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  • PG
  • 2h 30m
  • 1997
Common Sense Media Iconage 10+
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"We are not alone..." Two-time Academy Award-winner Jodie Foster and Hollywood's brightest new star, Matthew McConaughey, shine in this spellbinding drama of a dedicated astronomer's quest to make first Contact. Despite scorn from her colleagues, "Ellie" Arroway devoutly eavesdrops on the universe. And then, one fateful morning, she hears a cryptic signal. As the world's scientists scramble to decode "the message," Ellie must struggle to become Earth's single emissary on a journey beyond theory or experience. Seeking support, she turns top-level government advisor, Palmer Joss . Separated by very different beliefs, they reunite in their passion for knowledge and truth. From Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sagan's best-seller comes the story of a visionary scientist's unshakable conviction that somewhere in this boundless universe an intelligence yearns for Contact.
© 1997 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Critics Consensus: Contact elucidates stirring scientific concepts and theological inquiry at the expense of satisfying storytelling, making for a brainy blockbuster that engages with its ideas, if not its characters.
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Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 10+
Common Sense Says
Thoughtful adaptation of Sagan novel; violence, peril.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Contact is a 1999 movie speculating on the ramifications and wonder that could happen during humanity's first interaction with extraterrestrial life forms. There is some violence -- a Christian fundamentalist infiltrates NASA with explosives taped to his chest and destroys a spaceship on the verge of liftoff, taking his own life and the lives of many others. Some sci-fi peril, as a later spaceship rumbles and appears as if it could implode. In a flashback scene, a tween girl finds her father dead of heart failure at the foot of the stairs; in the aftermath of his funeral, she laments not getting to his heart medication in time. The lead character, played by Jodie Foster, is a brilliant astrophysicist who sticks to her convictions despite how many believe her ideas to be the product of an unhinged mind; she is also often patronized and rudely interrupted in many male-dominated meetings. Essentially, the characters themselves are embodiments of many of the dominant philosophies, beliefs, and ideologies followed by "billions and billions" of humans: rational thought, ethereal spirituality, rigid fundamentalism, myopic bureaucracy, etc. Occasional mild profanity, including "s--t" and "bitch."

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Additional Info

  • Genre:Sci-Fi, Drama
  • Release Date:July 11, 1997
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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