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      Explorers

      PG Released Jul 12, 1985 1h 44m Kids & Family Sci-Fi Drama List
      72% Tomatometer 29 Reviews 66% Audience Score 10,000+ Ratings Young Ben Crandall (Ethan Hawke) spends his free time watching sci-fi films, playing video games and reading comic books. Surprisingly, his affinity for all things fantastical yields a real result -- when he has a vivid dream about technology, his science-loving friend Wolfgang Muller (River Phoenix) manages to create a working spacecraft. Joined by their buddy Darren Woods (Jason Presson), the boys take off into outer space and encounter some very odd extraterrestrial life. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Explorers

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      Critics Consensus

      With a terrific young cast (including Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix) and some typically energetic work from director Joe Dante, Explorers soars past its '80s kiddie flick competitors with wit, good-looking effects, and tons of charm.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Kevin Thomas Los Angeles Times Explorers itself is bubble-thin, but it glides by gracefully on the charm of its three young heroes and their vividly envisioned adventure in space. Rated: 3/5 Aug 26, 2013 Full Review Peter Travers People Magazine Their space trip may be familiar, but they make it fun. Aug 26, 2013 Full Review Geoff Andrew Time Out It looks terrific, moves along at a gallop, and is marvellously good-natured. Jan 26, 2006 Full Review Brian Eggert Deep Focus Review It's a movie whose concept sounds better on paper than the experience of watching it, a prospect best reserved for cult nostalgists. Rated: 2.5/4 Feb 22, 2022 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy The final third is a chore to endure. Rated: 1.5/4 May 29, 2021 Full Review Nathan Rabin The Dissolve A strange, wounded beast, filled with wonderful sequences and homemade charm, but also confused and anticlimactic. Rated: 3/5 Jan 8, 2014 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      He-Rex C Overlooked classic from the 1985 movie treasure trove. Great chemistry between the young actors, featuring River Phoenix. Also a fantastic musical score by Jerry Goldsmith. Explorers pays homage to the classic Sci-Fi films of the '50's, while embracing the whacky sensibilities of the old cartoon Looney Tunes. If you allow yourself to let go, and accept the silliness of it all, you'll have a blast. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/28/24 Full Review Jeff M The first half of this movie is so engaging and entertaining that the downhill trajectory it ends up taking becomes that much more disappointing. Although I liked it more than the overrated GOONIES, which came out the same year, this is a case of extreme potential gone bad. Let's start with the good... The three young actors have a wonderful STANDY BY ME-esque chemistry together which immediately endears us to their characters. It's always bittersweet to see Phoenix in a move considering his premature demise, but he is as winning here as ever, and it's rare to see him in a "nerdy" role. But the movie belongs to Hawke, and he shows the enthusiasm and magnetism here that would lead to a decades long career. Like I said, the first half is delightful, but the film takes a sharp left turn once the boys go into space and come into contact with extraterrestrial life force. Sorry, but there's no way to put it bluntly - these scenes are lousy. I like the idea of aliens assuming earthlings are identical to what they see on TV, but the ETs themselves are unengaging rejects from a Saturday morning kids show. And the references used are going to go over the heads of those the movie is intended to please. It's a crucial misstep that cripples the movie. There are some other minor quibbles, mainly a school bully and a curious police officer who are introduced and basically forgotten about like they never existed. And I'm hoping Mary Kay Place as Ben's mom took this nothing role as a favor - it would be depressing if this was the best work she could find. The three young actors are almost enough for a slight recommendation, but I can't quite bring myself to do it. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/24 Full Review NONE BUT C UNDERRATED CLASSIC! I LOVE THIS FLICK. MUST SEE FAMILY FILM. THE BEST. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 07/26/23 Full Review Audience Member An almost great movie until it gets weird “well weirder” and goofy too. The kids were good, as was the story but mostly before it added aliens. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 05/13/23 Full Review Crom W Starts off well with a great cast, but half way through it get boring to the end. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/21/23 Full Review Akow This was one of my favorite movies growing up and I think it still holds up. It was one of the first VHS tapes I bought and I watched it all the time. I watched this with my son when he was 8 and he loved it. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/05/22 Full Review Read all reviews
      Explorers

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      Cast & Crew

      53% 55% D.A.R.Y.L. 12% 44% Mom and Dad Save the World 50% 42% Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home 71% 50% Free Willy 27% 46% My Girl 2 Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Young Ben Crandall (Ethan Hawke) spends his free time watching sci-fi films, playing video games and reading comic books. Surprisingly, his affinity for all things fantastical yields a real result -- when he has a vivid dream about technology, his science-loving friend Wolfgang Muller (River Phoenix) manages to create a working spacecraft. Joined by their buddy Darren Woods (Jason Presson), the boys take off into outer space and encounter some very odd extraterrestrial life.
      Director
      Joe Dante
      Producer
      Edward S. Feldman, David Bombyk
      Screenwriter
      Eric Luke
      Distributor
      Paramount Pictures
      Production Co
      Paramount Pictures, Paramount Pictures International
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Kids & Family, Sci-Fi, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jul 12, 1985, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 1, 2017
      Runtime
      1h 44m
      Sound Mix
      Surround
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