The Terminal

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 309 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 309

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User Reviews

  1. Jul 27, 2016
    10
    I love this movie, it's has a unique atmosphere, which is delivered by directing, camera and great cast. Tom Hanks portreyed Viktor marvelously. This movie is something that I enjoy going back to and watching all over again.
  2. Jul 24, 2016
    8
    Another great movie from Spielberg with Tom Hanks in the lead role. Nice comedy, great story and acting makes me wanna watch it again! 8/10 absolutely outstanding
  3. Apr 18, 2016
    10
    Tom Hanks at his finest. This film is the very definition of heartfelt.
    The terminal is a fantastic Rom-Com filled with laughter, tears, and fleeting moments of pity that all come together to form a classic. For those living under a rock and have never seen Tom Hanks in a film before would not be judged for thinking he is eastern European. His performance as Viktor Navorski, a man from
    Tom Hanks at his finest. This film is the very definition of heartfelt.
    The terminal is a fantastic Rom-Com filled with laughter, tears, and fleeting moments of pity that all come together to form a classic. For those living under a rock and have never seen Tom Hanks in a film before would not be judged for thinking he is eastern European. His performance as Viktor Navorski, a man from the fictional country of Krakozhia is magnificent. The ease in which he performs his role is awe inspiring. But he is far from alone. Stellar performances from Catherine Zeta-Jones and Stanley Tucci help to make a brilliant story based of true events. The scenes with Hanks and Tucci are particularly of interest. The accompaniment for this film is beautiful and perfectly reflects the mood in each scene.
    Overall The terminals a brilliant film that deserves to watched, loved and appreciated by all.
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  4. Mar 27, 2016
    8
    With cinemas currently providing little refuge from disasters both natural and manmade, this buoyant, optimistic fable seems to share in the late Ronald Reagan's optimism for America. Tom Hanks stars as an immigrant unable to leave in a New York airport. Pic should quickly pilot its way to the helmer's usual numbers for non-genre fare.

    Fanciful as it sounds, the premise of “The
    With cinemas currently providing little refuge from disasters both natural and manmade, this buoyant, optimistic fable seems to share in the late Ronald Reagan's optimism for America. Tom Hanks stars as an immigrant unable to leave in a New York airport. Pic should quickly pilot its way to the helmer's usual numbers for non-genre fare.

    Fanciful as it sounds, the premise of “The Terminal” is rooted in fact — specifically, the case of Iranian expatriate Merhan Karimi Nessari, who has, since 1988, resided in Terminal 1 of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport. (Previously, Nessari’s story was the inspiration for the 1994 French pic “Lost in Transit.”)

    Here, Hanks plays the Messari-inspired Viktor Navorski, who touches down on American soil only to discover that, during his flight, a political coup occurred in his fictional Eastern European homeland. Informed by businesslike Homeland Security officer Frank Dixon (well played by Stanley Tucci) that he is unable to return home or to seek asylum in the U.S. until our government recognizes the new regime, Viktor is ordered to stay put in the airport.

    Dixon reasons it’s only a matter of time before his virtual prisoner escapes into the Big Apple and becomes some other agency’s problem. But Viktor wants to enter the U.S. legally, for unspecified reasons that may concern the tin of Planters peanuts he carries around like a family heirloom.

    Restricted to the confines of the airport’s glittering, glass-and-steel international transit area, Viktor patiently goes about making himself a home, while the film evolves into a gentle satire of the dilemmas of immigration and the resilience of this new American’s entrepreneurial spirit.

    Screenplay slyly observes the terminal as a home to an entire community of uprooted persons — from Indian emigre janitor Gupta (scene-stealing Wes Anderson regular Kumar Pallana), who takes perverse pleasure in watching people slip across his freshly-waxed floors, to Mexican food-service worker Enrique (Diego Luna), who pines for the affections of a beautiful Customs officer (Zoe Saldana).

    There’s also knockout United Airlines flight attendant Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones), whose meet-cute with Viktor owes itself to a waxy, Gupta-generated tumble. Embroiled in an unsatisfying affair with a married man (Michael Nouri), she finds herself drawn to Viktor’s honesty and warmth, and able to relate to his feeling of living in an airport (which she initially mistakes as a metaphor).

    Yet, while Viktor and Amelia continue to rendezvous, their relationship becomes neither the focal point of “The Terminal” nor a full-blown romance. And while Zeta-Jones is excellent at revealing Amelia’s sad, delicate dimensions, she ultimately isn’t in that much of the movie. Of course, that’s part of pic’s point — that in this crazy, mixed-up world, we rarely have time to stop and savor the things that really matter.

    For a movie about a man whose very nationality lingers in limbo for months, “The Terminal” lacks any significant sense of conflict, and an 11th-hour subplot involving Art Kane’s famous Harlem jazz portrait feels like something out of left field. But at its best, “The Terminal” finds Spielberg working in the breezy, freewheeling fashion that dates back to his early “The Sugarland Express” and his recent “Catch Me if You Can.”

    Spielberg does not appear to take himself or the material too seriously, and his steadfast refusal to see the proverbial glass as less than half-full is more inspiring than cloying. In Spielberg’s world, it’s possible for an immigrant to learn fluent English by reading a Fodor’s travel guide. And, in a summer when the likes of “Troy” and “The Stepford Wives” are what pass for old-fashioned Hollywood entertainment, it’s a pleasure to spend time there.

    Astonishingly, pic’s massive, detail-perfect set is just that — not a real airport terminal at all, but an exact replica constructed by production designer Alex McDowell in a Palmdale, Calif., aerospace hanger. (A few exteriors were shot in Montreal.)

    Though relatively minor compared to his superb work on the new “Harry Potter” pic, John Williams’ score still offers an enjoyable coupling of typically Holst-ian fanfares and more adventurous, klezmer-influenced riffs.

    Perhaps pic’s greatest technical pleasure, however, is the lustrous, color-saturated cinematography of regular Spielberg lenser Janusz Kaminski, whose work here registers at the opposite end of the spectrum from his signature faded hues and blown-out lighting schemes, resulting in a visual luxuriance that harks back to Spielberg’s classic collaborations with d.p. Allen Daviau (“E.T.,” “The Color Purple,” “Empire of the Sun”).
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  5. Feb 20, 2016
    9
    What a fun film! I think this is one of Tom Hanks best performances. Its almost a throw back to 80's style sappy films but it does not go overboard. The character development was superb and even though some of the characters were not believable, they remained memorable such as the security staff and the port administrator.

    This movie is about a guy from a fictitious country who gets
    What a fun film! I think this is one of Tom Hanks best performances. Its almost a throw back to 80's style sappy films but it does not go overboard. The character development was superb and even though some of the characters were not believable, they remained memorable such as the security staff and the port administrator.

    This movie is about a guy from a fictitious country who gets lost in the paperwork because his country ceased to exist while he was in flight. The shenanigans begin when his passport is rejected by US customs and the administrator of the terminal fails to communicate with him due to language barriers. From here everything goes haywire. The administrator cant get rid of Mr. Navorski (Tom Hanks) and and Mr. Navorski cant speak English and cant find anyone to help him translate what he sees on the TV (about the war in his country). Since his passport is not valid he cannot enter the USA and the airport authorities have no where to send him since his country no longer has any flights going to it. So what does he do? He starts learning English by comparing two travel guides, one in his language and one in English (recall this is pre-cell phone days). Along the way, he finds ways to make money so he no longer has to eat crackers with ketchup, lands a job, befriends a crazy Indian, goes on a date with a stewardess, helps a baggage handler meet and marry the girl of his dreams, helps people around the terminal in various ways, and eventually confronts the terminal authority that had him trapped (with the help of his new found friends).

    Its not supposed to be believable any more than Big was believable, and there are plot holes a plenty but it is a fun movie and was never meant to be taken very seriously. I highly recommend this movie.
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  6. Jan 12, 2016
    8
    Another great movie from Spielberg with Tom Hanks in the lead role. Nice comedy, great story and acting makes me wanna watch it again! 8/10 absolutely outstanding
  7. Dec 22, 2015
    7
    The Terminal is not exactly the most original film in terms of structure, nor is it the most daring Spielberg-directed film in existence, but it is still really good. Incredibly funny and cute, The Terminal features a great performance by Tom Hanks that really exceeds the overall quality of the film. It is incredibly safe and adverse to taking too many risks, but still manages to be anThe Terminal is not exactly the most original film in terms of structure, nor is it the most daring Spielberg-directed film in existence, but it is still really good. Incredibly funny and cute, The Terminal features a great performance by Tom Hanks that really exceeds the overall quality of the film. It is incredibly safe and adverse to taking too many risks, but still manages to be an interesting look at this man's life in an airport after a crisis in his home nation leaves him stateless. Regardless, it is very entertaining and can be quite charming and moving at times in ways that only Spielberg films can. Somehow, that movie magic is still present in this film set solely in an airport terminal. Expand
  8. Dec 24, 2014
    7
    The Terminal is a slight yet memorable comedy from Spielberg. Hanks is magnetic as usual in the central role and Stanley Tucci is also great as Hanks' nemesis. The Terminal is superior rom-com fluff.
  9. Oct 6, 2014
    10
    superb film.this is one of my all time favourite movies.tom hanks has outshone himself in this great movie. The direction,camera,editing are all awesome.love this movie
  10. Aug 27, 2014
    8
    The Terminal is one of Spielberg's most overlooked films of his entire career. It's a soft, delicate and warming romance. Tom Hanks is outstanding alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones.
  11. Nov 23, 2011
    8
    Well, this movie is awesome. The plot is very interesting, the actors did a good job and I liked it very much. This movie will make you laugh, and guarantees to entertain you. Also, I loved when Viktor makes the fountain for Amelia
  12. Dec 4, 2010
    10
    This is definitely one of my all time favorite movies (and this is coming from someone who loves critically loathed summer blockbusters). Great movie to watch before travelling.
  13. JackS.
    Nov 22, 2008
    7
    Had some very good humor, Hanks did a really good job in this movie. It didn't have the clearest plot though.
  14. JeffM.
    Aug 21, 2006
    8
    If a lesser known director had made this movie, I doubt the reviews would be as negative.
  15. JoséM.
    Oct 21, 2005
    10
    Great!
  16. patrickd.
    Oct 6, 2005
    8
    Why such the low rating? The Terminal=excellent!
  17. Laura1
    Jun 24, 2005
    9
    Very enjoyable, easy unexpected laughs. Tom Hanks is superb as usual.
  18. JustinC.
    Jun 16, 2005
    10
    I thought this movie was funny and very entertaining. There is nothing not to like about this movie.
  19. SteveB
    Apr 18, 2005
    8
    Maybe I'm just a sucker for silly accents (not to mention my crush on CZJ), but this was a very funny movie.
  20. Slobodan
    Mar 30, 2005
    9
    Very funny.
  21. Matt
    Mar 25, 2005
    8
    A truly underrated movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe that in today's bureaucracy, a similar situation could happen.
  22. barbd.
    Feb 13, 2005
    7
    Very enjoyable. No sex, violence, or vulgar language, just an enjoyable story. Yes, it's rather absurd as anyone who travels much would know, but it's entertaining, not meant to be a documentary on foreigners traveling to USA. I would love to see more clean, enjoyable movies.
  23. GustavoH.R.
    Jan 16, 2005
    7
    While its script is somewhat flat and flawed, and some of the gags do not completely work, this film is still delightful and light-hearted enough to make us want to watch it over and over again. Another great performance by Mr. Hanks helps the film go up one step.
  24. armandos
    Jan 16, 2005
    7
    Tom Hanks gives a great performance-he basicallly carries this movie-not top flight Speilberg but better than most critics rated it-it had a bittersweet nature that i found appealing ,even though the premise was a bit farfetched.
  25. yoonc.
    Jan 7, 2005
    7
    Spielberg has underachieved with terminal but give the man a break. he was on a roll in the 90s with films such as jurassic park, schindler's list, saving private ryan and AI. the problem with the terminal is its one-dimensionality. notwithstanding few moments of realism, this is capra with all sugar and no salt. it's kinda like an ET for adults. like ET, an alien is stranded Spielberg has underachieved with terminal but give the man a break. he was on a roll in the 90s with films such as jurassic park, schindler's list, saving private ryan and AI. the problem with the terminal is its one-dimensionality. notwithstanding few moments of realism, this is capra with all sugar and no salt. it's kinda like an ET for adults. like ET, an alien is stranded between his world and ours. tom hanks, wonderful and funny, is too much of a caricature to take seriously and too real to take lightly. i suppose we could argue that the characterization is very much like the situation the character is trapped in--in a state of limbo. indeed, the movie was based on a true story but it was given the spielberg fairytale treatment. just think of what this movie could have been in the hands of someone like scorsese--or even spielberg of the 90s. still, the movie is interesting as a possible rumination on the meaning of the wandering jew. his status--perpetual outsider, man without a home, scrambling with his wits to survive--speaks volumes about jewish anxiety, intentional or not. the cast of characters of various ethnicity isn't entirely sweet and embracing, but ultimately toothless enough to make the toothfairy work overtime. even the villain of the movie is forgiven and patted on the back as not-so-bad-after-all. if you turn off 25% of your brain and want to be amused for 2 hrs, you can do much worse. besides, there's also the very lovely catherina zeta jones. Expand
  26. VikramM.
    Nov 27, 2004
    10
    How people can see this movie as boring is unbelievable. Tom Hanks was VERY good in this dramatic romantic comedy. This movie was incredibly funny, I was laughing at almost every point there was comedy. This was a fun movie and everyone will love it. C'mon guys this is hilarious! And dramatic, but still hilarious.
  27. alec
    Nov 24, 2004
    9
    Hanks is the best actor since Chaplin.
  28. MichaelM.
    Oct 22, 2004
    7
    A lot of people panned this film, but I thought it was really cool if you could set aside reality. Tom Hanks did a great job (as always), as a man who visits New York from another country, and is not allowed to leave JFK airport or go back home. Stranded in the airport for almost a year he makes many friends (mostly from the janitoring staff) and falls in love with a history-obsessed A lot of people panned this film, but I thought it was really cool if you could set aside reality. Tom Hanks did a great job (as always), as a man who visits New York from another country, and is not allowed to leave JFK airport or go back home. Stranded in the airport for almost a year he makes many friends (mostly from the janitoring staff) and falls in love with a history-obsessed flight attendant (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The movie is corny at parts, especially at the ending, but if you don't take it too seriously, I promise you you'll have a good time. Stanley Tucci is convincing as an a--hole. He almost always plays a--holes. I wonder why... Expand
  29. HarrisonB.
    Aug 8, 2004
    9
    Very good comedy. Tom Hanks was a very god character in this movie. Very funny. Good movie for the whole family.
  30. RonR.
    Aug 5, 2004
    10
    My wife and I LOVED this film! Hanks is fabulous with this Russian accent.
  31. Danielle
    Jul 29, 2004
    7
    Better than I expected.
  32. VincentE.
    Jul 23, 2004
    8
    You're not gonna find a masterpiece here, but you will find a bright, funny and ultimately satisfying movie. It never ceases to entertain. The script does have its flaws but the acting was on the mark. Despite its minor flaws it's definitely worth seeing. I think the people who failed to see any good in it and voted 0 have little or no appreciation for movies and should probably You're not gonna find a masterpiece here, but you will find a bright, funny and ultimately satisfying movie. It never ceases to entertain. The script does have its flaws but the acting was on the mark. Despite its minor flaws it's definitely worth seeing. I think the people who failed to see any good in it and voted 0 have little or no appreciation for movies and should probably just sit back and pray for a White Chicks 2. Expand
  33. EddieB.
    Jul 1, 2004
    10
    This wasn't a romance, it wasn't a comedy (although very funny). It was a movie about Importance. What was important to Viktor was his family. His loyalty to fufill his father's lifelong dream was what this movie was really about.
  34. JasonS.
    Jul 1, 2004
    10
    I loved this film. It is beautifully shot and the characters become close friends by the end of the movie.
  35. NayoM.
    Jun 27, 2004
    10
    I thought it was a great movie because I really got to go on Viktors journey through out his trials. Tom Hanks continues to amaze me in how versitail he can be. Congrats.
  36. StaceyK.
    Jun 26, 2004
    7
    Spielberg's cinematic magic is ever present, but unfortunately the story's beginning is so unbelievable, that I was unable to suspend my own disbelief to ever truly relax and enjoy myself. I've had my share of nasty customs officials so I know that they can be really bad, but not like this. Otherwise, the characters have an honesty to them that is endearing, even Spielberg's cinematic magic is ever present, but unfortunately the story's beginning is so unbelievable, that I was unable to suspend my own disbelief to ever truly relax and enjoy myself. I've had my share of nasty customs officials so I know that they can be really bad, but not like this. Otherwise, the characters have an honesty to them that is endearing, even Zeta-Jones'. I was hoping for more, it is Spielberg and probably why I was dissapointed. It was shot masterfully, and is very interesting to look at. Expand
  37. MarkB.
    Jun 21, 2004
    10
    Tom Hanks is frequently compared to James Stewart, Gary Cooper and/or Jack Lemmon, but even those great actors in their heyday didn't have access to the incredible variety of roles Hanks gets and continues to surprise us with. His naive, innocent but smart and resourceful Viktor Navorski, a would-be US visitor literally trapped in an airport terminal for months on end, is one of his Tom Hanks is frequently compared to James Stewart, Gary Cooper and/or Jack Lemmon, but even those great actors in their heyday didn't have access to the incredible variety of roles Hanks gets and continues to surprise us with. His naive, innocent but smart and resourceful Viktor Navorski, a would-be US visitor literally trapped in an airport terminal for months on end, is one of his best. Similarly, Steven Spielberg shows no signs of jet lag or coasting: this movie may not be as flashy as the Indiana Jones movies or Saving Private Ryan, but it's just as well-directed, with lots of wonderful, subtle touches--Spielberg makes his one gigantic set, a seemingly mundane airport that all of us who aren't terrified of flying have seen at least a few times, into a world as specific and imaginative as the futuristic ones of A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Minority Report. (And, for once, the built-in product placements are not only necessary to the atmosphere and action, but are beautifully and wittily used.) Spielberg is frequently criticized for not including romances in his films; he answers here in spades by featuring a remarkably poignant one. Roger Ebert is fond of quoting Jean Luc-Godard's adage that the best way to criticize a film is with another film; well, after suffering through the remarkably cynical, acrid Gallic psuedoromance Love Me If You Dare, this proudly one-part Capraesque, one-part Chaplinesque delight is a welcome tonic. (Ironically, BOTH films feature round, metal containers as McGuffins!) In an age where, even after 9/11, the most memorable airport scene in the last few years was Ben Stiller going ballistic on an officious stewardess in Meet the Parents, and we all seem to be getting more and more polarized and distanced from each other as we define ourselves by our jobs, nationalities and political stances rather than our common human identities, The Terminal dares to remind us that bureaucrats who are "just doing their job" are people too; that it's possible to learn important lessons about dealing with people at the precise moment when someone seems most utterly incapable of doing so; and that sometimes the grandest, most self-sacrificing gestures are made by the biggest jerks. In short, this is a film that believes in miracles. And the fact that someone who has both so fully defined the moden-day Hollywood studio system and is as deeply entrenched in it as Spielberg can still make something as sweet, sunny and thoroughly open-hearted as The Terminal may be the biggest miracle of all! Expand
  38. ChadS.
    Jun 21, 2004
    7
    Most importantly, we don't have a "K-19: The Widowmaker" problem, in which we were all too aware that Harrison Ford is not a Russian. Tom Hanks sounds convincing, so we can relax and watch without distraction, but perhaps, his character learns English a little too quickly. "The Terminal" works best when paeans to love aren't being expressed through the construction of a Most importantly, we don't have a "K-19: The Widowmaker" problem, in which we were all too aware that Harrison Ford is not a Russian. Tom Hanks sounds convincing, so we can relax and watch without distraction, but perhaps, his character learns English a little too quickly. "The Terminal" works best when paeans to love aren't being expressed through the construction of a fountain, and Tianamen Square so bizzarely evoked. Spielberg is able to create an engaging universe out of the airport, so we never feel the need to see New York. "The Terminal", at times, tries too hard to make us feel good, when we already were. Expand
  39. KenG.
    Jun 21, 2004
    7
    Although the limits of the terminal itself limit the greatness of the film, this is another successful teaming of Spielberg and Hanks. It's a sweet story, kept from icky sweetness by Hanks' effortless portrayal of an honest man lost in a foreign world. The supporting cast is excellent.
  40. C.Bhatti
    Jun 19, 2004
    10
    Amazing...seriously so many people are doubting it for no reason.
  41. Tracy
    Jun 19, 2004
    8
    I went into this movie with mixed feelings. I had checked the metacritic score before going to see it but I had faith in this movie because of the director and the actor. This movie was better than I expected. There was hardly a moment where I wasn't fully drawn into the movie. I admit some parts were a little predictable and unbelievable, but Hanks' performance overshadows the I went into this movie with mixed feelings. I had checked the metacritic score before going to see it but I had faith in this movie because of the director and the actor. This movie was better than I expected. There was hardly a moment where I wasn't fully drawn into the movie. I admit some parts were a little predictable and unbelievable, but Hanks' performance overshadows the little bad that there is in the movie and gives the audience 2+ hrs of a great emotional rollercoaster. I think this movie has it all. Not one of my favorite movies ever, but a fun flick that any movie goer with an open mind who's not looking for an oscar worthy movie would enjoy. Expand
  42. [Anonymous]
    Jun 18, 2004
    10
    GREAT MOVIE! Very Well Acted. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
  43. JerryH.
    Jun 18, 2004
    7
    Yes, it's light and fluffy. Yes, it has more product placement than, well, maybe any film in history. Yes, the comedy doesn't always work. But Tom Hanks works and, for the most part, Spielberg works -- again. Do not look for "meaning" or "edge". Go enjoy youself. I know this is not enough for some critics, especially with the talent involved, but give me a break. Sure it's Yes, it's light and fluffy. Yes, it has more product placement than, well, maybe any film in history. Yes, the comedy doesn't always work. But Tom Hanks works and, for the most part, Spielberg works -- again. Do not look for "meaning" or "edge". Go enjoy youself. I know this is not enough for some critics, especially with the talent involved, but give me a break. Sure it's as if the airlines paid for the film so romance can be brought back to flying and airports, but we need the industry to be strong, for jobs and or enjoyment. Take 2 hours of your life and get away from reality for awhile. Expand
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 41
  2. Negative: 5 out of 41
  1. It’s an odd fable: Viktor is the mysterious visitor who shows us what the American Dream is all about--in the movie’s terms, compassion for others--without ever wanting to become an American himself. He's a spiritual twin to E.T., who also had trouble phoning home.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    50
    The Terminal is Spielberg's shortest feature since the first "Jurassic Park," yet it drags, plods, piling one lifeless situation atop another. For all the effort and good intentions, the movie is in-terminal-ble.
  3. In a summer of remakes, sequels and movies swollen with effects, The Terminal stands out as a strikingly original comedy.