Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
New York Times:
Contact is at its most relaxed when it sheds its intellectual pretensions and reveals its media-wise sense of humor.
When Contact finally comes alive, it leaves you frightened and thrilled and emotionally overwrought, as only a child can be. The rest is pandering.
The movie's CNN strategy, whereby credibility is measured in TV exposure, proves fatal, often throwing the proceedings into a laughable tailspin.
When it's good, it's very good. And when it's not, it can be as silly and self-important as a bad '50s sci-fi movie.
This is the kind of motion picture that restores one's faith in what can be produced when a large budget is used wisely.
Faithful to Sagan's brand of popularized science, the film never reaches beyond Hollywood spectacle and sentimentality.
San Francisco Chronicle:
When it tries to personify the struggle between skepticism and faith in the relationship between Ellie and her theologian boyfriend, it becomes flat and obvious.
Something like one of those mysterious asteroids that get the astronomers all worked up: a large body of gaseous matter surrounding a relatively small core of solid substance.
Features heavy-handed exposition, repetitive, maudlin flashbacks, uneven performances and endless sermonising.
Like Jodie Foster's hopeful space voyager in the picture, "Contact" may not travel quite as far as it hopes to go, but the trip is worth taking nonetheless.
While the movie doesn't qualify as an awful waste of space by any means, it has so many creative black holes, you'll have to weigh the entertainment odds before making this journey.