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Explorers
Explorers
Actors: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Bobby Fite, Bradley Gregg, Georg Olden
Director: Joe Dante
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
PG     2004     1hr 49min

EXPLORERS are the inventive story about three idealistic and thrill-seeking boys who combine their wits and astuteness to build their own spaceship. Accordingly, the boys blast-off into the galaxy and embark on journeys bo...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Bobby Fite, Bradley Gregg, Georg Olden
Director: Joe Dante
Creators: John Hora, Tina Hirsch, David Bombyk, Edward S. Feldman, Michael Finnell, Tom Jacobson, Eric Luke
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction, Family Films, Space Adventure
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 10/19/2004
Original Release Date: 07/12/1985
Theatrical Release Date: 07/12/1985
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 49min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

Keith A. (Keefer522)
Reviewed on 6/30/2014...
A junior high dreamer, his science wiz pal, and their tough friend build a homemade spaceship and use it to meet with couch-potato aliens in this family friendly sci-fi fantasy from Joe "Gremlins" Dante. Features the film debuts of both Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix.
Heidi A. from CUMBERLAND, ME
Reviewed on 4/30/2010...
Good as I remember. Now my kids love it too.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A must for any sci-fi fan or space enthusiast.
R. Christenson | Pine, CO USA | 08/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Explorers is a must for all true science fiction film collectors. The plot elegantly captures the dreams of a typical young sci-fi fan / space enthusiast. Hawke, then about 12, receives schematics from outer space in his dreams. His buddy Phoenix builds a circuit from the dream-diagram and hooks it to his computer, generating a miraculous force field capable of driving a space ship - which they build, with a third pal from school (Presson), from junkyard parts!

Joe Dante's 1985 space adventure pays homage to classic sci-fi in a number of allusions: the videos Ethan Hawke watches in bed (The War of The Worlds and This Island Earth), the old sf paperbacks and Classics Illustrated comics in River Phoenix's basement, the mouse named Heinlein (after the great American science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein), and the usual supporting roles of Dick Miller and Robert Picardo (The Burbs, Matinee, etc.). Watching this movies always puts me in the mood to reread the Heinlein juvenile novels (Have Space Suit, Will Travel, Rocket Ship Galileo, etc.).

If anyone says they're disappointed in the ending, that's only because the first 90 minutes of the film are so excellent, it's hard for any ending to live up to the oustanding buildup, including exploring the interior of a huge alien spacecraft. Take it for what it is, and if you're into space ships or sci-fi, you'll love it.

"
Guided my daydreams for almost 2 decades
Demangel | 06/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I agree the ending leaves a LOT to be desired, but even the ending can't ruin the real meat and potatoes of this film, and in it's own silly way somehow actually works.

I must emphasize that this film is as much about nostalgia for me, as it is about a simply good family film. As a child I loved Sci-fi, and this was one of the films that truly captured my imagination. I cannot look at a truly starry night without almost hearing the harmonica music Ethan Hawke's character plays on the rooftop, and knowing exactly what that character was thinking and feeling at that moment. Beyond awe, beyond wonder, beyond hope.

As I child spending my summer in upstate New York, occasionally the sky would be so clear you could see something akin to what he saw, so deep so vast, so wonderful.

I could also see a seriously good sequel being made to this film if the powers that be ever considered it. One that could wipe away the goofiness of the ending of the original and replace it with a more grown up ending. Sadly however I'm sure the magic, dreamlike quality of a movie set in the 80's will never be recaptured. To say nothing of the childlike wonder the movie inspires in me even today.

So needless to say I'm more than a fan of this film, one of these days I'm going to clear out the garage, find a tilt a whirl, and build my own version of the ship, even if it doesn't have force field bubble technology, it will be one hell of a conversation piece.

Anyone who was of the age at the time of this movies release and likes sci-fi, and doesn't mind the goofy ending, will enjoy this film, and nobody that I know who recalls this movie would ever say it wasn't a wonderful film. Maybe not quite on a par with the Dark crystal, or as popular as the last star fighter, or Flight of the Navigator, but this film has a magic that is undeniable. A magic that's certainly due in no small part to the great casting of the main trio. I recommend this film highly, Nuff said."
Great Exploration
C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 08/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Fans of movies like "Galaxy Quest" will probably find this dated but still entertaining. If you enjoyed "Goonies" you should like this movie. Three teenage boys build a spaceship from plans that are sent to them by aliens. The fact they build it from a carnerval ride and other miscellaneous items only shows the imagination. A fun adventure for kids of all ages. The young aliens that sent the plans to the teenagers have modelled their behavior based on our TV shows. The alien comedy is like Robin Williams did in Aladdin, off the wall imitations of celebrities. I enjoyed it when I first saw it as someone in my twenties and I still think it is fun to watch."