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Altered States
Altered States
Actors: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid, Thaao Penghlis
Director: Ken Russell
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies, Mystery & Suspense
R     2004     1hr 42min

Hurt plays a scientist obsessed with discovering the realities of other states of consciousness. Genre: Feature Film-Drama Rating: R Release Date: 1-JUN-2004 Media Type: DVD


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Movie Details

Actors: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid, Thaao Penghlis
Director: Ken Russell
Creators: Jordan Cronenweth, Eric Jenkins, Daniel Melnick, Howard Gottfried, Stuart Baird, Paddy Chayefsky
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Monsters & Mutants, Psychedelic, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/01/2004
Original Release Date: 12/25/1980
Theatrical Release Date: 12/25/1980
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 42min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Rebecca T. from MENIFEE, CA
Reviewed on 10/4/2023...
Total smut, they were fornicating within the first 10 minutes of the movie. I couldn't watch it.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Christine A. (WriteReviseEdit) from ROCHESTER, NY
Reviewed on 9/25/2013...
This film was released in 1980 and, well, you can't get away from that fact. But, that's what makes it particularly interesting and "charming" (used loosely in the context of this film). One of the highlights, incidentally, is the exposure to a young-ish Bob Balaban who's since gone on to play a supporting role in more films than can be mentioned here. I knew he looked familiar, but it took me a while to figure out who he was. That alone made it worth watching.

If you're an intellectual, like to think you're an intellectual and/or have a penchant for '80s films which harken back a bit more to the '70s with regard to dialogue, costuming and special effects, you'll love "Altered States" on film. William Hurt looks great, too - both clothed and naked - which makes this Sci-Fi flick that much more entertaining. The extra features were fun (esp. the TV spots).

3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jeremy G.
Reviewed on 1/4/2011...
Ahead of its time!!
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Samantha T. (sadiebug) from W PORTSMOUTH, OH
Reviewed on 6/20/2009...
This is a horrible movie. I hated it. It don't make since and it is just plain boring.
1 of 16 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Smart dialogue, well acted, eye-opening finale
Jeff W. Shimkus | Switzerland, Basel | 07/03/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Altered States was released on Christmas day 1980, made before I was born. But the special effects and makeup are still eye-catching and visually interesting. The scientific dialogue is played with shakespearean artistry by John Hurt. I had no idea that Mr. John Hurt started his career with Altered States. He is young, strong, and well casted as a genius with unfaltering determination towards his scientific goals. As hinted by its title, Altered States has a story about metaphysics. I enjoyed the Harvard approach, that is aspiring to be intellectual. Believe me, in the history of the genre of science fiction films, not many are even attempts at being intellectual.

I thought that the idea that the human brain contains humankinds entire history, buried somewhere within, a little hard to believe, but very original. No spoilers here, but the idea is that an ancient ritual, that requires some bizarre mixture of blood, something, something, and drugs, takes you on a wicked trip. You add in some chamber filled with oil and vitamins that monitors brain activity and allows the user to experience a sort of euphoria, and you're on to something new.

The magnificent ending is something to behold. I really implore you to finish the movie, especially since it's not that long, for the ending, and without giving away too much, it is an epic symbol of love conquering human evolution. You may one day ask yourself, "what is it all for", and although you certainly won't find your answer in a movie, I hope that love is always in your life to put balance to those unanswerable questions that can burn into your soul.

Altered States rewards its viewers with spectacular effects, especially the ending, which is impressive! Unlike some more serious films, it is shorter than say Kubricks Space Odyssey at 102 minutes; making it, perhaps, more accessible to more people. There are many small things to quibble about in this imperfect film that attempt to evade the great qualities of the film. The story telling is grade A, and the acting by the beautiful Blair Brown are additional highlights of this film. Blair accurately potrays the agony of unrequited love and her side of the story gives balance to the graveness of Altered States."
Joseph W. Reese | high point, nc | 07/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"DO NOT, under any circumstances, WATCH THIS MOVIE WHILE UNDER THE EFFECTS OF ANY HALLUCIOGENIC. it is a TERRIBLE IDEA. do not take lsd. do not take shrooms. i'd even avoid weed or a few beers. this movie is a mind-f***. some parts are completely ridiculous and make you fall down laughing, but some of the parts make you feel like you're having a bad trip even when you're on nothing at all. so avoid mixing drugs with this film. that is all."
Pretty much what i expected
SD | 06/27/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I purchased this item going in having seen it a few times and mostly for collecter value. The dvd wasn't scratched at all and plays back fine, it did tkae a litle bit longer than expected to get in the mail but i wasn't really in a rush to get it. NO big problems at all but if ur expecting to view a movie in a rush u might wanna j get it from netflix."