In DEEP IMPACT, Leo Beiderman (Elijah Wood), joins a field study for his high school's Astronomy Club and discovers a new comet that unfortunately is headed for Earth. While scientists build a cave to prevent the extinctio... more »n of the human race, they estimate that only 800,000 people can be selected to survive the "Deep Impact." The threat of a comet ending the world quickly sends Americans into a panic until the president announces a plan to send astronauts on a mission to destroy the comet before it reaches earth.« less
Anne B. from ROCKINGHAM, VA Reviewed on 11/16/2016...
A good storyline and cast keeps this apocalyptic film interesting. Have watched it multiple times and never tire of it.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
One of my top 10 - the greatest disaster movie ever made
Bob Stout | Houston, Texas USA | 09/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although "Deep Impact" invariably gets compared to "Armageddon", I think it's more appropriate to compare it against all other disaster movies. Viewed in that light, it not only surpasses "Armageddon", but every other film in the genre.
Unlike most disaster epics, "Deep Impact" is character driven. I think this is a direct effect of its having been directed by a woman rather than a man. While the special effects are there and are impressive, what drives this film are the emotions of the excellent ensemble cast. All of them ring true, from the occasional duplicitousness of the government bureaucrats, to the real tear jerking moments of those facing tough life and death decisions, to the small intimate moments. It's powerful enough stuff that I have to believe that a lot of the negative reaction the film elicited vis-a-vis "Armageddon" came from guys who don't like their action movies to move them to the verge of tears in public.
All disaster films depend on a hook to set them up. In this respect, most fall far short of realism and believability. Of ones that come immediately to mind, only the cosmic collision movies and "The Towering Inferno" had realistic setups.
All disaster films depend on the heros to come up with some way to save the day. Of the ones with a believable setup, many still fall short of believable and/or technically accurate resolutions. This is where "Armageddon" failed miserably. Mimi Leder had expert advice from NASA and it shows. "Armageddon" has some impressive training facilities shots from NASA, but ignored the actual technology. Very early in "Armageddon", when I saw the two shuttles docking with the space station by coming in from opposite directions, performing clearly aerodynamic banking maneuvers, I was ready to start pelting the screen with rotten tomatoes!
Giving the devil his due, both films glossed over the full impact of operations in the microgravity environment of the comet's surface.
Still, it's the raw emotions that elevate "Deep Impact" above its genre, not just the technical stuff. It's actually best in its quiet moments. Among the ones that clearly stand out:
The president (Morgan Freeman) tries to continue to maintain an upbeat message as each plan successively fails. His press conferences and the dialog around them rings true.
The dialog between the reporter (the usually annoying Tea Leoni) and her mother (Vanessa Redgrave) also rings with truth.
The ultimate reconciliation between the reporter and her father (Maximilian Schell) just before the end reflects the bitterness of choices each has made in getting to that point.
The reunion of the kid who helped discover the comet (Elijah Wood) and his girlfriend (Leelee Sobieski), oblivious for the moment to what was going on around them - again, this simply rings true.
The astronaut observing wryly, "Well, the good news is that we'll all have high schools named after us." No melodramatics, no macho heroism, just someone injecting a sense of humor into a shared fate she has accepted as necessary to save the people they love. My favorite line in the film.
From start to finish, this film is a class act. A realistic film that carries an emotional impact to be expected of its serious subject matter. Part of this impact is that you can't always guess in advance which characters will and will not survive. Of the ones who don't survive, not all face their fate gracefully, but all are believable.
This movie began my fandom of Mimi Leder, who I consider to be one of the best directors working today - not always commercial, but always excellent. This is on my short list of my top ten favorite movies of all time. Highly recommended!"
R. Penola | NYC, NY United States | 05/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all of the disaster epics I have seen in my life, Deep Impact was the most moving and original. I cried my eyes out, even when the sentimentality was over-the-top, as with the kid/romance subplot. I thought the emotional rendering of a core group of people you come to know as the world is about to end was wonderfully done, and so movingly told. Tea Leoni got a short shrift; her TV anchor was appropriately confounded, disturbed and knocked out by the juxtaposition of her own success/ambition coming about via the worst single disaster known to man. The astronaut sequences were well-done, and featured a small ensemble of strong acting, lead by the reliable Robert Duvall. It was refreshing to see Morgan Freeman as a President you wish was your own. James Horner's music moves the multi-layered plot with deep emotion and color. Though the movie surely delivers knockout special effects in its final reel, this movie is no Armageddon; expect a deep resonant response, one of the heart. It makes sense that this movie was directed by Mimi Leder; it has a woman's touch, which for me brought it a sensitivity and compelling beauty. There are so many moving moments in the final 20 minutes it will be difficult to remain calm, and dry-eyed."
A Thriller with a heart
Erik Pack | Winter Haven, FL USA | 08/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First things first. If you want action, don't see this movie. Go rent Armageddon with it's static characters and predictable plot.To tell the truth this is the most moving disastor movie I've ever seen. It seems every charachter gives a powerhouse performance. This was a relief after watching the charachters in Armageddon make jokes just when Earth was supposed to be destroyed. The cast includes the ever-great Morgan Freeman, superb Robert Duvall, newcomer Tea Leoni, and screen favorite Vanessa Redgrave. A lot of movies try too crowd too many good actors into a story line, with awful results. Somehow this one works. All the characters are believable. And you care about them. Morgan Freeman is painful to watch at times, he performs so well.People die in this movie. But you feel though through their sacrifice, hope will prevail. It different from Armaggedon. I felt that they killed charachters off in that movie to either keep the plot going, or because they had already served their purpose. Deep Impact is more realistic though, I gurantee that by the time it's over, there won't be a dry eye in the house."
Deep Impact is the right title for this one!
Erik Pack | 01/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is inevitably compared with "Armageddon." In my opinion, the comparison ends with the subject matter and the strategies for destroying the comet. "Armageddon" is a Bruce Willis movie, and Bruce--whom I enjoy-- puts up a great fight with the big space object. It's entertaining, it's fun to watch, but it's not very different from a lot of John Wayne movies in its essential story line. "Deep Impact," on the other hand, deals with the emotional, social, and political effects of impending disaster. The portrayals of all the characters were thoughtful and finely wrought. (What a treat to see Vanessa Redgrave and Maximillian Schell in this movie!)Tia Leoni plays a character who may seem "wooden"-- I know from many years of experience working with people that her reaction is totally believable, that many people shut down when faced with overwhelming panic. I also found her parents, and her relationship with them, to be very skillfully portrayed. As for Morgan Freeman, I'd vote for him anytime. This movie has quickly made its way into my list of all-time favorites (my husband and two teenagers agree with me on this one). It makes me think of "Testament" with Jane Alexander, which lacked spectacular special effects but resonated with human truth. The difference is that I can't bring myself to watch "Testament" again, but I can see myself watching "Deep Impact" again, and sharing it with friends.By the way, "Deep Impact" has a very cool website with links to articles in astronomy journals that gave me new respect for all those big space objects out there."
Deep Impact (Blu-Ray)
Victor A. Noh | USA | 09/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have recently purchased the Blu-Ray version of Deep Impact and i just have to say that the transfer to Blu-Ray is very very good. Great! The picture is crystal clear and the special effects are even better. I had the dvd and decided to purchase it on Blu-Ray because its one of my favorite movies of all time. If you have not bought this movie on Blu-Ray or have thoughts about it regardless its quality, BUY IT! you will not regret it! This is what you call a Great transfer to Blu-Ray."