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Avatar (2009)

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A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Director:

James Cameron

Writer:

James Cameron
Popularity
273 ( 24)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 87 wins & 129 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Worthington ... Jake Sully
Zoe Saldana ... Neytiri (as Zoë Saldana)
Sigourney Weaver ... Dr. Grace Augustine
Stephen Lang ... Colonel Miles Quaritch
Michelle Rodriguez ... Trudy Chacón
Giovanni Ribisi ... Parker Selfridge
Joel David Moore ... Norm Spellman
CCH Pounder ... Mo'at (as Carol Christine Hilaria Pounder)
Wes Studi ... Eytukan
Laz Alonso ... Tsu'tey
Dileep Rao ... Dr. Max Patel
Matt Gerald ... Corporal Lyle Wainfleet
Sean Anthony Moran ... Private Fike
Jason Whyte Jason Whyte ... Cryo Vault Med Tech
Scott Lawrence ... Venture Star Crew Chief
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Storyline

When his brother is killed in a robbery, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge's intentions of driving off the native humanoid "Na'vi" in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch, while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na'vi people with the use of an "avatar" identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri, the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand - and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora. Written by The Massie Twins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Return to Pandora See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$237,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£8,509,050 (United Kingdom), 20 December 2009, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$77,025,481, 20 December 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$760,507,625

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,787,965,087, 13 February 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition) | (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | DTS | SDDS | Sonics-DDP (IMAX version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the most expensive movies ever made (as of December 2009), with an estimated budget of $280,000,000 (in U.S. dollars). See more »

Goofs

In Jake Sully's report just before he becomes one of the tribe and "becomes a man" if you look closely, it shows the time as 23:00 and the log number as 007 which is wrong as the previous report seen was 012. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jake Sully: [Narrating] When I was lying in the V.A. hospital with a big hole blown through the middle of my life, I started having these dreams of flying. I was free. But sooner or later, you always have to wake up.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits of any kind (outside of the 20th Century Fox title card). The title of the film doesn't appear on screen until the end of the movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 178-minute extended version has the same additions as included in the 2010 Special Edition with the following additions and changes:
  • The biggest addition is the alternate opening with Jake describing life on Earth. At a bar with his friend he picks a fight with a man who was hitting his girlfriend. However, he is thrown out by the doorman into a back alley. Two men then approach him to tell him about his twin brother Tommy's death and the proposal of taking his brother's place. There's a closeup shot of Tommy's face as he's cremated which morphs to Jake aboard the spaceship, emphasizing that he & Tommy are twins.
  • Before flying from the Venture Start to Pandora, an extra line of the pilot has been added: "Copy, Venture Star. Go for de-orbit burn at 2-2-4 niner."
  • The next two additions deal more with the abandoned school scene in the Special Edition. The first one happens when Grace considers a picture of Neytiri that Jake finds; Grace remembers her time with Neytiri & her twin sister Sylwanin. She reveals her dead, obviously killed by the mercenaries as well as Norm once had a relationship with her.
  • The second addition: After Grace insists Jake eat something, he sees a picture of Grace teaching a few Na'vi at school, two of them being a young Neytiri and her twin Sylwanin. She describes what happened on the day Sylwanin was killed and how the school was abandoned.
  • After the marines vacate the lab and prepare for retaliation, there is an extension of the scene which reveals that the marines wanted and planned for a war with the Na'vi. The small sequence that happens in the theatrical version after that was removed.
  • There is also the alternative Family-friendly audio track, which substitutes profane words with a more clean words. James Cameron said in an interview that the track was included when his young son complained on hearing that accidentally while playing the movie.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.87 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

I See You (Theme from Avatar)
Performed by Leona Lewis
Music by James Horner and Simon Franglen
Lyrics by Simon Franglen, Kuk Harrell, and James Horner
Produced by Simon Franglen and James Horner
Leona Lewis performs courtesy of Syco Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One of the best cinematic experiences ever...
14 December 2009 | by ClaytonDavisSee all my reviews

Forgive me, I'm going to jump from professional to fan boy for a while here. I haven't had the jitters after a film the way I've had for Avatar in quite sometime. James Cameron's Avatar is the most entertaining and enthralling cinematic experiences of my life. It is incredible, simply put. What Cameron has done here is the most passionate film project put out since Steven Spielberg released Schindler's List. His attention to detail and his zeal for pushing the envelope is so admirable to any filmmaker or actor who will ever do another film from this point on.

Avatar is the story of Jake Sully, a paraplegic marine, who replaces his brother on a secret mission to infiltrate the Na' vi, the colony of beings that sit on the planet of Pandora, where there is a precious ore, that sells at a ridiculous amount. When Jake learns the ways of the Na' vi, his feelings and learnings will put him and the people he trusts in dangerous jeopardy.

The performances here, in the sense of reacting, becoming, and understanding what Cameron has written are astounding. Not to be confused with a sensational bravura performance from some of the centuries best such as Marion Brando, Tom Hanks, or Diane Keaton; these actors along with the director inhabit these visual transformations with special effects as if they are have lived these beings all their lives. This is all based on character movements and reactions. Sam Worthington, as Jake Sully, is an actor who's on his way to becoming a star. Though he has problems with his Aussie accent often enough in the film, he gets the job done. Zoe Saldana, who plays Neytiri, a Na' vi huntress, is thrilling and electrifying. Stephen Lang, as the rock hard Colonel Miles, takes on a villainous turn to a new level in science fiction. He offers actual emotion and emotes evil to the audience and gains our hatred easily. Sigourney Weaver as the beautiful Dr. Grace, is sufficient enough to have on screen again teamed with Cameron. She lives inside her role with effortless ease, but suffers from some of the typical James Cameron cheesy lines.

Narratively the film works perfectly on the cinematic level. The first forty minutes or so require patience and hope as it is the weakest part of the film and offers some dreariness, but when the second act takes off, it's sky high with no limits for James Cameron. Avatar delivers the best action sequences put on film of all time. That is the boldest statement I have ever made in all my years of criticism. I sat on this for two days before charging it out, but I mean it. It is the best visual experience of my life, period.

Other than those visuals, the film pops with all the other technical aspects thrown into one. Art Direction is killer as the two worlds blend in perfectly for an acceptable time. The Film Editing is the crowning achievement of the film as it also offers the perfect blend of the two worlds, enticing the viewer and shifting us around. Mauro Fiore is the threat for a Cinematography Oscar this year. It was if the viewer sat down in a chair, put on glasses, and was literally placed on Pandora, spaceships, and floating mountains. The viewer can feel so engulfed by the imagery, you feel like you can smell the leaves from the trees. Avatar is utterly hypnotizing. James Horner's score is some of the best work done in his career. It offers a variable of devastation that moves the viewer to near tears. It goes back to his work on Titanic, where the musical instruments lifted the material immensely. The entire sound team is also locked and loaded for Oscar recognition as the feeling of animals, machines, and arrows buzzing by your head leave you imprisoned in Cameron's exquisite film.

James Cameron has come back home ladies and gentlemen Cameron is back, bigger, badder, and mature in his crowning work of his career. Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Titanic do not even compare anymore. This is the film that can blend the fans of those two films together and lock Cameron into your heart. He's a definite spoiler for a directing bid for the Academy Awards. You have admire the raw, natural talent the man has. How could you ever conceive such an experience and put that much effort and work into it and have it pay off? The box office success will surely keep him in the minds of voters for various critics' awards. His screenplay, leaps and bounds better than 1997's Best Picture Winner, is primed, developed and ripe for the taking. Though, you do acquire the tacky and atypical dialogue you expect from a science fiction director of this caliber, you can appreciate the effort and the honesty of it all. James Cameron is everything Michael Bay wishes he was, to put it bluntly.

Avatar will bring also great actors putting their best foot forward such as Giovanni Ribisi, who is as underrated as they come. Michelle Rodriguez who exudes sexy like any woman starring in a sci-fi epic. Joel Moore, showing his range outside of his comedic work in Dodgeball: An Underdog Story. And the classy veteran actors, CCH Pounder and Wes Studi, who just simply don't work enough.

Avatar is one of the best films of the year. The most exciting, thrilling, and superb work you'll feast your eyes on in any theater this century. Cinema, forever, will remember the benchmark that James Cameron placed not only for himself, but for any man, daring to change the game, the way Cameron did. Avatar is a movie experience to be remembered, and please experience in a movie theater first.

***½/****


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