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49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Allie Fox (Ford) moves his wife (Mirren) and their four young children to Central America to form his own Utopia.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    88
    A courageous and serious film that explores the limits of the mythic American virtues of persistence, inventiveness, and rugged individualism.
  2. Weir's orchestrated The Mosquito Coast's action to match Fox's progressive mental state, from rage to explosion to squalls and finally to hurricane velocity; however, the film leaves us not with an apotheosis, but exhaustion. [26 Nov 1986]
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    70
    It is hard to believe that a film as beautiful as The Mosquito Coast [adapted from the novel by Paul Theroux] can also be so bleak, but therein lies its power and undoing.
  4. The Mosquito Coast is a work of consummate craftsmanship and it's spectacularly acted, down to the smallest roles (Martha Plimpton as a classically obstreperous preacher's daughter, for example), but its field of vision is as narrow and eventually as claustrophobic as Allie's. [28 Nov 1986]
  5. 50
    The movie has been directed and acted so well, in fact, that almost all my questions have to do with the script: Why was the hero made so uncompromisingly hateful?
  6. What keeps The Mosquito Coast from being a great movie is too much caution.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    30
    The problem is that the high-pitched whine of Allie's character finally vitiates not merely the viewer's sympathy for him, but sympathy for the movie he dominates, despite the care and courage that went into its making.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. StevenG.
    Jun 22, 2007
    10
    Possibly my favourite movie of all time beautiful, unusual and a chilling portrayal of shattered dreams.
  2. Feb 4, 2015
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Disney for Anarchists

    Before there was a McConaissance there was a Harrisance, That's right, you heard right: Harrisance. Within a few years in the 1980's Harrison da Chicago lead what was arguably the greatest adventure movie ever mounted, and possibly the best science fiction movie ever launched. He was also featured in that adorable little Star Wars trilogy. Not to mention a slew of fine movies like Presumed Innocent, Frantic, the Fugitive, and two thrillers as Jack Ryan. Among my favourite movies from the Harrisance period (if I keep saying it, it will be a thing) were two directed by Peter Weir, an Aussie who never met a cultural clash he didn't want to shoot. Weir directed a couple of American films and chose the right man to lead them. Witness was well-liked and had a righteously tough Harrison cop defending the Amish. But in my opinion, Mosquito Coast was better. Look at the headliners. Harrison Ford , Helen Mirren, River Pheonix, from a story by Paul Theroux, scripted by Paul (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) Schrader. The jaded Film Critics at the time weren't exactly blown away by the movie's ambitious scope but liked the way Harrison could play an anti-hero. What's so anti about him? He was great! I wish he was my dad. I would have loved to go on an escapist adventure with a genius inventor father who had grand visions of erecting a new utopia in the forests of Belize by manufacturing ice in the tropics. Okay, maybe he went too far. Got a bit swollen-headed and delirious. Became the patriarchal tyrant he was running away from. But that was from the rage he felt when realizing that while (in the 1980's) he might be able to elude multinational greed, he can't escape human avarice. O the tragedy of humans.
    Expand
  3. JayH.
    Jan 4, 2009
    7
    Fascinating direction by Peter Weir, one of Harrison Ford's best performances and outstanding cinematography make this one a must see. Fascinating direction by Peter Weir, one of Harrison Ford's best performances and outstanding cinematography make this one a must see. Excellent story, always interesting. Excellent performances from everyone. Expand
  4. MichaelL.
    Mar 4, 2008
    6
    A mediocre adaptation of Theroux's great novel. While Ford is fine in the central role, the movie (and script) don't give enough A mediocre adaptation of Theroux's great novel. While Ford is fine in the central role, the movie (and script) don't give enough breathing room for the inconsistencies and contradictions that ultimately doom Allie Fox to become apparent to the viewer. His character just never felt fully formed to me, which is a big problem since he dominates the story. I hate to fall back on cliches, but in this case it's really true: the book was way better. Expand

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