Jurassic Park

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Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 498 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Featuring incredible special effects and action-packed drama, Jurassic Park takes you to a remote island where an amazing theme park with living dinosaurs is about to turn deadly, as five people must battle to survive among the prehistoric predators. [Universal Pictures]

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    100
    One great monster movie. [11 June 1993, Daily Notebook, p.C1]
  2. As a flight of fantasy, Jurassic Park lacks the emotional unity of Spielberg's classics ("Jaws," "Close Encounters," "E.T."), yet it has enough of his innocent, playful virtuosity to send you out of the theater grinning with delight.
  3. 88
    Colossal entertainment -- the eye-popping, mind-bending, kick-out-the-jams thrill ride of summer and probably the year.
  4. An exhilarating, sometimes terrifying monster of a movie that, once it gets you in its clutches, won't put you down again until the closing credits start to roll.
  5. The New York Times
    Reviewed by: Elvis Mitchell
    70
    It becomes less crisp on screen than it was on the page, with much of the enjoyable jargon either mumbled confusingly or otherwise thrown away. [11 June 1993, p.C1]
  6. 67
    I continually found myself longing for the sheer intensity of the director's past glories, like Jaws, or even Duel. Spielberg seems to be trying so very hard for that elusive “Gosh, Wow, Sense of Wonder!” that it all looks strained in spots.
  7. Perfectly passable kiddie escapism. It has a thrill or two, and a chill or three, but it has no poetry, little sense of wonder, no resonant subtext (Jungian or otherwise), no art... When it's over, it's gone. Extinct.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 3 out of 120
  1. Feb 21, 2012
    10
    As a wide-eyed 13 yr old boy gripping the theater armrests with white knuckles, I remember this film rewiring my brain as I watched it. IAs a wide-eyed 13 yr old boy gripping the theater armrests with white knuckles, I remember this film rewiring my brain as I watched it. I walked out a changed person, never to view movies the same way again. The good ones... the truly special ones... aren't just something to watch. They transport you to another world. They take you away and cleanse you of the drudgery of reality. They nestle into your memory and never leave. Jurassic Park was the first film to affect me in this way and I'll never forget that feeling. Much obliged, Mr. Spielberg! Expand
  2. Oct 4, 2014
    10
    It's one of the best movies of the history, without this movie, we wouldn't seen movies like avatar, the avengers, this movie was the mom ofIt's one of the best movies of the history, without this movie, we wouldn't seen movies like avatar, the avengers, this movie was the mom of all those movies.
    It's a movie that have an awesome story, special effects, never seen before to that moment, if you like dinosaur your gonna love this movie.
    With this movie, Steven Spielberg, make the dinosaurs, ruled the earth again.
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  3. BobY.
    Aug 27, 2007
    10
    Classic. one of the most thrilling movies of all time. i don't see how u can't enjoy this.
  4. Jun 26, 2015
    10
    One of the best movies is history my favorite movie of all time. the plot is amazing and new the charter are great there are millions of thingOne of the best movies is history my favorite movie of all time. the plot is amazing and new the charter are great there are millions of thing right with this movie that I do not have time it talk about. Expand
  5. Jan 7, 2012
    9
    Brilliant action-packed film by Spielberg. CGI, dramatic scenes, and blood-thirsty animals make it thrilling, and worth watching.Brilliant action-packed film by Spielberg. CGI, dramatic scenes, and blood-thirsty animals make it thrilling, and worth watching. Unforgettable score and hair raising effects will give you a scare you'll never forget. Expand
  6. Jun 14, 2015
    8
    On a small island off the coast of Costa Rica exists a most unusual animal preserve by the name of Jurassic Park. Operated by dinosaur loverOn a small island off the coast of Costa Rica exists a most unusual animal preserve by the name of Jurassic Park. Operated by dinosaur lover John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), Jurassic Park is the first of its kind. Its population of creatures includes brachiosaurs, dilophosaurs, tricerotops, velociraptors, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex, each of which has been cloned using the latest technology that takes DNA from dinosaur-biting prehistoric insects preserved in amber, and uses that DNA for the re-creation. When the consortium funding Jurassic Park become concerned that all is not as it should be, Hammond is forced to call in three experts: paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), his partner, paleo-botanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and the brilliant-but-cynical mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). When the trio arrives at Jurassic Park, they are astonished by what it represents. It doesn't take long, however, for astonishment to turn to horror.

    First of all, for anyone who's wondering, given the current state of technology, the situation postulated in Jurassic Park cannot happen. Not only do the necessary cloning techniques not exist, but the likelihood of retrieving dinosaur DNA from an amber-encased prehistoric mosquito is extremely small. While insect specimens have been unearthed, for there to be dinosaur DNA, circumstances demand that the mosquito had bitten a dinosaur shortly before its fatal imprisonment, and the chance of that is slim, at best.

    Nevertheless, the enjoyment of any movie is hardly predicated by a factual premise. The apparent realism of some of Crichton's pseudo-science imbues Jurassic Park with a grounding that is acceptable in our high-tech world. After all, to weave a dinosaur fable in this day and age, it helps if science, not fantasy, is the driving force.

    Of course, the special effects help immensely. They are so good, in fact, and the dinosaurs look so real, that I half expected to see "dinosaur trainer" during the closing credits. Instead, however, plaudits go to the creators of Jurassic Park's primary screen presences (all apologies to the actors). Stan Winston, definitely no stranger to this sort of film (his recent credits include Aliens and Terminator 2), is credited with the live-action creatures. Dennis Muren gets his due for the full motion monsters. Phil Tippett is the "dinosaur supervisor" and Michael Lantieri presides over the creature effects. All-in-all, the wizards at ILM have done an outstanding job, giving us by far the most impressive and believable monster movie of all time. Nothing compares.

    Unfortunately, the story isn't the equal of its execution. To begin with, Crichton's book, while filled with fascinating ideas and entertaining moments, doesn't hold together as a top-of-the-line adventure story. The ending is especially problematic, resulting in a long-winded denouement that drags to an anticlimactic conclusion. Despite numerous small changes and omissions, the movie Jurassic Park is very much faithful to its printed inspiration. Perhaps Michael Crichton's involvement in the screenplay has something to do with this.

    The biggest weakness of the novel is characterization, and the same flaw is fully evident in the screen adaptation. There are a few exceptions. The scenes between Alan and Ellie at the beginning are well-done, with the affection between them evident from the start (a change from the book, where the two were never a couple). Also noteworthy is a scene where Ellie confronts Hammond, who's eating a dish of ice cream in the midst of the crisis. Here, we get a sense of what's going on inside the old man's head. In the book, he's a mixed-up fanatic, but in the film, he's made into a sympathetic, albeit eccentric, figure. Interestingly, some transposition has gone on between Hammond's two grandchildren. Tim (Joseph Mazzello) is still the dinosaur-lover, but the screen's version of the boy is younger than his sister Alexis (Ariana Richards). The flip-flop in age creates a difference in their relationship and they come across as closer and less-adversarial on screen. Also, here it's Alexis, not Tim, who's the computer whiz.

    The plot is little more than a cleverly jumbled-together batch of formulas. As I mentioned before, Jurassic Park is, reduced to its most basic level, a monster movie. Thrown in for good measure is the human interest story - the growing relationship between self-confessed child-hater Grant and his two youthful charges - but this part of the film works least successfully.

    Nevertheless, I doubt that there are many who will go to Jurassic Park for its characters or story. Rightly so, crowds will flock to the theaters screening this movie so they can ooh and aah, jump in their seats, and root for the overmatched humans against the big, bad dinosaurs. In the end, Jurassic Park succeeds because it's good entertainment.
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  7. EricJ
    Jan 1, 2008
    0
    The most overrated movie of all time.

See all 120 User Reviews