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At Theaters: 12/25/1997 On Video: 6/23/1998
Rated: R Length: 3 hr. 00 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 129711
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.
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Storyline Heading

In the year 2013 a war has devastated America. A stranger (Costner), dressed in a postal uniform, wanders into an isolated town claiming to be The Postman. Although he is inventing a personal history simply to get a meal and shelter, the people, desperate to believe that life and comfort exist beyond the next hill, embrace The Postman. The mail he carries becomes a symbol of hope, inspiring the people to fight back against the army that has conquered them. Now the masquerading Postman must decide whether to admit his deception and move on, or fight for the fledgling society he has inadvertently created.

Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Action Drama - THE POSTMAN is being billed as a futuristic adventure, but thrills are not exactly plentiful in this slow, nearly three-hour film. Costner completists may enjoy this film, but those looking for the action that the commercials promise will be disappointed, as will those looking for a satisfying story.  Children will be bored.

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Cast and Crew Heading
Kevin Costner (TinCup, Dances With Wolves)
Will Patton (Copycat, No Way Out)
Larenz Tate (Love Jones, Dead Presidents)
Olivia Williams - Extensive theater work.
James Russo (Donnie Brasco,Beverly Hills Cop)
Tom Petty - Rock Music Star, No Previous Acting
Dir/Prod: Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves)
Producer: Jim Wilson (Dances With Wolves, The Bodyguard)
Producer: Steve Tisch (Forrest Gump, Risky Business)
Production Notes Heading
About The Production
Content Heading
PROFANITY: Strong not too often.
SEX/NUDITY: Brief nudity during a sex scene.
VIOLENCE: Plenty of mostly bloodless violence.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some alcohol.
ACTION: Lots of gunplay and fighting.
COMEDY: Some (not counting unintentional humor).

Pictures © Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. ®
All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading
Kevin Costner has no one to blame but himself for the fiasco that is THE POSTMAN, his first directorial effort since his 1990 multiple Oscar winner DANCES WITH WOLVES.  Even die hard Costner fans will have trouble sitting through this pretentious, overlong (nearly three hours) sci-fi "adventure" in which Costner plays a drifter posing as a postman in a postapocalyptic, anarchic 2013 American Northwest; somehow he becomes the embodiment of hope for citizens fighting against evil gangs in what is now the former United States.  The most amusement in THE POSTMAN comes not from the action sequences or even the performances (and there are a few good ones--not including Costner's) but from the unintentional laughs derived from the ludicrous story and dreadful dialogue.  If there is anything Costner has succeeded in with THE POSTMAN, it is making a worse movie than his last sci-fi starring effort, the notorious budgetbuster WATERWORLD.

Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 108 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
Movie To Friends
1-12Children (M/F)
13-19Teens (M/F)
Fairly High
20-29Yg Adults (M)
About 50/50
20-29Yg Adults (F)
About 50/50
30+Adults (M)
Fairly High
30+Adults (F)
Fairly High
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
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The year is 2013.

There is no order.

There is no peace.

There are no roads, no telephones. A war has destroyed the country, leaving its survivors struggling to make their lives in isolated towns lacking any means of communication.

An army of warriors called the Holnists, led by the despotic General Bethlehem (WILL PATTON), is determined to keep the people apart and their spirits empty so that the Holnists can continue their reign of terror.

A lone drifter (KEVIN COSTNER) traveling through the wild territory discovers a mail carrier's old, rusted jeep. Inside, he finds a sack full of undelivered mail and the driver's uniform. Hoping it will make it easier for him to get food and shelter from the townspeople nearby, he dons the uniform and presents himself as The Postman, a representative of the restored government of the United States.

To the people he encounters, The Postman and the letters he carries serve as a reminder of the way they once lived their lives. Slowly a new spirit begins to take hold in their hearts. The mail The Postman carries has become a symbol of hope, order and a reconnection with the places and loved ones of their pasts. More important, it gives the citizens the courage to battle the Holnists to regain control of the country.

A new war begins between Bethlehem and the re-empowered citizens. As the confrontation looms, The Postman must examine his soul, asking himself if he has indeed become the person others believe him to be. He must decide if he is willing, in his new role of hero, to fight for the fledgling society he has inadvertently created.

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