Contact (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes


Contact (1997)



Critic 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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She's known it since she was a young girl, when she would magically connect with distant voices on her father's shortwave radio. She's known it since college, when she chose the search for intelligent extraterrestrial messages as her discipline. She's known it since she bargained for just hours a week of satellite time to sweep the heavens for evidence. And she knows it every time she stares at the countless stars dappling the infinite night sky... Something is out there.

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Critic Reviews for Contact

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (26)

Sagan's spirit certainly comes through in the film, which makes a point of valuing scientific exploration for its own sake rather than a means to an end.

November 1, 2021 | Full Review…

Despite its lineage and some impressive special effects, Contact is a disappointingly earthbound production, weighed down by the ballast of talking-heads dramaturgy and bloated storytelling.

July 18, 2018 | Full Review…

If Contact is disappointingly soft in the head, it can also enthrall. Zemeckis is such a potent imagemaker that he is capable, for long stretches at a time, of sweeping you up in his vision.

February 27, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Something like one of those mysterious asteroids that get the astronomers all worked up: a large body of gaseous matter surrounding a relatively small core of solid substance.

February 16, 2011 | Full Review…

Thoughtful adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel.

December 22, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Like Jodie Foster's hopeful space voyager in the picture, "Contact" may not travel quite as far as it hopes to go, but the trip is worth taking nonetheless.

March 26, 2009

Audience Reviews for Contact


Robert Zemeckis crafts a very good science fiction drama, but in many ways it does lack a bit. The sheer scope of the film is grand, its ideas are very good, interesting and captivating, but there are times that the film feels a bit underdeveloped and it could have stood out more due to the fact that it has some very good ideas and acting on display on-screen. Watching the film, I felt that at times, it felt a bit too preachy, and it could have toned down a bit, but as a whole, Contact is an engaging picture, one that boasts impressive performances and a good story. However, I felt that the film considering what it deals with should have been much better as well. This isn't a bad film by any means, but it does leave a bit to be desired in terms of its story. The problem is that it tries to be far too ambitious, and it leaves a few things to dwindle and it never comes to fruition, which is a great shame because Contact really could have been a remarkable and highly memorable Science Fiction drama that could have stood out among other genre films. Contact is a good film, but it's not one Zemeckis' best efforts. For what it is, it's entertaining film, but at times we can see that the story strains a bit and it tries to overshadow the sometimes lacking plot with far too ambitious ideas, which like I said never really comes to light, and it's a shame because Contact had all the ingredients of a great Science Fiction picture, but it could have been so much better as well.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Fascinating story about first alien contact. Brilliant story telling in which complex ideas are communicated simply enough to be understood by a non-technogeek audience. (I could have done with a little less religious grandstanding though.)

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer


Robert Zemekis and Jodie Foster take on Carl (who died before the film was finished) Sagan's optimistic speculation on what the first alien (as in: from space not Uzbekistan) contact might be like. Interestingly the hypothesis goes (like in K-Pax) to thought being the fastest way to travel. Science geeks everywhere will sumptuously bathe in the obligatory sense of awe and wonder. Billions and billions of stars.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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