Top 100 Movies Of The 1990's: #52 Contact

Box Office: $100.9 Million

Oscar Nominations: Best Sound

Oscar Wins: None

MovieRankings.Net: 71/100

Available To Stream: Amazon Prime ($4)

The first act of this movie is fantastic. Hearing the signal. Then the chase from the government and the private sector to get a handle on what's happening. The realization that it is rebroadcast of Adolph Hitler at the 1936 Olympics only to figure out that it's the first signal that the aliens would have received because it would have been the first transmission powerful enough to leave Earth. Finally, we get the true reveal: that they sent us instructions to build something.

The rest of the movie can't hold up to that same quality. It drifts from there into a forced debate of religion vs science. Then it really regresses into a movie shoving needless special effects down our throats. Also, the total lack of chemistry between Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey is painful to watch. It's such a mismatched couple for so many reasons, obvious and not. Also, for a movie that is so well casted (James Woods, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt and David Morse), it's a wild reach to ask us to accept Matthew McConaughey as a Christian philosopher.

Giphy Images.

Even with those flaws, I still really enjoy this movie. Romance aside, Jodie Foster is perfectly cast as Ellie Arroway. She's a smart enough actress to absolutely believe her as a scientist. She does a really great job in this and makes you believe she is making contact with aliens. It feels authentic, especially in the beginning.

This is also Robert Zemeckis' career in a microcosm. The first half of his career tells stories about people where special effects do take place but aren't the story. In the later half, he loses his way with movies like The Polar Express, A Christmas Carol and Welcome To Marwen. Something snapped and it became more about the spectacle he could make as opposed to the story he could tell. I don't think the guy that made Cast Away can tell a good story about people again.

I hope I'm wrong. He has a movie coming out next year called Here. The concept sounds great. It tells the story of events that happen in a single room over the stretch of many decades and it stars Tom Hanks. However, the more I read into it, it's focused on special effects that de-age actors using AI technology.


52. Contact

53. The Green Mile

54. Man On The Moon

55. Boyz N The Hood

56. Grosse Pointe Blank

57. Independence Day

58. The Rainmaker

59. Go

60. The Firm

61. Magnolia

62. The Talented Mr. Ripley

63. Tommy Boy

64. The Usual Suspects

65. In The Line Of Fire

66. My Cousin Vinny

67. Awakenings

68. JFK

69. Toy Story

70. Home Alone

71. Jerry Maguire

72. Titanic

73. Billy Madison

74. Apollo 13

75. Braveheart

76. Edward Scissorhands

77. Cape Fear

78. The River Wild

79. What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

80. 12 Monkeys

81. Stir Of Echoes

82. Mission: Impossible

83. Total Recall

84. Quiz Show

85. For Love Of The Game

86. Being John Malkovich

87. Men In Black

88. Scream

89. Alive

90. Three Kings

91. Glengarry Glen Ross

92. Die Hard With A Vengeance

93. The Blair Witch Project

94. Twister

95. Dirty Work

96. Election

97. Tremors

98. Any Given Sunday

99. The Wedding Singer

100. Clerks