The Aviator

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 524 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 524

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User Reviews

  1. JohnC.
    Jun 5, 2005
    9
    Cate Blanchett blew me away. DiCaprio and, surprise, Alan Alda were excellent. Fascinating.
  2. Shayla
    Jul 1, 2005
    9
    Very interesting look at the life of the famous Howard Hughes. This movie was well cast. The actors did a fabulous job, Scorsese was brilliant, and the costumes did the piece proud. This was a great movie.
  3. NickiC.
    Jul 16, 2005
    5
    Long-winded and not that interesting. was very disappointed after all the big reviews.
  4. ChadS.
    May 11, 2007
    8
    A LLLLOOONNNGGG movie, and it manages to keep your attention the entire way. Leonardo and the rest of the cast do a great job, and Scorsese's directing is unmatched, other than Spielsberg. The story, character development, and overall film is top notch. I would recommend this to anyone interested.
  5. masoudm.
    Nov 12, 2008
    7
    I agree with those who say dicaprio was not the best choice for playing howard hughes' role, but this doesn't mean he is a bad actor.I have seen people with these kinds of mental diseas (i guess it was germ phobia ), and he depicted it so well that you thought he was suffering from it right in front of your eyes. But the problem is leo's face. He still looks like a teenager I agree with those who say dicaprio was not the best choice for playing howard hughes' role, but this doesn't mean he is a bad actor.I have seen people with these kinds of mental diseas (i guess it was germ phobia ), and he depicted it so well that you thought he was suffering from it right in front of your eyes. But the problem is leo's face. He still looks like a teenager and when he plays a grown up person's role you just can't accept it. But as always martin scorsese's direction was awesome and although the movies runtime is nearly 3 hours but you never get bored. The other actors also were good, specially alec baldwin. I have seen it 3 or 4 times and I'm going to watch it in the future. Expand
  6. SauloC.
    Dec 11, 2004
    9
    The Big Marty, The Wonderful Leo, The Great History, Very Good Movie.
  7. WayneW.
    Dec 11, 2004
    5
    Some good performances but the movie lacks focus and direction. It's really just an episodic amalgam of scenes about Howard Hughes. But it looks at the character from the outside in; we never get a sense of what makes him tick. It fails to answer the classic question of: what does he want, who's stopping him, and how's he going to get it.
  8. JasonO.
    Dec 13, 2004
    6
    I'm giving it a 6 because a self absorbed twerp like Dicaprio is not qualified to wash Howard Hughes's underwear, much less portray him. Scorsese did an excellent job building the last era of American history when great things were possible. Walk out of this movie without concluding that America is in decline, I dare you.
  9. PhilT.
    Dec 16, 2004
    8
    Great film but maybe a little too long. And I would have liked to see more of Hughes' life, like his Casino days and the end of his life
  10. KathyW.
    Dec 20, 2004
    2
    This movie is a hollow exercise without the help of an editor. After reading all the reviews i've got to say these are 3 hours of your life you'll never get back. This seems like a big budget made for tv movie with skin deep characterizations and storyline.
  11. CrystalT.
    Dec 25, 2004
    0
    This is another attempt of hollywood and the critics trying force a over long,well over rated movie on the public.
  12. SamJ.
    Dec 26, 2004
    10
    I just read the comments of Kathy, Rodney, and Susan........."boring, skin deep-charactorizations, etc." Have they watched the same film as me. This is the kind of moronic "user criticism" that has these morons enjoying trash like "Meet the Fockers." "Aviator" soars! The favorite to win the Best Picture Oscar!
  13. AndrewS.
    Dec 26, 2004
    10
    The best biography of all-time! Stupendous filmaking!
  14. MaxA.
    Dec 26, 2004
    10
    Sounds like Rodney needs to go back to school and obtain something further than a fourth grade education. To say this film is unfocused is hogwash that can be said only by a person who is more interested in seeing films like Lord or the Rings or Gladiator than a film that is done very well. This is Scorsese's best work in a long while and it's not surprising that Leonardo is the Sounds like Rodney needs to go back to school and obtain something further than a fourth grade education. To say this film is unfocused is hogwash that can be said only by a person who is more interested in seeing films like Lord or the Rings or Gladiator than a film that is done very well. This is Scorsese's best work in a long while and it's not surprising that Leonardo is the frontrunner for Best Actor. Expand
  15. JuanS.
    Dec 29, 2004
    10
    This is one of the best movies i have ever seen. i was not expecting it to be as incredible as it is. even though scorsese is my favorite director, i did not connect with his last 2 films like i usually do. but with this film it was back to heaven. every single frame, every camera movement, the acting, the beautiful,sumptous photograhphy. one word: intoxicating.
  16. Fantasy
    Dec 29, 2004
    3
    The Aviator was on my must see list. After watching, I found it terribly slow and somewhat boring despite the fact that Howard Hughes life was absolutely fascinating. Leornardo acted well even though Hughes himself was very handsome and about 6 foot 5 inches tall. Despite he did not look like him LD did give a good performance. Hughes was a troubled genius who was obscessed with The Aviator was on my must see list. After watching, I found it terribly slow and somewhat boring despite the fact that Howard Hughes life was absolutely fascinating. Leornardo acted well even though Hughes himself was very handsome and about 6 foot 5 inches tall. Despite he did not look like him LD did give a good performance. Hughes was a troubled genius who was obscessed with compulsions on just about anything. There were drawn out scenes that were completely unnecessary and should have found their way to the cutting room floor. Overall, this movie is not what it could have been and thus a huge disappointment. It will not prove to be OSCAR material except for perhaps some bit awards. Avoid. Expand
  17. MartinN.
    Dec 6, 2004
    9
    Pretty fantastic. Leo's surprisingly great. Cate Blanchett and Kate Beckinsale too.
  18. WalkerR.
    Jan 11, 2005
    8
    Really enjoyed DiCaprio"s performance. The movie moves along at a good pace, and Scorsese nails it with his classic style. Don't let people tell you it's to long.
  19. prochecy
    Jan 12, 2005
    6
    What makes me laugh is that this is sopposed to be a documentary on howard hughes and this is the funny part. when it ends its cuts at least 20 years of his life we saw nothing about his helicopters or the germans inventing the first `jet engine`the acting was good and the story good but as a documentary its not his whole life so thats what brought it down.
  20. VinceH.
    Jan 16, 2005
    10
    One of the most well-made and entertaining movies of 2004. After the artistically ambitious, but sopiistic and overall very dissapointing GONY, Scorsese has made his best pure movie since "Casino" (altough I love Kundun and Bringing out the Dead). One of the things that has plagued Scorsese's weakest movies is the script. Here's a fact: Scorsese has never badly directed a movie. One of the most well-made and entertaining movies of 2004. After the artistically ambitious, but sopiistic and overall very dissapointing GONY, Scorsese has made his best pure movie since "Casino" (altough I love Kundun and Bringing out the Dead). One of the things that has plagued Scorsese's weakest movies is the script. Here's a fact: Scorsese has never badly directed a movie. His filmmaking has been inspired, inventive, and cinematic for over 30 years straight, but since he seems to take scripts as they come, he gets stuck with subpar material. The script for GONY was a muddled, too-many-hands-stirring-the-pot mess, but now John Logan has written his best screenplay yet and one of the best biopic scripts ever. The way he balances the fantastic with the human detail is superb, and his dialogue is old-fashioned but also realistic. Scorsese seems to have put down his "I-must-be-an-auteur" crown and signed on purey to be a metteur-en-scene here. As a well-crafted, beautifully shot and executed entertainmentthis film recalls the works of great craftsmen of Old Hollywood like Lewis Milestone, WIlliam Wellman, John Huston, Joeseph Manciewiecz, and Frank Borzage. Scorsese uses lenses, camera movements, compositional framing, staging, and film color of movies from the time period (the 30's mostly) without letting the showy techniques rival the story. It's obvious that, unlike GONY, Scorsese has enough faith and passion in the script to let the story tell itself and it's this confidence and chutzpah that makes "The Aviator" such a thrill. The last scene of the film is unforgettable and even rivals the last shots or "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas". Expand
  21. LiamS.
    Jan 18, 2005
    6
    This movie lacked a critical ingredient to good filmmaking...an editor, and a credible ending. Neither of these important elements were present in this film. The film meanders along, blissfully unaware of the march of time, and runs aground approximately 20 years before the end of Howard Hughes' life. In fact, the ending of the movie seemed tacked on and completely rushed, like This movie lacked a critical ingredient to good filmmaking...an editor, and a credible ending. Neither of these important elements were present in this film. The film meanders along, blissfully unaware of the march of time, and runs aground approximately 20 years before the end of Howard Hughes' life. In fact, the ending of the movie seemed tacked on and completely rushed, like someone looked at a clock and said: "Oh oh..this movie is now almost 3 hours long..better end it fast!" It is sad that these two elements were so badly handled, since the acting was for the most part brilliant. I think it is entirely appropriate for Leonardo DiCaprio to win best actor for his role, but it would be scandalous if Scorcese won for best picture when there are other gems (Million Dollar Baby, Closer) out there that were far far better movies. However, knowing the Academy, I bet you the Aviator is a shoo-in. Expand
  22. NathanF.
    Jan 24, 2005
    10
    It was a fantastic movie which should have Leo winning an Oscar
  23. AndrewK.
    Jan 24, 2005
    8
    A wonderful film. One of Scorcese's greatest in a long time! Very interesting for anyone, like myself, who previously had little knowledge of the life of Howard Hughes. Dicaprio gives one of his greatest performances as well, for the first time appearing to be a man playing a man, instead of a boy playing a man. His nervous ticks were played without flaw. Cate Blanchett also turns in A wonderful film. One of Scorcese's greatest in a long time! Very interesting for anyone, like myself, who previously had little knowledge of the life of Howard Hughes. Dicaprio gives one of his greatest performances as well, for the first time appearing to be a man playing a man, instead of a boy playing a man. His nervous ticks were played without flaw. Cate Blanchett also turns in an amazing performance as Kathryn Hepburn and deserves an Oscar for it if anyone wins anything for this film. But Dicaprio and Scorcese also deserve Oscars for this film and the film probably does too. Not to be missed! Expand
  24. NathanS.
    Jan 25, 2005
    7
    The Aviator managed to overcome a less-than-stellar screenplay, an abrupt ending, and a major hole in the amount of details about the subject's life to be a surprisingly good film. DiCaprio impressed me (and this is coming from someone who was rooting for Jack to die during Titanic) with his working of Hughes, and Scorsese pulled off a stunning masterpiece. However, if you're The Aviator managed to overcome a less-than-stellar screenplay, an abrupt ending, and a major hole in the amount of details about the subject's life to be a surprisingly good film. DiCaprio impressed me (and this is coming from someone who was rooting for Jack to die during Titanic) with his working of Hughes, and Scorsese pulled off a stunning masterpiece. However, if you're looking to get a good view of the life of Howard Hughes, this film isn't the place to go. It ends far too early in his life and glosses over far too much of his childhood. But, if you're looking for an entertaining evening, then I'd definitely recommend it. Expand
  25. DaveV.
    Jan 26, 2005
    10
    Quite simply one of the best films of the year. Scorsese has crafted one of the most enthralling, entertaining films of his career. DiCaprio and Blanchatt are wonderful, as is the rest of the cast. Not to be missed.
  26. Bob
    Jan 28, 2005
    5
    Fair and dragged in spots. Nothing to write home about. Soon forgotten as soon as you leave the theater. Can't believe all of the nominations.
  27. ok
    Feb 12, 2005
    10
    As another poster said, I don't understand how anyone could give this movie less than a seven. This is easily one of the best movies I've seen all year--but I admit to having a thing for epic characters studies. Fantastic direction, fantastic acting--I thought it ended too SOON if anything.
  28. JulieC
    Feb 14, 2005
    8
    This movie is for Martin Scorsese addicts and film snobs. The film may have successfully recreated the obsessive-compulsive world of Howard Hughes with an epic story of sex and power, but it will leave most audiences edgy and bored after nearly three hours of slow progression. Leonardo DiCaprio is faultless as the neurotic, breast-obsessed Hughes, making audiences laugh and cry, although This movie is for Martin Scorsese addicts and film snobs. The film may have successfully recreated the obsessive-compulsive world of Howard Hughes with an epic story of sex and power, but it will leave most audiences edgy and bored after nearly three hours of slow progression. Leonardo DiCaprio is faultless as the neurotic, breast-obsessed Hughes, making audiences laugh and cry, although nervously. Although the film is elegant and visually gratifying, it is too bad Scorsese did not cut an hour off the film. Expand
  29. MrDrew
    Feb 21, 2005
    3
    I walked out, don't go unless you need a nap. Poorly directed sums up most of it, leaves you lost between the jumps of different women and him washing his hands. DiCaprio is horrible, unbelieveable in this role and has crooked teeth which is one of the few things I came away with. I left after the 2nd plane crash which was so overdone it was laughable. This is not a good movie, not I walked out, don't go unless you need a nap. Poorly directed sums up most of it, leaves you lost between the jumps of different women and him washing his hands. DiCaprio is horrible, unbelieveable in this role and has crooked teeth which is one of the few things I came away with. I left after the 2nd plane crash which was so overdone it was laughable. This is not a good movie, not even an average movie, if it gets best picture, 2004 will be a dark year for the Oscars. Don't see it. Expand
  30. Nwa4life
    Mar 19, 2005
    10
    This is the best of 2004 and robbed of BP and BD.
  31. JohnnyW
    Mar 21, 2005
    9
    Very good. Very well acted, keeps you interested, and I heartily disagree with the people who said it was boring. Yes, it was quite long, but it kept me interested, so who cares? Not quite on the level of Million Dollar Baby, so I am glad that it didn't win Best Picture. Still a fantastic movie though.
  32. JoseH.
    May 13, 2005
    8
    This film has a great story in its center. The actor's were fantastic specially Cate Blanchett and the directing was fabulous. I really liked the crash scene because it was really well made. The cinematography was excelent and the costumes were good. The negative things of the movie were: The art direction because the colors were not well combined. Example: The green was bue at the This film has a great story in its center. The actor's were fantastic specially Cate Blanchett and the directing was fabulous. I really liked the crash scene because it was really well made. The cinematography was excelent and the costumes were good. The negative things of the movie were: The art direction because the colors were not well combined. Example: The green was bue at the beginning. The film editing was horrible. Let me demonstrate: The title writing war horrible the film was to long and there were parts that I got bored. The makeup was really bad also because I could see that Dicaprio had lipstick and Dicaprio never got older. He looked like a child. But, the best thing of the film was the sound having great music and great sound effects. Expand
  33. AliciaM.
    May 23, 2005
    10
    Great performance by Dicaprio.
  34. CharlesR.
    May 23, 2005
    10
    Terrifickly enterntaining, Leo and Cate are wonderful.
  35. PaulS.
    May 27, 2005
    5
    Very slow and not really exiting... Great acting, but very boring writing.
  36. FrankO.
    Jan 28, 2006
    7
    Better than I expected, great special effects, DiCaptrio was excellent thanks to direction of Sorcese; Blanchett was over the top as Katherine Hepburn, too much of a caricuture..long but plot kept moving...
  37. BlakeJ.
    Mar 11, 2007
    7
    Not Scorsese's best, but "good" nonetheless. Leo is a wonder. Cate IS Katharine. A biopic in every sense of the word. Not for the simple minded or children, that much I can safely say.
  38. JeremyE.
    Feb 22, 2009
    6
    It really pains me to write this review because this movie had soooo much potential. The acting by dicaprio and blanchett was PERFECT. They portrayed their characters so well. Another bright spot was the sound and cinematography. Everything about this film looked and sounded phenomenal. However, all of that goes down the drain because the plot is terrible. It's scattered, jumping It really pains me to write this review because this movie had soooo much potential. The acting by dicaprio and blanchett was PERFECT. They portrayed their characters so well. Another bright spot was the sound and cinematography. Everything about this film looked and sounded phenomenal. However, all of that goes down the drain because the plot is terrible. It's scattered, jumping from one thing to the other all the time and it doesn't really go anywhere. There's not really a story, more like a series of events. and the movie lasts about 40 minutes longer than it should. it's really sad because this could have turned out great but it sucked Expand
  39. hughiew
    Dec 15, 2004
    7
    Entertaining and gorgeous to look at. Certainly no masterpiece though.
  40. AnnA.
    Dec 15, 2004
    3
    This was one of the worst edited films I have seen in a long time. The first half of the movie was non-directed and seemed to be searching for some definition. The second half was much better. After hearing some of the reviews I felt that I was being part of the "Emperor's New Clothes" no-one wanted to tell the truth becaused of the assumed importance of those involved. The acting This was one of the worst edited films I have seen in a long time. The first half of the movie was non-directed and seemed to be searching for some definition. The second half was much better. After hearing some of the reviews I felt that I was being part of the "Emperor's New Clothes" no-one wanted to tell the truth becaused of the assumed importance of those involved. The acting seldom seemed genuine and it was quite a dissapointment. I expected much more. Expand
  41. DannyG
    Dec 25, 2004
    5
    Too Long!!!!!!!!!
  42. LizK
    Dec 25, 2004
    8
    Acting and photography superb!
  43. BartT.
    Dec 26, 2004
    10
    TERRIFIC AND ENTERTAINING FILM!!! DI CAPRIO IS AWESOME, AS IS CATE BLANCHETT!
  44. StephenR.
    Dec 26, 2004
    10
    Martin Scorsese's "magnum opus" is a mostly brilliant examiniation of the neurotic and compulsive Howard Hughes, and the acting is top-rank. A sure Oscar contender!
  45. JonC.
    Dec 26, 2004
    10
    Great performances by an excellent cast and well directed by Scorsese add up to an engrossing account of Howard Hughes
  46. QuincyJ.
    Dec 26, 2004
    10
    Scorcese dazzles again. This is definitely his best movie since Goodfellas. He affirms my convinction that he is the greatest living American director. It seems that Scorcese may have found another viable acting partner to work with after DeNiro in our Mr. DiCaprio. Gangs of New York was mediocre, but their collaboration in the Aviator offers the prospect of some great films in the years Scorcese dazzles again. This is definitely his best movie since Goodfellas. He affirms my convinction that he is the greatest living American director. It seems that Scorcese may have found another viable acting partner to work with after DeNiro in our Mr. DiCaprio. Gangs of New York was mediocre, but their collaboration in the Aviator offers the prospect of some great films in the years to come. This film is definitely a must-see and so far gets my vote for best movie of the year. Expand
  47. MarcK.
    Dec 27, 2004
    5
    Sorry, Sam J., this film just wasn't very good. I know everybody in Hollywood "roots" for Scorsese to make a great film, but this one isn't it. Di Caprio does a bang-up job, and Blanchett's performance as Hepburn was quirky good. But the last hour or so of the film was ponderous. Interestingly, I thought "Gangs of New York" was a much better movie, although most mainstream Sorry, Sam J., this film just wasn't very good. I know everybody in Hollywood "roots" for Scorsese to make a great film, but this one isn't it. Di Caprio does a bang-up job, and Blanchett's performance as Hepburn was quirky good. But the last hour or so of the film was ponderous. Interestingly, I thought "Gangs of New York" was a much better movie, although most mainstream critics have rated this one as much better. Expand
  48. bryan
    Dec 28, 2004
    9
    I am quite surprised that, considering the number of abbreviated reviews listed above and the number of superlative comments, leonardo dicaprio is not mentioned once. without reading the unabridged versions of the comments, i am assured that he was lauded. nonetheless, he was simply stellar in his portrayal of the maniacal impresario.
  49. EthanP.
    Dec 28, 2004
    5
    A "Generally Favorable" Metascore for an Oscar contender tends to foretell something good but forgettable. (Gangs of NY, Cold Mountain, 21 Grams...listing them is kind of hard, since they are, in truth, forgettable.) Critics like it, but don't love it. Not challenging enough for many of them to hate it. This movie was passable, because it was genuinely well done. Yet it was A "Generally Favorable" Metascore for an Oscar contender tends to foretell something good but forgettable. (Gangs of NY, Cold Mountain, 21 Grams...listing them is kind of hard, since they are, in truth, forgettable.) Critics like it, but don't love it. Not challenging enough for many of them to hate it. This movie was passable, because it was genuinely well done. Yet it was ineffective; I feel no more or less value in my life, no desire to see the movie again, and no real desire to think about it other than to understand why it garners Oscar attention that it doesn't deserve. I wanted to like DiCaprio, but only his nonverbal acting truly paid off. Cate Blanchett was super, and I'd like to see her finally win the Oscar she's more than earned. Beckinsale played the part of Flawless Complexion With No Other Noticeable Attributes--why is anyone giving her kudos? (My favorite was Alan Alda, who was both likeable and villanous in a part that wasn't really scripted to make any interesting moves). Great cinematography, utterly uninspired score, who-cares writing. Generally soulless. Expand
  50. Aug 4, 2015
    7
    There's definitely something to be said for the film's almost unforgivable length and gurth. But, then again, who else should deserve a biopic of such magnitude and grandeur than Howard Hughes? Scorsese's "Aviator" is a stately, brutal, and haunting biopic that asks for nothing but the best from its performers.
  51. Jan 23, 2015
    10
    A spectacular film that goes into great detail about the life of Howard Hughes, the ultimate aviator. The costumes are great, the sets are great, the cast is great, and the acting is top-notch. This movie is near-perfect in every way. 10/10 (Masterpiece)
  52. Mar 12, 2016
    8
    With a strong performance from Leonardo Dicaprio who carries and drives the film all the way. Add to that a solid story led by a great director such as Marin Scorsese to make this film a solid good movie.
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.