User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 388 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 388
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  1. Jul 8, 2012
    10
    The way the story fit together was magnificent, the way how every intricate detail contributed to the story was amazing. A great movie I would recommend to anyone who likes this sort of movie.
  2. PlixikW.
    Jul 13, 2006
    10
    amazing movie. awesome directing by scorsese and awesome acting by dicaprio.
  3. Jul 4, 2011
    9
    Leonardo DiCaprio deserved an Oscar for this movie. his performance was excellent. this is one of my favorite movies by him and Scorsese. it was genius. the acting was great. and the storyline was once again good. near perfect movie.
  4. Feb 12, 2014
    9
    Really amazing interpretation by Di Caprio and the cast. Considering Hughes was a really complex character considering his severe OCD (possibly better detail than Nicholson in As Good as it Gets). The film itself is a little bit slow in some parts but overall really good quality
  5. Apr 6, 2012
    9
    What a movie! Engaging, interesting, refreshing, witty! A movie with different hues! It was long, but never boring. Di Caprio's performance was excellent! I can't find real flaws here...yet it is not a 10...but close! I would love to see more historical-even if not very accurate- movies that are delightful as to me, this was.
  6. Feb 11, 2014
    10
    Perhaps one of the more underrated films of Scorsese, The Aviator is an exhilarating look at the aviation pioneer with DiCaprio filling in his shoes with never seen before intensity and some grand set design.
  7. Nov 12, 2013
    10
    Howard Hughes had a dream for the future, and put everything he had on the line to build it. Scorsese has brought his dream to life, flaws, foibles, failures, and all in a stunningly dramatic masterwork. This is Scorsese at his most breathtaking and cinema at its best.
  8. Aug 24, 2014
    10
    Simply fascinating I bought this movie a few weeks ago and never got around to watching it I don't know why I waited so long this film is a masterpiece on its own right Leonardo DiCaprio has always managed to create a completely different and unique character each time he puts on a performance and it is never disappointing is always a spectacular show with beyond perfect execution oSimply fascinating I bought this movie a few weeks ago and never got around to watching it I don't know why I waited so long this film is a masterpiece on its own right Leonardo DiCaprio has always managed to create a completely different and unique character each time he puts on a performance and it is never disappointing is always a spectacular show with beyond perfect execution o haven't seen all of his films but kits been this way every single time and he did that with this film right here and every other character in this film was interesting and none of them felt like throw away characters they all had there place but they weren't the focus and shouldn't be the main character Howard Hughes was and is one of the best played characters to date it was amazing to watch his life played out in this movie and it was genuinely grieving to see how he lived with his fears and mentality I would recommend for anyone given the chance to see this movie. Expand
  9. annonymous
    Jan 6, 2006
    10
    Great movie slow in some parks but it was so good All of you who gave it a 0 2 or 3 have no life!!!!!
  10. Jul 11, 2014
    8
    This undoubtedly a very good film. Leonardo DiCaprio is phenomenal in the lead role and really embodies Howard Hughes. Throughout, it barely felt like acting, rather it felt like I was watching Howard Hughes in a documentary, which is truly amazing. John C. Reilly, Cate Blanchett, and Alan Alda also really stood out in what was a very large and talented cast for this one. Martin Scorsese'sThis undoubtedly a very good film. Leonardo DiCaprio is phenomenal in the lead role and really embodies Howard Hughes. Throughout, it barely felt like acting, rather it felt like I was watching Howard Hughes in a documentary, which is truly amazing. John C. Reilly, Cate Blanchett, and Alan Alda also really stood out in what was a very large and talented cast for this one. Martin Scorsese's direction is also fantastic as usual. Thanks to his direction, we get a very clear picture of what was a very troubled genius due to the great storytelling. Also thanks to his direction, the almost three hour run time feels more like an hour. The cinematography is also something to behold here, as the entire film is really beautifully put together. Sometimes with Scorsese, though I love his films, I can feel that little bit, "Well I liked that, but I thought it would be better," but here, there was no such feeling as this really lived up to the hype for me and more and really stands tall as a great biopic of one of the brightest men in recent times. Expand
  11. NeilS.
    Jan 17, 2005
    3
    Surely destined to be one of the most overrated movie of all time. Leo's performance was a straight lift from "Catch Me If You Can", but at least people acknowledged he was young in that film! He looks about 17 in this! His scenes with Katharine Hepburn look like he's dating his mother! The film would have been 100% better with an older and more soulful actor at the helm. Do not Surely destined to be one of the most overrated movie of all time. Leo's performance was a straight lift from "Catch Me If You Can", but at least people acknowledged he was young in that film! He looks about 17 in this! His scenes with Katharine Hepburn look like he's dating his mother! The film would have been 100% better with an older and more soulful actor at the helm. Do not waste your time with this boring and flat movie. This is like Glitter compared to Goodfellas! Expand
  12. Jesse
    Jan 29, 2005
    2
    Don't understand the hype? All of those nominations and there is absolutely nothing in this flick to capture the imagination. Way too long and self absorbing. Awful.
  13. AlyE.
    Jun 7, 2005
    0
    Bad. Bad. Bad. Overrated. Overdone. Over-dramatic. I wasn't impressed with DiCaprio, and certianly not with Blanchett. She over-acted Hepburn to the point where I hated everything that came out of her mouth. There was ZERO chemistry between DiCaprio and Blanchett (God, I hope it was better for Hughes and Hepburn). Whoever said it looked like he was with his mom was right on point. I Bad. Bad. Bad. Overrated. Overdone. Over-dramatic. I wasn't impressed with DiCaprio, and certianly not with Blanchett. She over-acted Hepburn to the point where I hated everything that came out of her mouth. There was ZERO chemistry between DiCaprio and Blanchett (God, I hope it was better for Hughes and Hepburn). Whoever said it looked like he was with his mom was right on point. I especially hated the way Scorcese tried to explain Hughes' compulsive disorder. What did it have to do with "the coloreds"???? I'm sure Hughes' life was much better than this movie depicts. Another Hollywood mistake... Too long. Too boring. A complete waste of time. Expand
  14. IlzeS.
    Aug 6, 2005
    1
    Movie was a big disappointment to me. So boring, and Di Caprio also was stupid. I like his movies, especially Titanic, but this was dumb. Yeah, its better than Million Dollar Baby,but make no sense. Hughes was ill. There is nothing more to say about this movie.
  15. Bruno
    Jan 15, 2005
    1
    Yuk! Just a boring mess.
  16. Jason
    Jan 28, 2005
    3
    Totally not worth seeing. one of the longest unengaging movies ever created. yes it did have good direction but the story and pace is extremely slow and non existent. i should have seen assult on precient 13 instead because they tried to show just as much action and suspense in this movie as precient, but the aviator sucked way harder!!! don't listen to the people who said it'sTotally not worth seeing. one of the longest unengaging movies ever created. yes it did have good direction but the story and pace is extremely slow and non existent. i should have seen assult on precient 13 instead because they tried to show just as much action and suspense in this movie as precient, but the aviator sucked way harder!!! don't listen to the people who said it's good, they must have thought alone in the dark and house of the dead were good too. Expand
  17. JSSmith
    Jan 30, 2005
    1
    Perhaps this film should get, say, a 3 for gorgeous photography, sets, costumes, etc., and one good airplane crash sequence. But I'm giving it a 1 to try to convey how bad it is. Completely lacking in conflict, filled with the kind of awful impersonations that are, really, one step from "Saturday Night Live," and devoid of any personal meaning except an ambition to knock off "Citizen Perhaps this film should get, say, a 3 for gorgeous photography, sets, costumes, etc., and one good airplane crash sequence. But I'm giving it a 1 to try to convey how bad it is. Completely lacking in conflict, filled with the kind of awful impersonations that are, really, one step from "Saturday Night Live," and devoid of any personal meaning except an ambition to knock off "Citizen Kane" and "Titanic" so that Scorese, too, can win an Oscar, this film is really boring. As Manny Farber, once characterized such films, this is really "white elephant cinema." Most critics are just too chicken to call out Scorses for his recent trilogy of badness. By contrast, as Scorsese grows worse and worse, Eastwood gets better and better. See Million Dollar Baby instead! Or if you've really got a Hughes thing, go dig up Tommy Lee Jones in "The Amazing Howard Hughes," directed by William A. Graham. That one on 1/50th the budget was twice as good. Expand
  18. BrianB
    Feb 1, 2005
    1
    Overhyped Hollywood junk. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Leonardo DiCaprio playing Howard Hughes. Kate Blanchett's attempt at portraying Katherine Hepburn is too forced and fails to capture any of Hepburn's warmth and grace. They are both utterly unconvincing. This film is the opposite of Hotel Rwanda; the Academy should be ashamed of giving such cudos to this self-absorbed exercise in Overhyped Hollywood junk. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Leonardo DiCaprio playing Howard Hughes. Kate Blanchett's attempt at portraying Katherine Hepburn is too forced and fails to capture any of Hepburn's warmth and grace. They are both utterly unconvincing. This film is the opposite of Hotel Rwanda; the Academy should be ashamed of giving such cudos to this self-absorbed exercise in Vegas-style impersonation while largely overlooking an important, powerful, and well-crafted movie like Rwanda. Finally, Scorcese throws everything but the kitchen sink at us; effects should be used for effect. Too much budget to work with perhaps? Take my advice: don't bother with this one! Expand
  19. ClareD.
    Feb 21, 2005
    2
    Boring. with a capital B. i thought it tried way too hard in terms of video effects, like in the golf scene with howard and katharine, among others. acting was okay, it didnt work to keep me interested, very tempted to walk out, and to top it off, the movie was so long i missed my train and couldnt get home!
  20. Chuck
    Feb 8, 2005
    0
    Embarrasingly bad mess. What is the Academy and the critics smoking?
  21. Chris
    Mar 5, 2005
    1
    Martin scorsesi is so over rated.
  22. TylerN.
    Apr 16, 2005
    3
    A very lackluster film. Once again the critics went for the artsy yet boring movie. It was very choppy and has little in the lines of character developement. In the aftermath, you are left wondering why the hell anyone would give a damn about the main character. Well acted, but dull. Plain and simple. Oh, and its al little too long also.
  23. [Anonymous]
    Jun 13, 2005
    0
    A hollow shell of a movie. Lacks any insight into Hughes aside from his illness.
  24. richardc.
    Jun 4, 2005
    1
    Only watch this film if you don't have anything more exciting to do; like watching paint dry. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
  25. mygga.
    Aug 19, 2005
    0
    Flatliner.
  26. JasonB.
    Jun 30, 2007
    0
    I'm here to expose the good people at netflix as a bunch of charlatans, for the movie I saw last night delivered by these good people apparently bore no resemblance whatsoever to the film the above and below appeared to be gushing over. The film netfix sent to me was a meandering, overwrought pile of self-indulgent arse. How can a film made about an airplane test pilot millionaire I'm here to expose the good people at netflix as a bunch of charlatans, for the movie I saw last night delivered by these good people apparently bore no resemblance whatsoever to the film the above and below appeared to be gushing over. The film netfix sent to me was a meandering, overwrought pile of self-indulgent arse. How can a film made about an airplane test pilot millionaire who slept with most of the best looking people in Hollywood turn out to be so dull? This my friends is a truly mystifying. I guess part of the blame must be leveled on that dufus Decraprio, I Expand
  27. GigiM.
    Apr 24, 2008
    3
    It looks great, but that's it. Tedious and overrated. DiCaprio is horribly miscast; his Howard Hughes comes off like an arrogant teenager. Cate Blanchett, always good, reaffirmed my dislike of Katherine Hepburn. Not worth the time investment. Watch "GoodFellas" again instead to see what Scorsese is capable of.
  28. TyS
    Feb 16, 2005
    3
    A gigantic over pompous mess covering a overtly boring subject matter. Not Academy material at all.
  29. michaelb.
    Nov 27, 2005
    2
    Terrible movie. Horribly edited. Casting DiCrapio for this part was a wrong decission, he looks too young, too clueless. The only redeeming quality of the whole film is the actress that plays Katherine Hepburn. That's a phenomenal rendering of her. That I enjoyed. Otherwise I would wish I had never seen it at all.
  30. Jan 18, 2011
    6
    I am not quite sure why this film didn't resonate with me. Technically perfect, amazing sets and costumes, great cast, but it just wasn't what everyone told me it would be. I guess I was waiting for that POW to knock me off my feet and it never came around. I really don't have any complaints about this movie (other than it was pretty long) just that it didn't really catch my attention. II am not quite sure why this film didn't resonate with me. Technically perfect, amazing sets and costumes, great cast, but it just wasn't what everyone told me it would be. I guess I was waiting for that POW to knock me off my feet and it never came around. I really don't have any complaints about this movie (other than it was pretty long) just that it didn't really catch my attention. I will say however Leonardo DiCaprio's performance was Oscar worthy, not sure why he is overlooked by some. Though The Aviator didn't really do much for me that shouldn't turn anyone off from seeing it as I am sure others will be much more impressed than I. Expand
  31. Aug 25, 2014
    8
    The great detail and enormity of The Aviator is astonishing. Leonardo DiCaprio's portrayal of the billionaire and mad-man is unmatched. Martin Scorsese will instantly engage you, and you'll remember this one.
  32. Sep 2, 2012
    4
    The Aviator is a very boring film that is stretched to the end in too many parts. Leo is not at his best when he puts on a phony accent, in which i can't take him seriously. The art direction was nice though.
  33. Feb 21, 2014
    8
    Great story, great actors, great director. Not much anything else to say except that the movie is pretty long, if you have no problems with that, go watch it!
  34. Nov 7, 2012
    8
    The Aviator contains moments of greatness. It also contains some boring stretches, but make no mistake, the greatness is not overshadowed. Some key scenes in this film make it unmissable.
  35. Jan 7, 2014
    8
    Scorsese matém uma boa forma depois de Gangues de Nova York, O Aviador sem sombras de dúvida se mostrou ser um bom filme, porém não um dos melhores mais está entre.
  36. Jun 8, 2013
    8
    Cate Blanchett is stunning and the cinematography is gorgeous. I strongly dislike Leonardo DiCaprio, though he's okay here; I think he's a highly overrated actor and so I find most of his performances incredibly annoying. With that in mind, I really liked him in The Aviator. This is his movie and he carries the film well. He works well with Scorsese and this film is proof of that.
  37. Sep 22, 2013
    7
    Although a little long, Aviator is an okay attempt at what Scorcese sought out to do. The movie is very slow at times, but nevertheless a powerful film. The performances are there, and DiCaprio as Howard Hughes is mesmerizingly good.
  38. Nov 13, 2013
    7
    The Aviator flies.
    With the duo of Scorsese and Di-caprio, The Aviator takes a solid script and brings it to life. Amazing performances and a well paced story makes it take-off.
  39. May 18, 2014
    8
    This is one of Scorsese and DiCaprio's most underrated, DiCaprio is just so astonishing as Howard Hughes in a well studied portrayal, Cate Blanchett like always gives an amazing performance as Katharine Hepburn. Do not care about its 170 min length it's very good
  40. SteveM.
    Jan 3, 2005
    0
    Boring, lame, and stupid. DeCaprio sucks, just like this movie. Don't believe the reviews, unless you want to be screwed by Hollywood.
  41. CharlesM.
    Jan 1, 2005
    8
    Although a little too long, very entertaining. DeCaprio and Cake Blanchette are excellent, as is the rest of the cast.
  42. EdgarV.
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    Excelentes actuaciones de todo el elenco, es especial de DiCaprio y de Cate Blanchett. Espero que Scorsese por fin le entreguen el Oscar. En esta oportunidad hace un magnifico trabajo en un a gran super produccion. Si no se lo otorgan por su magnifico trabajo en esta pelicula, por lo menos deberian pensar en el conjunto de su obra. Quizas sea la ultima oportunidad para premiarlo.
  43. KenG.
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    One of the best films of the year...a fascinating look at the early age of aviation and Hollywood with a dashing, doomed, OCD afflicted Howard Hughes as our guide. This is one of Scorsese's best, and just wait till you see Cate Blanchett resurrecting Kate Hepburn!
  44. BayC.
    Feb 21, 2005
    4
    Boring & couldn't wait for it to be over. Di caprio needs to spend a buck two fifty for a voice coach. otherwise, he'll always be a pipsqueak.
  45. M.A.Moran
    Feb 2, 2005
    8
    Leonardo DiCaprio is so amazing in the role, I wonder how he played the part so well without actually losing his mind. The film totally humanizes Howard Hughes and tells a compelling story. Kudos to Scorsese, Alda and Blanchett as well.
  46. tosh&vera
    Feb 3, 2005
    4
    Oh God! this was the longest movie ever! What was it? five hours or what? the music was driving us crazy all the time and the whole sound effects were just terrible!The aviation stunts were fine and the acting was good, especially Dicaprio's and this are the only reasons we give 4 points. don't really understand how it desrved 11 nominations for the Oscars....
  47. BraulioS.
    Apr 29, 2005
    10
    The Film is E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T !!! The Best! Just Thi film is PERFECT!!
  48. ChrisR.
    May 7, 2005
    8
    The Aviator stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric Howard Hughes. The film focuses primarily on a 20 year span in Hughes' life (from approximately 1927 to approximately 1947), displaying his knack for coming up with ideas for "the wave of the future" in the aviation and motion picture industries while illustrating his obsessive/compulsive behavior and fanaticism for cleanliness. He The Aviator stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric Howard Hughes. The film focuses primarily on a 20 year span in Hughes' life (from approximately 1927 to approximately 1947), displaying his knack for coming up with ideas for "the wave of the future" in the aviation and motion picture industries while illustrating his obsessive/compulsive behavior and fanaticism for cleanliness. He was both a genius and self-absorbed/self-destructive fool. DiCaprio does a fine job portraying Hughes. The film is nearly 3 hours long but I was entertained the whole time and at no time did the movie seem to drag. Indeed, the airplane crashes were quite exhilarating. I give it a 8.65. Expand
  49. MikeG
    Jan 12, 2005
    10
    It's not a perfect biography, but it is a perfect film. Scorcese's vision of Hughes' life is perfectly captured in a film that almost never feels long. But the gem here is DiCaprio, who becomes Howard Hughes for 166 minutes. Leo captures both the ambition and the mania of the eccentric recluse without ever seeming like a soap opera character or a caricature. The movie is an It's not a perfect biography, but it is a perfect film. Scorcese's vision of Hughes' life is perfectly captured in a film that almost never feels long. But the gem here is DiCaprio, who becomes Howard Hughes for 166 minutes. Leo captures both the ambition and the mania of the eccentric recluse without ever seeming like a soap opera character or a caricature. The movie is an homage to the grand epics of the Hollywood of old, and is perfect in that regard. Just don't go in expecting 100% accuracy. Howard Hughes was an enigma, and the movie presents him as just that. A soaring, beautiful film. Expand
  50. DanielR.
    Jan 17, 2005
    7
    Interesting insofar as parts of Hughes' life are depicted with high production values. The episodes depicting his obsessive compulsive disorder got repetitive and, unless it was intentional, the tone of the movie became increasingly empty - as did Hughes' life.
  51. RobertL.
    Jan 2, 2005
    9
    My friends and wife dragged me to this ovie on New Year's Eve. I didn't want to go becuase I thought it would be lonmg and boring. It turned out to be one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. And it moved so well that I never realized the almost three hour long movie was over whne it ended.
  52. AWelles
    Jan 27, 2005
    6
    Interminably long. Hollywood material was hollow and not believable, most performances overblown caricatures, music way overblown. Aviation aspects were interesting but covered too superficially.
  53. SusanM.
    Jan 31, 2005
    9
    I am surprised to see what low ratings this movie is getting...I really, really enjoyed it, I thought it was very engaging and the acting was just terrific! It's a long movie but I didn't even notice. I say go see it!
  54. Cdineen
    Jan 3, 2005
    3
    This is a terrible movie.
  55. BillT.
    Jan 6, 2005
    7
    Pros: Much more entertaining than I anticipated, with excellent and compelling performances from Leo and Cate Blanchett. Cons: About an hour too long, with no focus for the last hour. Kate Beckinsale was not at all interesting as Ava Gardner.
  56. WinnieS.
    Jan 9, 2005
    9
    I find the criticism of the latter part of this film confounding. While the first half is certainly exhilirating, the second half reveals even more about the man and is just as compelling. The sparring during the congressional hearings was just as engaging as Hughes' early endeavors -- and even more remarkable given his preceding decline into debilitating mental illness. Overall, the I find the criticism of the latter part of this film confounding. While the first half is certainly exhilirating, the second half reveals even more about the man and is just as compelling. The sparring during the congressional hearings was just as engaging as Hughes' early endeavors -- and even more remarkable given his preceding decline into debilitating mental illness. Overall, the movie captures Hughes' genius, incredible ability to overcome his declining mental state, and passion for life in an entrtaining, enlightening manner. Di Captio gives his finest performance yet and was the perfect choice for the role. Blanchett is remarkable (as always) as Hepburn. John C. Reilly and Alec Baldwin are also very good. This one is definitely worth seeing on the big screen and then adding to the library when it's released on DVD. (Can't wait for the extras!) Expand
  57. Dublin
    Feb 10, 2005
    4
    Boring and drawn out ad nauseum. Not worthy of so many nominations.
  58. Susan
    Feb 1, 2005
    9
    Really great movie. It has its flaws, but they are indeed very minor. As for the length of the film, I can only say that the three hours "flew" by.
  59. FabienF.
    Feb 21, 2005
    10
    Most entertaining hollywood movie i have seen in a long time! DiCaprio has captured the spirit of Hughes, shame it only covered a relatively short period of his life ... marty, how about The Avaitor II?
  60. MarioS.
    Feb 4, 2005
    9
    The remaining star I kept for myself because I felt the ending somewhat ... incomplete. A Great movie!
  61. MadeleneS.
    Feb 4, 2005
    10
    Great movie! Enjoyed every minute of it!
  62. ChrisQ
    Apr 24, 2005
    8
    This movie managed to capture Howard Hughes most admirably, The acting was impressive and the graphics were ( as expected of Scorsese) spectacular. Despite this it was slightly too long.
  63. SalmanH.
    Jun 1, 2005
    10
    Very entertaining movie, caprio at its best.
  64. Tonydannie
    Jun 18, 2005
    10
    The Best movie of the year it was released! Scorsese Has once again created a masterpiece. Although it is nearly three hours long, the time just flew.I was taken with all the performences! Everytime Lonardo DeCaprio And Allan Alda were on screen together I was blown away! this guys looked like they truly hated each other. The visuals are breathtaking and The Dialogue is proper for the The Best movie of the year it was released! Scorsese Has once again created a masterpiece. Although it is nearly three hours long, the time just flew.I was taken with all the performences! Everytime Lonardo DeCaprio And Allan Alda were on screen together I was blown away! this guys looked like they truly hated each other. The visuals are breathtaking and The Dialogue is proper for the time it was depicting. Howard Shores music is simple yet brilliant. There is one flaw and thats the editing. How it got the Oscar for editing is beyond me. But thats one flaw i can overlook. Expand
  65. gregj.
    Jun 9, 2005
    9
    I wish US audiences weren't so quick to discount any film over 2 hours that even slightly deviates from the cookie cutter crap that Hollywood churns out. Granted, this film is far from perfect but it is extremely well acted/directed and deserves a second viewing because it does contain much to ponder. Good job, Marty. Loved it!
  66. DaveF
    Jul 21, 2005
    9
    Fascinating, engrossing and original. I feared it would be another empty, stiff, Oscar-fodder biopic. It is in fact a scathingly real movie, a deeply personal account of a brilliant and tormented engineer, playboy, producer, and OCD sufferer. Don't get me wrong, the movie is formal in tone and lush with period detail--but this extravagance empowers the movie instead of overpowering Fascinating, engrossing and original. I feared it would be another empty, stiff, Oscar-fodder biopic. It is in fact a scathingly real movie, a deeply personal account of a brilliant and tormented engineer, playboy, producer, and OCD sufferer. Don't get me wrong, the movie is formal in tone and lush with period detail--but this extravagance empowers the movie instead of overpowering it. The pivotal crash scene was particularly fantastic. Aviator is not unlike the Spruce Goose--with such long, lumbering, big-budget bulk who would've thought it could fly? Expand
  67. PeterB.
    Feb 23, 2006
    9
    This movie was very well-done and well-casted. Dicaprio was perfect as the eccentric, brilliant, odd-ball, Howard Hughes. Parts of the movie were positively creepy, and other scenes were very humorous. Overall a very effective movie.
  68. RodneyB.
    Dec 22, 2004
    2
    The one surprising bright spot in this movie was Leonardo DiCaprio. The rest of it was horrendous. This movie is all on Martin Scorcese. It was too long, too unfocused, too slow, lacking in a cohesive story, and almost devoid of any real understanding of what drove Hughes' genius and insanity. Terrible, terrible movie. Poor Leo.
  69. SusanT.
    Dec 23, 2004
    0
    Sad to see a good actor in such a long boring film.
  70. LauraR.
    Dec 25, 2004
    8
    I'll admit that this is the film I had been anticipating more than any other this year, and I generally was not disappointed at all. The acting is generally spot on, with only a few missteps. Leonardo DiCaprio more fully realizes the promise that we saw in him in those days before Titanic. You believe in him as Hughes, and his boyish face works well with the devil-may-care spending I'll admit that this is the film I had been anticipating more than any other this year, and I generally was not disappointed at all. The acting is generally spot on, with only a few missteps. Leonardo DiCaprio more fully realizes the promise that we saw in him in those days before Titanic. You believe in him as Hughes, and his boyish face works well with the devil-may-care spending that Hughes engages in throughout and his fascination with pushing aviation forward and Jane Russell's cleavage higher. I was originally a bit skeptical of Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn. I wondered whether she would be convincing as one of the best known and loved actresses to grace the screen. But Blanchett was able to completely take over the character, and even though I was initially put off that she did not look quite enough like Hepburn, she thoroughly convinced me that she was Kate, although her portrayal twinged towards characature at times. Blanchett should now be charging towards the Academy Award that should have been hers with Elizabeth. Beckinsale is fine as Ava Gardner, but she never quite feels like she is playing that great icon as much as she is playing one random woman in Hughes's life. Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, and a very convincing Ian Holm also shine in their parts. The new Hollywood Jude Law code requiring Law to appear in at least half the films released this year continues, and his Errol Flynn effectively shows the disconnect that Hughes and Hepburn felt from Hollywood, and from many people in general, and helps to solidify the two as a pairing. Martin Scorsese continues his recent streak of films that are very good--nearly great--but somehow missing something. Starting with the filming of Hell's Angels is quite effective in setting up the arc of the coming years. The film builds with the addition of Hepburn, and you feel her absense in a weaker mid-section of the film. Hughes's crash brings the film back in strongly, however. This scene is best viewed in a theatre with a top sound system. Although I often feels bowled over by the sound system in many films, actually almost feeling the crash adds to your feeling of its calamity. The battle between Baldwin's PanAM and TWA is not always compelling, but the end battle in the Senate makes Hughes into a Capraesque hero. This perfectly sets up the flight of the "Spruce Goose"...you need to see the plane lift off the ground, you need Hughes to be the hero. The ending perfectly encapsulates the story of Howard Hughes--the great triumphs, the crippling maladies, the bombastic heights of his success that were fueled by and undone by his complex personality. Hughes almost becomes the Spruce Goose--a larger than life Hercules that dominated our attention, strove towards perfection, finally got off the ground--but ended up a laughing stock, with the flaws outweighing the strengths in the public consciousness. Scorses shows that Spruce Goose of a man, but wisely does not take us all the way through to his reclusive later years. He gives us just enough of a hint of what was to come, but lets us finally focus on why Hughes was so much more than a crazy hermit with too much money hoarded away. He lets Hughes become a Charles Foster Kane type, but only hinting at his fall was the right choice for this film. Sure, plenty is cut out of his story, and when one is aware of the life of Howard Hughes the story seems overly episodic and dramatized. But Scorsese is able to show us a man who was able to realise that great American Dream, who could become a major figure in aviation and Hollywood but ended up destroyed by his own demons. Expand
  71. BenjitheGreat
    Dec 26, 2004
    9
    Wow, this movie was incredible. The acting was great all around (particularly leo's performance) and each and every scene in the movie was engaging and wonderfully written. I will agree that the editing was a bit lacking and the film maybe ran on a bit too long. I would of also liked a blog at the end of the film summarizing the rest of Hughes life. Otherwise, this movie was perfect Wow, this movie was incredible. The acting was great all around (particularly leo's performance) and each and every scene in the movie was engaging and wonderfully written. I will agree that the editing was a bit lacking and the film maybe ran on a bit too long. I would of also liked a blog at the end of the film summarizing the rest of Hughes life. Otherwise, this movie was perfect to me; great job Scorsese and everyone involved. Expand
  72. KyleH
    Dec 29, 2004
    7
    Recommended, but not wholly successful. Mental disease as a plot device to be thrown out as the story calls for it. Beautifully shot with a great Hepburn (Blanchett), and well acted through-out. Better than Scorsese's last muddled epic "Gangs of New York", but far from his best.
  73. BarryR.
    Dec 3, 2004
    8
    "The Aviator" is the story of Howard Hughes' life covering the period of his life from the early 30's to approximately 1950. As with most biopics, the story of the life dictates the story on the screen so one can't argue with history or drama based upon it. Also, as with most biopics about interesting people, it is a learning experience that tells us much about the life and "The Aviator" is the story of Howard Hughes' life covering the period of his life from the early 30's to approximately 1950. As with most biopics, the story of the life dictates the story on the screen so one can't argue with history or drama based upon it. Also, as with most biopics about interesting people, it is a learning experience that tells us much about the life and times of the subject?in this case a unique, one of a kind, adventurer, movie producer, engineer, industrialist and, as the title indicates, aviator. Portrayed admirably by Leonardo Di Caprio with support from a who's who cast including Cate Blanchett (who does a Kathryn Hepburn characterization that is noteworthy), Kate Beckinsale, Alec Baldwin, Ian Holm and,yes, Alan Alda. All do their jobs well and bring to the screen very important persons in Hughes' life. The picture written by John Logan and directed by Martin Scorcese is long with some scenes extended beyond the comfort level but, all in all, a successful effort. The very criticism of its length speaks to its quality for although I was conscious of how long it was, I never had the feeling that "I couldn't wait for it to end". It does hold your interest and, considering its 2 and ½ hours duration, that is an accomplishment. Visually, too, the film deserves a lot of credit. It was dealing with a non-compromising individual and the scenes he creates, both in the movies he produced and in his own life, are shown beautifully on the screen. Kudos to cinemaphotographer Robert Richardson for a really good job. The film gets an 8.0 for being an interesting and informative film with fine creative performances at all levels of involvement. The movie will help you to realize that there was more to HH than just long hair, uncut finger nails and fetishes. He was quite a guy. Expand
  74. ChrisS.
    Jan 12, 2005
    7
    This film might very well get scorsese his elusive academy award but it's a far cry from what I would still consider his masterpiece - mean streets. don't get me wrong, the cinematography is plush, the story is pretty good, it's by all means a nice movie to take your date to. it's just not as outrageously awesome as some reviewers here might want you to think.
  75. JeffL.
    Jan 15, 2005
    10
    Dazzling, near-perfect biographical epic about the life of billionaire Howard Hughes, focusing on his years as an aviation pioneer and movie mogul in the thirties and forties. Leonardo DiCaprio recovers spectacularly from that dodgy Irish accent in Gangs of New York to give his best performance to date, showing us Hughes' progression from daring young pilot to gutsy but Dazzling, near-perfect biographical epic about the life of billionaire Howard Hughes, focusing on his years as an aviation pioneer and movie mogul in the thirties and forties. Leonardo DiCaprio recovers spectacularly from that dodgy Irish accent in Gangs of New York to give his best performance to date, showing us Hughes' progression from daring young pilot to gutsy but self-indulgent filmmaker (the subtitle "Hells Angels Year Three" makes an appearance) to airline tycoon haunted by congressional investigations, failed relationships, and the dark, self-consuming obsessions that could very charitably be labeled eccentricities (and which led to his bizarre, relusive later years). The cast is loaded to the brim with unforgettable supporting players (Alan Alda, Alec Baldwin, John C. Reilly, Ian Holm) and sharply-turned cameos (Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Gwen Stefani), but it is the luminous Cate Blanchett who is particularly captivating and touching as Katharine Hepburn, whose intelligence, athleticism, and spunk seemed to make her a perfect romantic match for Hughes. Martin Scorsese may be the greatest director working today, and this is his best film since GoodFellas; richly atmospheric, hugely entertaining (166 minutes has rarely flown by so quickly), and as grand a slice of Americana as you've seen in a movie theatre in years. Simply superb. Expand
  76. GaryL.
    Jan 15, 2005
    9
    The Aviator is thrilling, even moving entertainment. I find it amusing but also scary that anyone goes to the movies expecting to see reality portrayed on the silver screen. The Aviator is not a documentary and doesn't pretend to be. Anyone who expects to see the full story and truth of Howard Hughes (or any subject) in a movie is wasting time and money. Read a book or watch PBS The Aviator is thrilling, even moving entertainment. I find it amusing but also scary that anyone goes to the movies expecting to see reality portrayed on the silver screen. The Aviator is not a documentary and doesn't pretend to be. Anyone who expects to see the full story and truth of Howard Hughes (or any subject) in a movie is wasting time and money. Read a book or watch PBS instead. That said, this movie does give an inkling of the person of Howard Hughes -- and more importantly for those interested -- provides encouragement to learn more about the subject from factual sources. That's all we can expect from the movies. And I say that positively . Expand
  77. LaurenS.
    Jan 17, 2005
    10
    Great movie. it was gripping the whole time. diCaprio is brilliant!
  78. StanC.
    Jan 17, 2005
    5
    A terrible script is made almost bearable by inspired acting and impressive special effects. Scorcese seems to have lost his bearings. By all accounts Howard Hughes lived an amazing life, but Scorcese's film is cliched, rambling, and bloated. Scorcese used to make films where he seemed to have a personal mission to tell the stories. After The Aviator I found myself wondering "What A terrible script is made almost bearable by inspired acting and impressive special effects. Scorcese seems to have lost his bearings. By all accounts Howard Hughes lived an amazing life, but Scorcese's film is cliched, rambling, and bloated. Scorcese used to make films where he seemed to have a personal mission to tell the stories. After The Aviator I found myself wondering "What was the point of that? You just wasted good acting, a lot of money and 3 hours of my time on a poor story." I wish he would return to directing something worthwhile. Expand
  79. MarcoC.
    Jan 19, 2005
    8
    Certainly Scorsese's best film since The Age of Innocence (a criminally underated movie by both critics and public alike), The Aviator is thoroughly entertaining. Di Caprio, though slightly too young looking, is suprisingly convincing as Howard Hughes and both Alan Alda and Alec Baldwin offer brilliant performances. The cinematography, production design and music are of the highest Certainly Scorsese's best film since The Age of Innocence (a criminally underated movie by both critics and public alike), The Aviator is thoroughly entertaining. Di Caprio, though slightly too young looking, is suprisingly convincing as Howard Hughes and both Alan Alda and Alec Baldwin offer brilliant performances. The cinematography, production design and music are of the highest order, however it is Scorsese's restless and sweeping direction, from a somewhat shallow screenplay, that makes this film such a thrilling excperience. Expand
  80. MarcD
    Jan 22, 2005
    8
    One of Scorses's better recent works. Not a bd flm, but it feels a little draggy. Another three hour long film which really didn't need the extra 15 mins or so.
  81. loganf.
    Jan 22, 2005
    10
    Great movie, leo should win a oscar.
  82. LuisB.
    Jan 26, 2005
    10
    Good film.
  83. RP
    Jan 27, 2005
    5
    This is an average Hollywood big budget movie. Why all the nominations? I don't get it. Story doesn't engage. Scorsese & DiCaprio have both done better work.
  84. ASadler
    Jan 29, 2005
    7
    Extremely fun to watch but hard to understand why Alan Alda (doing his Hawkeye best) is called out for best supporting actor. Cate Blanchett steals every scene.
  85. ClintM
    Jan 31, 2005
    7
    First, I think the hype around this movie was, in a small amount, overrated. I, personally, thought Finding Neverland was a better film. With that said though, The Aviator was a good movie with even better acting by the nominated cast: Alan Alda was very effective in his part (though I don't see how he snagged that nod for such a small role?), Cate Blanchett was wonderful as always. First, I think the hype around this movie was, in a small amount, overrated. I, personally, thought Finding Neverland was a better film. With that said though, The Aviator was a good movie with even better acting by the nominated cast: Alan Alda was very effective in his part (though I don't see how he snagged that nod for such a small role?), Cate Blanchett was wonderful as always. She's so elegant and poised and she brings much needed charisma and charm to her role as Katherine Hepburn; well deserving of her nomination. And then there's Leo, who is also very deserving of his nomination as the tortured Howard Hughes. Down to the tiniest detail of paranoia, Leo hits it spot on. Though it's a little longer than it needs to be, you'll easily get wrapped up in the fear of living, the glitz of Hollywood, and the joy of flying! A solid 7. Expand
  86. JaimeL
    Jan 5, 2005
    1
    It seems that no one is willing to admit what they feel in their gut: that Mr. Scorcese is, in truth, an overrated and miserably bad director. I'll never forget my first inkling that he was a joke: when he told Vanity Fair that Cameron Diaz was "brilliant" in Gangs of New York. Besides that, anyone who casts Leo DiCaprio in the role of a character over 13 years of age must be It seems that no one is willing to admit what they feel in their gut: that Mr. Scorcese is, in truth, an overrated and miserably bad director. I'll never forget my first inkling that he was a joke: when he told Vanity Fair that Cameron Diaz was "brilliant" in Gangs of New York. Besides that, anyone who casts Leo DiCaprio in the role of a character over 13 years of age must be completely insane. The Aviator is a self-absorbed attempt to rule the box office with poor vision, bad editing, a boring story, and a big, big budget. Expand
  87. MuntsaM.
    Jan 8, 2005
    10
    I enjoyed a lot with GANGS. I have been enjoying a lot with The Aviator. What about this critics? Sometimes I think they hate Scorsese and DiCaprio. WHY? DiCaprio becames step by step a very serious and good actor. Scorsese, I think is one of the best filmakers of the world.
  88. MarkB.
    Jan 9, 2005
    9
    Some reviewers and moviegoers have proclaimed this account of aircraft innovator/tycoon Howard Hughes' first two decades in Hollywood to be Martin Scorsese's most upbeat, lighthearted movie since Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore in 1974. Don't you believe it! What IS true, however, is that Martyphiles have finally found their Holy Grail--this is unequivocally his best Some reviewers and moviegoers have proclaimed this account of aircraft innovator/tycoon Howard Hughes' first two decades in Hollywood to be Martin Scorsese's most upbeat, lighthearted movie since Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore in 1974. Don't you believe it! What IS true, however, is that Martyphiles have finally found their Holy Grail--this is unequivocally his best film since 1990's GoodFellas...and a marked improvement over his last at-bat, Gangs of New York, an extemely well-mounted and staged but overstuffed would-be epic that inflated Herbert Asbury's gritty 1928 docunovel to unnecessarily gargantuan proportions. Scorsese's direction of The Aviator is a lot more "invisible", and hence more effective--which is not to say that this isn't a real treat visually. The recreation of 1920s, 30s and 40s Hollywood is wonderfully detailed; I loved the way the cinematography reflected and commented on the way color was used in film's early days and changed with time: from the somewhat unnatural, two-strip look of such early Technicolor efforts as 1935's Becky Sharp to the deep, rich, warmer hues of the color films of the late 1940s. Terrific performances abound here, with special congratulations to Cate Blanchett, who gives us a delightfully feisty, clever and charming Katharine Hepburn, occasionally and purposefully teetering on the edge of caricature but never plunging in. Speaking of plunging, Hughes' defense of his, uh, spotlighting of Jane Russell's two biggest attributes in his notorious 1943 western The Outlaw before the censor board, complete with exhibits, is not only hilarious but insightful...laying the groundwork of Hughes' obsession with big-breasted women which would only be topped by Russ Meyer's in the late 50s (and may be an unstated reason why his affair with Hepburn didn't last!) And a disastrously unsuccessful experimental flight attempt on one of Hughes' pioneering planes is an uncommonly effective, terrifying action scene, providing what was completely missing from the wreckage in The Day After Tomorrow and Flight of the Phoenix...a real sense of danger. Remember, though, that in addition to all the richly amusing and entertaining Old Hollywood and Transitional Hollywood vignettes that The Aviator provides, this is first and foremost, from the first shot to the last, a disturbing, haunting account of Hughes' famous obsession with cleanliness and sanitation, which begins as an amusing eccentricity but proceeds to cost him his happiness, sanity and ability to function. It may be peculiar to make this analogy, but The Aviator frequently reminded me of the brilliant but depressing horror films of David Cronenberg (particularly The Fly, but really all of them) in which parasitic forces consume and destroy the protagonist from the inside out. One aspect of The Aviator that everyone can agree on, however, is Leonardo DiCaprio's spectacular performance as Hughes; the star's baby face and general boyishness served him well in James Cameron's Titanic but somewhat less so in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can and the aforementioned Gangs of New York. Aging over 20 years and covering every possible emotion in the spectrum, DiCaprio does his greatest and most mature work ever. The boy has finally become a man. Expand
  89. KarenW.
    Feb 10, 2005
    5
    Another darling of the critics that's way overrated. Its OK, many scenes are just way too long. DiCapprio is inadequate. Cate Blanchet's Katherine Hepburn is the best thing about the movie. The movie taught you facts about Howard Hughes, but it makes no emotional connection with the audience what so ever.
  90. Tim
    Feb 11, 2005
    7
    It's gloriously entertaining, but at the same time, it kind of just exists. There's no central theme to hold it all together, and it suffers as a result.
  91. Catherine
    Feb 17, 2005
    6
    I'm sorry, but what a snooze. The first interesting thing happens two hours into the film, when he crashes into the Wilshire Country Club. Didn't know that happened and it was gorgeously and imaginatively shot. The rest was boring, boring, boring.
  92. CaptainCraig
    Feb 18, 2005
    9
    A masterful work by all concerned. DeCaprio may have been just a bit young for the part, but as usual, turned in a great performance. Left me wanting more!
  93. Jensen
    Feb 3, 2005
    9
    Fantastic movie, well shot, well acted, and fun to watch. I honestly have trouble understanding how someone could give this less than a 7. If you have the attention span of, say, a 5 year old the movie may not be for you. If you're interested in a well done film that has much to offer, check out The Aviator. It deserves the nominations it recieved.
  94. DevinB.
    Mar 16, 2005
    10
    Extraordinarily entertaining. I generally am not a huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio's work, but he's in top form here, his acting is magnificent in all ways. One totally buys his descent into madness, so much so that I shrank in my seat from being so disturbed at the portrayal. Martin Scorcese is, as usual, a genius. The use of color and movement is wildly creative throughout, and Extraordinarily entertaining. I generally am not a huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio's work, but he's in top form here, his acting is magnificent in all ways. One totally buys his descent into madness, so much so that I shrank in my seat from being so disturbed at the portrayal. Martin Scorcese is, as usual, a genius. The use of color and movement is wildly creative throughout, and there's not a dull moment in the film. I'm absolutely baffled by those claiming the film was "boring." I was enraptured from minute one to the very end, I mourn that the American attention span has dipped so low. Expand
  95. JonathanS.
    Mar 19, 2005
    5
    Good solid acting by all players, some fantastic "cameo" roles by well-known faces, and extraordinairy visuals work. The problem? The movie was boring and drawn-out as heck. Fell asleep twice and couldn't give a darn about the characters or the story for that matter one way or another.
  96. MattM
    Mar 22, 2005
    7
    Scorsese delivers a visually sumptuous if occasionally flat biopic carried along by a brilliant Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes. Cate Blanchett is exquisite in her richly deserved Oscar-winning portrayal of Katharine Hepburn, and the rest of the cast (save for a dreadfully bland Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner) is in top form. Lengthy and inflated at times, the film is still vastly Scorsese delivers a visually sumptuous if occasionally flat biopic carried along by a brilliant Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes. Cate Blanchett is exquisite in her richly deserved Oscar-winning portrayal of Katharine Hepburn, and the rest of the cast (save for a dreadfully bland Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner) is in top form. Lengthy and inflated at times, the film is still vastly entertaining on a whole, if somewhat overrated. Expand
  97. GarethC.
    May 22, 2005
    9
    Very good biopic. Informative and entertaining at the same time. Some great performances from great actors. Wasn't sure that Leonardo had the capacity to pull this one off, but he was outstanding. A very mature performance. You've got to see this one. It's very long, but worth the time!
  98. TonyB.
    May 25, 2005
    6
    This was far too long for its own good and certainly not worth all the hype it received, but thanks to some fine acting, excellent cinematography, generally good editing and a great production design, it was well worth the price of admission. However, I couldn't for a minute accept Leonardo DeCaprio as Howard Hughes. He's a good actor when he is not out of his depth as he was here.
  99. Chrystal
    Jun 15, 2005
    7
    The movie was great at first then it got kind of boring. Leonardo DiCaprio was the only thing that kept me watching. Great effects and overall I think it was good but not great.
  100. Mik
    Jun 4, 2005
    7
    Overlong, underwritten by the overrated John Logan, and possessing a screenplay that is practically snakebitten by cliches and bland dialogue. Call it Martin's miracle, because he and his crew elevate the flat, disorganized script to high art through kinetic camerawork and wonderful editing. The film is literally carried by a brilliant performance by DiCaprio, as well as great Overlong, underwritten by the overrated John Logan, and possessing a screenplay that is practically snakebitten by cliches and bland dialogue. Call it Martin's miracle, because he and his crew elevate the flat, disorganized script to high art through kinetic camerawork and wonderful editing. The film is literally carried by a brilliant performance by DiCaprio, as well as great supporting performances from Alan Alda and a limited Alec Baldwin. Cate and Kate both offer interesting but ultimately one-dimensional supporting performances. Expand
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    100
    An enormously entertaining slice of biographical drama, The Aviator flies like one of Howard Hughes' record-setting speed airplanes.
  2. Scorsese has crafted a rip-roaringly gorgeous-looking, beautifully acted biographical epic. But while firing on all cylinders, there's something oddly distancing about the picture.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    DiCaprio is astonishing.