Instinct

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Released 1999

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Instinct

Movie Summary

Director:
Jon Turteltaub
Released:
1999
Rating:
R
Instinct is a 1999 drama directed by Jon Turteltaub. Dr. Ethan Powell (Anthony Hopkins), a renowned anthropologist, is sent to Rwanda to study the behavior of mountain gorillas. Once there, he decides to abandon society and live in the jungle as primitive man did. Two years later, poachers kill several of the gorillas living with Powell, sending him on a murderous rampage. He is subsequently incarcerated in an African prison. A year later, Powell is extradited to the U.S. and sent to Harmony Bay, a maximum-security prison in Florida, where he refuses to talk and appears to be living in a dream world. The task of performing a psychological evaluation is given to the psych department at a nearby university. The department head is Professor Ben Hillard (Donald Sutherland) however, Theo Caulder (Cuba Gooding Jr.), an ambitious young psychiatric resident, convinces Hillard to allow him to head the case. Caulder then teams up with the prison's in-house psychiatrist, Dr. John Murray (George Dzundza) and together they try to break through Powell's wall of silence.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 60

    The New York Times Lawrence Van Gelder

    The medium is more palatable than the saccharine message because Hopkins and Gooding know how to put on a show.

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times John Anderson

    A greatest-hits collection of plot devices and emotional cues from such films as "Gorillas in the Mist" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," making it something of a trained chim...

  • 38

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    If there's anything worse than a movie hammered together out of pieces of bad screenplays, it's a movie made from the scraps of good ones.

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    Themes

    Thrillers, Psychological