Critics' Corner

Desson Howe - Weekend section, "While the movie doesnít qualify as an awful waste of space by any means, it has so many creative black holes, you'll have to weigh the entertainment odds before making this journey."

Rita Kempley - Style section, "People magazine's mail seems penetrating in comparison to this contrived back-and-forth."

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Scene from this movie Ellie (Jodie Foster) grows up obsessed with finding life in outer space. Becoming a fully fledged astronomer, she manages to finagle a few hours of satellite time every week to catch any extraterrestrial signals. One day in the desert, sitting at the foot of those satellite dishes, she picks up a promising sound. But this discovery leads, inevitably, to political maneuvering among NASA, the White House, the military and the media. Itís all she can do to keep focused on her goal: reaching the aliens.

Ellie battles for space-eavesdropping rights with her former mentor; tangles with a national security adviser and a dour presidential adviser; has clandestine meetings with a mysterious benefactor; and dabbles romantically with Palmer (Matthew McConaughey), a lapsed priest who becomes President Clintonís spiritual adviser. -- Desson Howe
Rated PG

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Jodie Foster; Matthew McConaughey; James Woods; Angela Bassett;
John Hurt; Rob Lowe; Tom Skerritt; William Fichtner; David Morse
Running Time: 2 hours, 31 minutes
Filmographies: Jodie Foster; Matthew McConaughey; Tom Skerritt; James Woods;
Angela Bassett; David Morse;
John Hurt; Robert Zemeckis