Always (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes


Always (1989)




Critic Consensus: Its central romance takes occasional dives into excessive sentimentality, but Always otherwise flies high thanks to director Steven Spielberg's rousing feel for adventure.

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Movie Info

For all its state-of-the-art special effects, Always is essentially a remake of the 1943 Spencer Tracy-Irene Dunne fantasy vehicle A Guy Named Joe--minus the wartime context. Richard Dreyfuss stars as a reckless fire-fighting pilot who is killed in what was to have been his final mission. Ascending to Heaven, Dreyfuss is introduced to businesslike angel Audrey Hepburn (playing the equivalent of the Lionel Barrymore role in A Guy Named Joe). Hepburn instructs the spectral Dreyfuss to pass on his aviation knowhow to his young successor, Brad Johnson. Our ghostly hero also smoothes the course of romance for his earthly girl friend Holly Hunter, who after several months' worth of grieving has fallen in love with Johnson. John Goodman injects a dose of comedy relief as Dreyfuss' faithful buddy.

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Richard Dreyfuss
as Pete Sandich
Holly Hunter
as Dorinda Durston
Brad Johnson
as Ted Baker
John Goodman
as Al Yackey
Keith David
as Powerhouse
Dale Dye
as Fire Boss
James Lashly
as Charlie
Kim Robillard
as Air Traffic Controller
Jim Sparkman
as Dispatcher
Doug McGrath
as Bus Driver
Gerry Rothschild
as Carl the Barkeep
Loren Smothers
as Bartender
Ted Grossman
as Fisherman #2
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Critic Reviews for Always

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (4)

Although Always is filled with big, sentimental moments, it lacks the intimacy to make any of this very moving.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

An unfulfilled promise, a plummeting dove.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

The result is a curiosity: a remake that wasn't remade enough.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Always is one of the more serious Spielberg films in the 1980s films but among the worst films in his entire filmography.

December 30, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Always may not be a classic, but there's not a drop of cynicism in the whole thing. Spielberg's earnestness is infectious.

December 27, 2018 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Sentimental '80s romantic adventure has mild cursing.

January 3, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Always


Spielberg's remake of "A Guy Named Joe" unfortunately feels just like a remake, many of the earliest scenes easily telegraphing what is to come as predictably as ... well, as just about any old movie. With that in mind the cast doesn't do too badly, it simply feels like an also ran. It looks like one of Audrey Hepburn's last roles. She plays an angel. Coincidence?

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Undeservedly somewhat forgotten Spielberg film that still has many wonders to offer, telling a great love story from beyond the grave. The great director's trademarks are there. Hints of the adventure film, great cinematography and just this certain feeling 1980s films can give you, maybe for the last time in a Spielberg film right here. Maybe a tad sappy at times, but with quite a few really memorable and touching scenes.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

This is Spielberg at his most Capra-esque. This is perhaps Spielberg's least well known feature, but that is, perhaps, because it's unfortunately not all that memorable. As far as story goes, it is, in broad terms, Ghost a year before it came out. An aerial firefighter dies saving his best friend, but has to help his friends and lover move on before he can cross over. Very sentimental fantasy type stuff, but it is Spielberg, after all. The film is a bit too long, and the script could be more compelling, but I actually liked this film (for the most part), which is why it's close to a pass, even if it doesn't quite earn it. Maybe I'm being kind because perhaps Spielberg was just in a rut between a good film (Empire of the Sun) and a great one (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). The film has okay music (though it doesn't really stand out), a decent cast with good performances, and some pretty good work where the special effects, cinematography, and execution of the aerial stuff is concerned. This film is notable for being Audrey Hepburn's last screen appearance, and, while it is nice to see her, she deserved to go out in something a tad better. This is lesser Spielberg, but it still has it's merits. Maybe you should be like me and give it a chance. Maybe this film isn't all that bad, but just needs a little love.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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