to the jungle and lives among the gorillas and then ends up murdering people. But what we don't know is why he does it. How he gets to that fateful moment and what it is that makes him, a peaceful man, want to kill another human being.

The strengths in this movie are numerous but it starts with the performances. Hopkins is quietly brilliant as the emotionally traumatized and scarred former anthropologist. You can feel his pain even before he tells what it is that is eating away inside of him. Cuba Gooding is great as the doctor that goes on a journey with Ethan Powell. At first his interest in Powell is simply one of selfishness. But as he learns more about this complex man, the more he understands and empathizes with him. Also good in his role as the brutal prison guard is John Ashton ( remember him from Beverly Hills Cop? ). His character is very reminiscent of Clancy Brown's in Shawshank Redemption but he is very good here. But the real strength of the film is in the story and the screenplay.

The two writers for the film care about what it is that they have to say and they believe in it. You can feel what it is that they are trying to convey. And that is simply: why must we as human beings be so destructive? Why must we be so hateful and greedy and why do have to ruin everything that was once pure and serene? The scenes in this film that are meant to ask for your sympathy are not just gratuitous violence to sell tickets, they are there because things like this happen in real life and we never do anything to stop it. And that is a shame.

Denzel Washington's character in " The Siege " said, " You don't let any murderer go free. ANY MURDERER!!! " Well Hopkin's character was punished for his crime but what about the men that murdered those that weren't human? What crime have they committed? And what punishment do they receive for the act of murder against something that isn't human? There is no punishment. And that is what makes us sad individuals and that is what this movie is trying to tell us.

Give this movie a chance. It really is a gem and hopefully it will open just one person's eyes and ask them to change. If it can do that, then it has done it's job. I applaud everyone associated with this movie. I just wish more studios and directors and actors would have the guts to do this. I just hope some people can see this movie for what it is and not for what we critisize it for trying to be. And as melo-dramatic as this review may sound to some people and as melo-dramatic as this is also going to sound, it has to be said.

Thank you John Turtletaub for making this movie. You moved me and made me think about a great many things. I hope I'm not alone.
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9/10
Powerful and intelligent assessment of the human condition
r.gates2 January 2001
On any level, this film has to be considered one of the most incisive and painful commentaries on the human condition. Above the acting (superior performances), above the direction, above all the production values is the constant message that we as a race are marching toward an open grave pit. For all our possessions, for all our wealth, for all our so-called achievements, we have yet to learn to respect the intelligence of nature and to act accordingly. "Instinct" is in every living organism and to deny one's own instinct is to go against the natural order. The prison system in this country doesn't work because it is used to destroy man's spirit instead of supporting it. Until we learn how to live in harmony and love with all the other living organisms, we will continue to destroy what we seek to build. Don't buy those Christmas presents - support your wildlife fund. We don't need things, we need spiritual reconnection with the earth we live on. Dr. Powell, as played by Anthony Hopkins, is one of the most highly evolved beings ever seen in a movie. To the writer I am grateful for his creation, to Mr. Hopkins I am grateful for giving us a character to emulate. This movie has made a lasting impression on me. I hope it does the same for everyone who sees it. Open your heart because if you don't, then you will create your own inner prison and live a messy life that the rest of us will have to clean up.
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8/10
Not an Illusion, but a Deep Psychological Thriller
mjw230522 January 2005
Ethan Powell (Anthony Hopkins) A brilliant anthropologist, committed to an asylum for the criminally insane after committing murder.

Theo Caulder (Cuba Gooding Jr.) a brilliant young psychologist, volunteers to examine Ethan to try and understand what exactly went on.

Theo's driven ambition pushes him into the psyche of a madman where he risks his own life to peel away the layers and unveil the man behind the madness.

A perfect cast and terrific story make this a very tense and thrilling ride through the mind of a madman, who may just hold the secret to remove the illusions we all have.

8/10 If you bore easily then leave well alone.
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8/10
Surprisingly good
stamper3 July 2002
This film really surprised me. I mean REALLY. I mean I knew that Hopkins, Sutherland and Gooding Jr. were good actors and I'd heard about the film, but I was believing it would be nothing special. I WAS wrong. It had been very long, since I had last seen a film, with a message, a meaning and a higher value than entertainment, but this one is it. Maybe it's just because I study psychology, but I really enjoyed this film. It will take away your illusions. Highly recommended.

8 out of 10
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10/10
This movie is simply great!
Soledad-25 September 2000
I sincerely believe this movie has been under-rated. Instinct is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It invites people to meditate about the meaning of freedom and it forces them to travel inside their mind.

Anthony Hopkins is an extraordinary actor and the whole cast is superb. This movie is a gem, it's simply great!
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10/10
A slap in the face of today's consumeristic society
haggar26 October 2001
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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8/10
Why isn't this movie more well known?
mybah3 June 2003
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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A very, very good film, with great script, acting, and emotional depth.
misstina14 May 1999
A friend and I saw a sneak preview of INSTINCT last night. The film stars Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr. and looked like a thriller about an anthropologist who went to Africa and wound up living with gorillas instead of just studying them. It was much more.

Hopkins' character, Dr. Ethan Powell, is accused of the murders of several Africans. Having been held in a Rwandan prison for a year, he's then extradited to the U.S. and put in a lovely prison in the insane department. Donald Sutherland (looking mighty fine!) is a noted professor of psychiatry at a nearby University, and Gooding is his pet resident, Dr. Theo Calder. When Sutherland's department is asked by the feds to do a psych evaluation, Gooding as Calder researches the case and begs to be allowed to do the work. Calder has been shown at this point to be a brilliant, ambitious resident with a sterling career ahead, and so Sutherland gives him the chance.

What develops from there is a wonderfully written, exquisitely acted story, interweaving the sessions with Powell and Calder with the life of the prison and its insane inmates. Further woven into the fabric is the story of what happened to Powell in Africa. In the African scenes, Stan Winston's work on the apes is incredibly realistic and never cartoonish. Danny Elfman's score (I don't always like Elfman, but did enjoy the Batman score) is also a beautiful accompaniment to these scenes, though a little heavy in other parts of the film.

It's hard to explain the refreshingly intelligent and moving and thoughtful script of this film. Issues such as what is really civilized behavior, the pack as family mentality, and humanity vs. inhumanity are explored with depth but never with a heavy hand. The performances of Hopkins and Gooding are exceptional. Gooding did a great job with the other film I'd seen him in, JERRY MAGUIRE, but the depths of emotion and the layered aspects of his performance in INSTINCT are incredible.

My friend said after we'd left the theater last night that this came very close to being a Great Film. And she's right. It had a great script and brilliant performances by all, fully realized characters (even the secondary ones), good plot. Where it falls a little, I think, is in the direction. Jon Turteltaub is a competent director who has done films I've enjoyed, such as WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING and PHENOMENON. But in this case, with everything it had going for it, Turteltaub didn't hold the strings tight. The pacing is off in a few places, and a whiff of a subplot involving Gooding's character in a romance with Maura Tierney as Hopkins' daughter fails because you can feel it waffling. Should we leave this subplot in or pull it out? Since they couldn't decide, it leans both ways from scene to scene. This speaks to me of weakness in the director.

But INSTINCT is a very, very good film. Highly recommended. And those of you who are prone to weep, bring your hankies.
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Another great film gets Overlooked!
cocaine_rodeo13 August 2001
This is another great movie that the critics overlooked. This is getting old! Sure, all the crap is getting praised while movie of this caliber aren't even given a second thought. This was an excellent movie, I mean it was really good! This shouldn't have gotten the boot so fast. Oh well, what are ya gonna do?

Anthony Hopkins, once again, gave an outstanding performance as Ethan Powell, and especially Cuba Gooding Junior, who I thought gave his best performance in this movie.

It's a great movie, it's not really violent, there's a little to keep the viewer on his/her feet, but nothing to leave the room about. The performances by Anthony Hopkins, Cuba Gooding, Donald Sutherland, and Maura Tierney (who I especially liked) is reason enough to watch this, but the plot is also a very good reason to check this one out. 10/10
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10/10
A Rare Hollywood Gem
svenden3 December 2001
As a moviewatcher who yearns for really gripping and powerful storytelling, I am more often than not disappointed by what Hollywood produces. But Instinct, in my opinion, has found a place among those few movies that completely captivate me and pull me into the story itself.

While Instinct has lots to offer any viewer, environmentalists and animal rights sympathizers will find particular meaning in the story. I cannot say more, for part of the fun in watching this movie is to figure out the mystery as the characters do.

Finally, I feel it necessary to point out that this movie is loosely based off a book of equal quality: Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. Go read it. Trust me.
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10/10
Instinct (1999) is an excellent movie which illustrates the illusion of control.
res0owwh21 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING - POSSIBLE SPOILER!

The movie drives home the point brilliantly that all control is an illusion and that the only control we actually have is self control; to attempt to control others in any arena is abusive.

Ethan clearly states that the reason he has this knowledge is due to the fact that he had different teachers.

It is a sad state of affairs when gorillas are more intelligent in re nobility and respect than are human beings. (No offense intended to gorillas, only admiration).

The movie is classified as "fiction with a purpose" - it teaches simple human and animal respect and illustrates many truths about our existence as human beings in our world.
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10/10
Instinct and Fight Club - Is there any relation?
cello1019 October 2001
Instinct is one of the most amazing films ever produced. Its unique way of criticizing men´s quest of total domination of all kinds of situations and values conflict could never be made by amateurs. Just like Fight Club, it is not possible to watch it and not think about our condition, about our values, our REAL needs. Those who have already read Herbert Marcuse's "Unidimensional Man" or even Capra will certainly notice some relation between them, and see that the idea of these movies is incredible. Unfortunately I do not have enough knowledge to extract everything that these films can offer, but it is not necessary to be a genious to get the "greatness" of theses films.
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Slow to start, but ultimately rewarding
TheNorthernMonkee13 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS

Sometimes it's a curiousity that just won't go away. Why is it that the vast majority of films which are mainly based in a mental institution are quality. "One Flew Overs The Cuckoo's Nest", the mental institution section of "12 Monkeys" and this film, are all movie memories to treasure.

Society has always believed that if someone is mentally different to the rest of us, then that person requires to be physically confined. This might be true in the occasional case, but as John Stuart Mill once considered, what makes Society flavoured is it's variety in viewpoints. Mill pondered that rather than locking away someone with a different viewpoint to our own, we should cherish this persons opinion. In a way, this film continues along this idea.

In "Instinct", Cuba Gooding Jnr, an actor who I confess to not being a big fan of, although who displayed excellent skill in the final ten minutes of this film, convinces his boss, the God like Donald Sutherland, to allow him to investigate the case of an "ape-man" (Hopkins). Cuba spends the majority of this film either talking to Sir Hopkins and learning the truth about society and freedom or talking about Anthony's situation with Hopkin's daughter, Maura Tierney. All three actors put in acceptable performances, with the occasional moment of excellence, and the plot of this film is, whilst not too obvious when watching but definate afterwards, apparently heading to a blatant climax at the end of it.

The thing with this film which I love, despite the almost forced opinion of loving animals and hating humans, is the idea towards the end of freedom. Are we free beings? If you ever ask a person on the street if they consider themselves to be free, it's logical to assume that they'd say something like "of course I'm free, I have choice and the freedom to do what I want". The problem, as this film points out is that ultimately, we don't. The restraints upon us, normally by an authority figure in this society, hinder this attempt to be ultimately free and our desires to gain this authority by playing "The Game" only drag us further and further from ever being in reality free. Ultimately, aside from the cute Gorilla's and a mental institute full of scarily likeable "madmen", this notion of freedom is the most important part.

If you choose this film, I suggest you watch it because your willing to think. If you desire to watch Gorilla's in their living enviroment, watch a nature programme with David Attenborough or someone similar. This film requires an open mind, and the ability to accept, that perhaps, no matter how hard we try, freedom is something the majority of us will never have.
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9/10
Good movie with a deep message
Sabbe-30 March 2003
I think Instinct is a great movie, just saw it few days ago and it really was refreshing.

It has a very interesting way of talking about today's civilization, very philosophical talks about the "Takers" etc.

The actors in the movie are good, Hopkins is very nice and Gooding Jr. too.

I really liked the way how the movie expressed itself, it was entertaining, it surely showed some things to think about later and it also was quite exciting thanks to Hopkins.

9/10 from me, I recommend this one.
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Beautiful movie!
simmers17 July 1999
I entered the theatre having no real idea what "Instinct" was about, but it seemed like a thriller to me, something similar to "The Silence of the Lambs". However, what I expected to be just another murder mystery turned out to be the powerful story of a man who had finally learnt to live.

Dr. Calder is sent to make an evaluation on Dr. Powell, an anthropologist convicted for murdering 5 men in Rwanda. However, when Dr. Powell relates his experience in the African jungle, he starts teaching Theo Calder a thing or two about "civilisation" and "humanity", thus encouraging Theo not only to learn how to live but also to challenge the rules.

The scenes with the gorillas were so realistic, that I only realised later that they were created artificially. Sometimes, I felt like I was actually watching a documentary.

The acting was superb. Anthony Hopkins was excellent as always and Cuba Gooding Jr. was just perfect as his student/friend. The supporting cast was solid as well, especially the prison inmates.

Despite Theo and Dr. Powell's daughter's confusing relationship and the highly improbable ending, "Instinct" has some beautiful movie moments. Dr. Powell's connection with the gorillas as well as his speech to Theo at the zoo are very touching. The scene at the prison where the inmates tear apart their cards, challenging the guards' authority also reminded me of the famous "O Captain, My Captain" scene in "Dead Poets' Society".

All I can say, is that "Instinct" is a rare film. One that does not need tons of action and explosions to be enjoyable but simply talks about something we can all connect too: life!
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10/10
Excellent adaptation of Quinn novella
L. Hamm29 December 1999
For the umpteenth time a book has been made into a movie. But rather than dwell on the differences Instinct was not a movie based on a book: it was an application of Quinn's book to people. The result is an excellent movie, but you really need to read the book to understand much of the subtlety.

Cuba Gooding, Jr plays a rough approximation of Quinn's anonymous narrator in the book, except he's not a rebel, until the end. Cuba's acting is some of the best its been. Opposite is the part of Goliath the Gorilla (read the book he's not the one in the cage) played by Anthony Hopkins, and his acting is much better than in the Mask of Zorro. Basicly what has happened is Hopkins is a primatoligist that comes to live with a docile family of Gorillas and finds what humans have been missing all this time: then the family is attacked and Hopkins kills two of the hunters. He's caught and taken to the US to stand trial. Cuba gets the job of deciphering Hopkins.

More of the depth in this film is from a big combination of acting, editing and sound track which combine to make a really memorable film.

Approved from the Aerodrome
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10/10
Incredible
strega66620 September 1999
In an excellent film, very emotional, with very emotive actings

by Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding jr. It shows how we have lost living in a society like the one we are in and opens eyes to what kind of life we live and how much human abuse from being on a "powerful" position.
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10/10
Hopkins keeps giving his Audiences his best.
michaelo-313 June 1999
One of the Mr. Hopkins most powerful and moving performance yet. He takes you through his trial of pain and emotional torture, and then delivers the movie theme in a powerful and definitive discovery. When he states "Dominion" to Cuba Gooding, it brought the emotion to the surface that this is the reason most of our troubles today exists and continue to fester like an uncontrollable virus. Unfortunately, the very people in power that are in positions to do something about it, will merely choose to overlook the message. Thank you to the directors and producers that gave us this wonderful and compelling story.
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10/10
I highly recommend seeing this movie!
diego-2319 May 1999
I went to the movie after seeing the previews. It looked interesting - the premise being a man killing other men in defense of his newly adopted gorilla family. The question being -why do humans believe we are so special?

I had no idea until the opening credits that the movie was "suggested" by the novel Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Ishmael is a masterpiece and although the movie really has nothing to do with the story itself, the book's message is still there. Yes, there are some corny scenes,the playing cards for example, but overall, it manages to convey the truth. We have been lied to for centuries. Maybe there is a different way to live, a way where we don't rule and destroy the world. I would suggest reading "Ishmael" and Quinn's other books "The Story of B" and "My Ishmael". It is not great literature but it is great philosophy.
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8/10
A very thoughtful film -- a film to be experienced
ruby_fff9 June 1999
INSTINCT is also political and thought provoking. It treats its subject matter seriously.

It was misleadingly publicized as in the vein of Jonathan Demme's "Silence of the Lambs" 1991 -- not at all. Its story actually revolves around Anthony Hopkins as an anthropologist who has been "accepted by the gorillas" and a young psychiatric doctor well portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. who gained lessons learned (and vice versa) from Hopkins' character.

It is more in the realm of Michael Apted's "Gorillas in the Mist" 1988, and with probing humanity/society norm questions raised as in Terry Gilliam's "12 Monkeys" 1995 ('to be in control', 'to have freedom', 'to have dreams'...what do these words mean?)

Cuba Gooding Jr. gave a tour de force performance as the young psychiatrist under the 'wings' of his boss (Donald Sutherland). His interaction with Hopkins' character is fascinating to follow. Hopkins, as always, delivered intensely. Maura Tierney performed well as the daughter to Hopkins.

Yes, there are prison scenes which can be reminiscent of Frank Darabont's "Shawshank Redemption" 1994 -- prison guard brutality we were not spared.

Hang in there. The beginning parts could be traumatic and jarring, but by the end of the film, you will be satisfied -- it can be a tearjerker, too.

Director Jon Turteltaub ("While You Were Sleeping" 1995) has made a very thoughtful film. It is best appreciated if we would be still and listen, and be patient and trust in the progress of the story -- we will have insights gained as we observe how Doctor Theo Caulder (Gooding's character) learned from his experience with Doctor Ethan Powell (Hopkins' character).

Life is full of lessons and they are there for us to appreciate as long as we're willing to open, let go and give ourselves time to rethink and refresh -- "Dare to be naive" as Buckminster Fuller said.

This film also brings to mind Great Britain's psychoanalyst/psychiatrist R. D. Laing's book "Knots" 1970, its very first paragraph: "They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game." "The Politics of Experience" 1967 is another gem of a book from Dr. Laing.
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10/10
A masterpiece in every way
Verbal-206 June 1999
There's no fault to find here. While all of the performances (except Cuba Gooding, Jr., maybe) were just about perfect, Anthony Hopkins is clearly the star here. As with Jonathan Demme's unwatchable The Silence of the Lambs, Hopkins conveys in his character a presence of raw animal power just waiting to be unleashed... a chilling performance in his initial scenes (this is the only similarity to Silence). He touches on so many other emotional aspects in the rest of the film... We're looking at Oscar-nominee material. He really stands out in a film with so many good features. As for the rest of the film? Beautiful. The script is simply brilliant as it traces the past of Dr. Ethan Powell (Hopkins) through flashbacks as told to Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s Dr. Theo Calder. The music really adds to the mood. The plot and story are exceptional. This is not going to be the feel-good movie of the year, of course--when we actually see, via the final flashback, what drove Powell to commit the murders for which he was incarcerated, it is immensely touching. There were tears in my eyes from that point until the movie ended. And the ending was great, giving such a heavy, powerful drama a nice but surprisingly well-fitting feel-good touch. This is NOT a make-you-miserable movie! I HIGHLY recommend this movie--to anyone. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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10/10
GREAT! everyone NEEDS to see this film!
howlymowly185 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the all-time BEST thinker movies out there. Shows amazing life principles. Everyone needs to have the opportunity to see this film.

One of the best performances I've seen Hopkins OR Cuba Gooding, Jr. in. Great perfomances, great plot, wonderful idea!
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Gripping... and I dont mean Hopkins hands on Goodings neck
Petruchio3 October 2001
It's a tale of a man who is predetermined to be insane because of the murder of two people in the wilderness. And what a tale it is. The movie stars two great actors (Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr) who live up to thier stardom, once again, with some brilliant acting.

The only bad notes that I have of this movie is that I found the first 30-40 minutes to be somewhat boring... but that changed, and I'll get to that in a second. The other note that I have is that Anthony Hopkins character's story because very easy to figure out early on. You knew why he killed before he ever said why. I did anyway.

As the tale advanced in plot, it became very gripping. By that I mean that you just had to figure out what was going to happen. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen and my ears from the words they were saying. I just had to know what was going on. There are some great jolts in the film too which is great to see in a non horror/suspence movie. I jumped a few times. You'll know what I'm talking about if you never seen it.

Trust me. If you rent this one an get past the first 30 minutes... the last 90 will be a great experience. It was for me. I can't believe I waited this long to see it.
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9/10
a little gem
johnhunt7626 March 2001
if the purpose of a film is to stir emotions , provoke thought and ask questions then this film succeeds in all 3 areas. Ethan powell (hopkins) is an eminent anthropolgist specialising in the field of primatology. While on a field trip in Rwanda studying silverback gorillas he suddenly disappears and is feared dead, another victim of the harsh jungle habitat.

When he is discovered by a group of gorilla poachers 2 years later he is not the man, quite literally, he was before....... Cuba gooding Jnr is the chosen psychologist assigned to unlock Powells silence and discover the events of the 2 missing years.

Not wanting to spoil the film, to explain any more would serve only to give away the films excellent plot.

I found myself profoundly moved after watching this film, it provokes some very serious issues about mans right to do with this planet what he wishes and our place in the order of species, excellent performances all round only add to what is a truly superb film which is unique in that it genuinely made me evaluate how i looked at the world in general.
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