Contact

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Warner Bros. Released 1997

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Movie Summary

Director:
Robert Zemeckis
Released:
1997
Rating:
PG

Contact (1997) is a science-fiction drama directed by Robert Zemeckis and based on a book by Carl Sagan. Dr. Eleanor Arroway (Jodie Foster) has had a dream since she was very young, a dream that has fueled her career choices and defined all her life choices. Arroway wants to be the first person to communicate with extraterrestrial life forms. Thanks to the generosity of wealthy S. R. Hadden (John Hurt), Arroway and her colleagues are able to keep up a program called Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). However, a governmental scientist named Drumlin (Tom Skerritt) is constantly threatening to close SETI down, and time is running out. When Arroway intercepts a strange transmission, she can hardly believe it at first. Once she is able to verify that the transmission is from extraterrestrial sources, the government steps in and Arroway has to fight to keep her role. As top scientists and government officials work together to decode the transmission and make contact, they have to face unexpected dangers and complicated questions. Despite the resistance of a rival, Palmer Joss (Matthew McConaughey), Arroway is determined to fulfill her lifelong dream.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Contact is superior popular filmmaking, both polished and effective. But despite its success and its serious intentions, it's finally a movie where the storytelling makes more of a...

  • 70

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    The movie, adapted from a novel by Carl Sagan, presents one long chain of teasingly open-ended questions about reason versus faith and technology versus religion, and ends up tenta...

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Beautifully crafted and legitimately involving once it locks onto a dramatic track, film benefits from remaining mysterious about how far it intends to go in pursuing its themes, b...

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    Categories

    Drama, Science Fiction

    Themes

    Paranormal, Aliens, Psychological, 90s