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The story of a visitor to New York from Eastern Europe, whose homeland erupts in a fiery coup while he is in the air en route to America. Stranded at Kennedy Airport with a passport from nowhere, he is unauthorized to actually enter the United States and must improvise his days and nights in the terminal’s international transit lounge until the war at home is over.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Good "The Terminal" is to be savored for its unhurried approach and simple fish-out-of-water story that favors individual character-driven moments over dramatic plot developments. Yet, because the desire to imitate Frank Capra is needlessly strong, "The Terminal" is too falsely upbeat to ascend the cinematic mountain from the plateau of a good movie to that of a great one.
Roger EbertFull Review Very Good ...a sweet and delicate comedy, a film to make you hold your breath, it is so precisely devised. It has big laughs, but it never seems to make an effort for them; it knows exactly, minutely and in every detail who its hero is and remains absolutely consistent to what he believes and how he behaves.
USA TodayFull Review Good ...if moviegoers suspend their disbelief — easy enough thanks to the diverse and talented cast, as well as Spielberg's capable direction — they're bound to enjoy this cinematic fantasy.
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OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
We collected 208 moviegoer opinions. While these are some great reviews, they aren't quite as high as I expected. Still, it's very clear that virtually everyone enjoyed "The Terminal." Only a relatively small percentage rated it "Good," which from our experience is a bit low and indicates an OK or average movie. So, I have no doubt that most of you will enjoy this movie very much.
Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) is a visitor to New York from Eastern Europe, whose homeland erupts in a fiery coup while he is in the air en route to America. Stranded at Kennedy Airport with a passport from nowhere, he is unauthorized to actually enter the United States and must improvise his days and nights in the terminal's international transit lounge until the war at home is over.
As the weeks and months stretch on, Viktor finds the compressed universe of the terminal to be a richly complex world of absurdity, generosity, ambition, amusement, status, serendipity and even romance with a beautiful flight attendant named Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones). But Viktor has long worn out his welcome with airport official Frank Dixon, who considers him a bureaucratic glitch, a problem he cannot control but wants desperately to erase.