I would readily admit this is one of my favourite science fiction films from the 90's. It's intelligent, well-acted and directed, and the special effects it has HELPS the story rather than IMPEDES it. Though she hasn't done much lately, either in the director's chair or acting, Jodie Foster is one of my favourite contemporary American actresses, and it's intriguing how her great talent's been utilized of late (ie., 'Elysium', and I'm still very mad at Spike Lee for having Christopher Plummer call her a 'cunt' in 'Inside Man'). Personally, I must admit that I myself have worried what other worlds' inhabitants would think of our civilization from the messages it might get from Earth. Though I thankfully haven't lost any sleep over it (I have 'Thumper' in the apartment above me to thank for that), as Led Zeppelin would say in the classic 'Stairway to Heaven', '...and it makes me wonder'. As what happens in most of these movies, it's rather anticlimactic once the different cultures meet. I'll say to my dying day that the most difficult thing to do in cinema is end a film. Here (unlike perfect sci-fi masterpieces, like '2001: A Space odyssey' or the more recent 'Children of Men') the decent but otherwise unspectacular ending makes me avoid a perfect rating here. But it's awfully close, worth both owning and rewatching, and provides fairly early evidence (which would come to bold fruition in 'Killer Joe') that Matthew McConaughey could actually act. It's also a tossup between this, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and 'Back to the Future' for my favourite Zemeckis moment.
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