By Christopher Null
Apparently, we are not alone. And we're beaming The Spice Girls into space.
But seriously, Carl Sagan's ode to the superior intelligence of aliens (and how us darned humans mess everything up) is consistently beautiful and interesting, but it never makes a point (except for that bit about the darned humans). The plot, which gives Jodie Foster schematics from space and focuses on the technical and bureaucratic minutiae that go into the construction of an extradimensional travelling device, is rather on the nose -- and the only real surprises in the film come from its obsession with God (in which the late Sagan did not believe) and the complete and utter disappointment received with the aliens are finally revealed.
Recommended for its looks, and not highly.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 11th July 1997
Box Office Worldwide: $171M
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 39 Rotten: 23
Cast & Crew
Starring: Jodie Foster as Eleanor Arroway, David Morse as Ted Arroway, Matthew McConaughey as Palmer Joss, James Woods as Michael Kitz, John Hurt as S. R. Hadden, Rob Lowe as Richard Rank, Tom Skerritt as David Drumlin, William Fichtner as Kent Clark, Angela Bassett as Rachel Constantine, Jake Busey as Joseph, Jena Malone as Young Ellie
Also starring: Geoffrey Blake, Thomas Garner, Vance Valencia, Tabitha Soren, Geraldo Rivera, Ian Whitcomb, Jay Leno, Natalie Allen, Ann Druyan, Kathleen Kennedy, Michael Albala, William Jordan, Leo Lee, Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis, Michael Goldenberg