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Explorers (1985)

Ethan Hawke , River Phoenix , Joe Dante  |  PG |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)

Price: $36.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Bobby Fite, Bradley Gregg, Georg Olden
  • Directors: Joe Dante
  • Writers: Eric Luke
  • Producers: David Bombyk, Edward S. Feldman, Michael Finnell, Tom Jacobson
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V7O3I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Explorers" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Two additional scenes

Editorial Reviews

EXPLORERS are the inventive story about three idealistic and thrill-seeking boys who combine their wits and astuteness to build their own spaceship. Accordingly, the boys blast-off into the galaxy and embark on journeys both whimsical and weird.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any sci-fi fan or space enthusiast. August 21, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Explorers is a must for all true science fiction film collectors. The plot elegantly captures the dreams of a typical young sci-fi fan / space enthusiast. Hawke, then about 12, receives schematics from outer space in his dreams. His buddy Phoenix builds a circuit from the dream-diagram and hooks it to his computer, generating a miraculous force field capable of driving a space ship - which they build, with a third pal from school (Presson), from junkyard parts!

Joe Dante's 1985 space adventure pays homage to classic sci-fi in a number of allusions: the videos Ethan Hawke watches in bed (The War of The Worlds and This Island Earth), the old sf paperbacks and Classics Illustrated comics in River Phoenix's basement, the mouse named Heinlein (after the great American science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein), and the usual supporting roles of Dick Miller and Robert Picardo (The Burbs, Matinee, etc.). Watching this movies always puts me in the mood to reread the Heinlein juvenile novels (Have Space Suit, Will Travel, Rocket Ship Galileo, etc.).

If anyone says they're disappointed in the ending, that's only because the first 90 minutes of the film are so excellent, it's hard for any ending to live up to the oustanding buildup, including exploring the interior of a huge alien spacecraft. Take it for what it is, and if you're into space ships or sci-fi, you'll love it.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guided my daydreams for almost 2 decades June 22, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I agree the ending leaves a LOT to be desired, but even the ending can't ruin the real meat and potatoes of this film, and in it's own silly way somehow actually works.

I must emphasize that this film is as much about nostalgia for me, as it is about a simply good family film. As a child I loved Sci-fi, and this was one of the films that truly captured my imagination. I cannot look at a truly starry night without almost hearing the harmonica music Ethan Hawke's character plays on the rooftop, and knowing exactly what that character was thinking and feeling at that moment. Beyond awe, beyond wonder, beyond hope.

As I child spending my summer in upstate New York, occasionally the sky would be so clear you could see something akin to what he saw, so deep so vast, so wonderful.

I could also see a seriously good sequel being made to this film if the powers that be ever considered it. One that could wipe away the goofiness of the ending of the original and replace it with a more grown up ending. Sadly however I'm sure the magic, dreamlike quality of a movie set in the 80's will never be recaptured. To say nothing of the childlike wonder the movie inspires in me even today.

So needless to say I'm more than a fan of this film, one of these days I'm going to clear out the garage, find a tilt a whirl, and build my own version of the ship, even if it doesn't have force field bubble technology, it will be one hell of a conversation piece.

Anyone who was of the age at the time of this movies release and likes sci-fi, and doesn't mind the goofy ending, will enjoy this film, and nobody that I know who recalls this movie would ever say it wasn't a wonderful film.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Exploration August 27, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Fans of movies like "Galaxy Quest" will probably find this dated but still entertaining. If you enjoyed "Goonies" you should like this movie. Three teenage boys build a spaceship from plans that are sent to them by aliens. The fact they build it from a carnerval ride and other miscellaneous items only shows the imagination. A fun adventure for kids of all ages. The young aliens that sent the plans to the teenagers have modelled their behavior based on our TV shows. The alien comedy is like Robin Williams did in Aladdin, off the wall imitations of celebrities. I enjoyed it when I first saw it as someone in my twenties and I still think it is fun to watch.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagination November 30, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I've read a couple of reviews on this movie that talk about the acting, or the costumes, or the directors, or the cast, and even comparing it with other movies for older audiences. I saw this movie when I was a kid when it first came out, and another 50 times throughout the years, and that's exactly who this movie is for, kids. This movie gets the imagination going and leaves the younger audience with a good feeling after watching it that will last though the ages. I remember wanting to be one of those kids and a few times I may have even dreamt that I was working late at night on the "Thunder Road". That's more than enough for me. I can safely say that the movie ranks right up there with "Goonies", "Solar Babies", the recent "Hook", and other adventure/fiction films that never grow old. Those with the imagination of youth will enjoy this movie and it's a shame the DVD conversion has not happened yet.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great.....until the last half hour. August 3, 2006
Format:DVD
This movie was a great, feel good, imaginative kids movie....3 outcasts, building their dreams, and doing what all kids would love to do...fly their own homemade spaceship. Then the aliens showed up. Silly rubber outfits, and worn out old tv standby gags....ruined the film for me. But it was great until then.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The stuff that dreams are made of..." October 25, 2004
Format:DVD
Joe Dante has forged a unique career by making tiny, personal films that just happen to cost millions of dollars and frequently push state-of-the-art visual effects to the next level. Though many critics and younger audience members view his work as overly referential, those of us who grew up on a Cold War diet of 50s science-fiction films, stories by Bradbury, Clarke and Heinlein, and cultural touchstones like MAD Magazine, E.C. Comics and Famous Monsters of Filmland know exactly where Joe's heart lies. His finest films are love letters to his own childhood.
And mine.
As much as I admire all of Dante's work, my two favorites have always been MATINEE and EXPLORERS. It's a pleasure to finally see the latter appear on DVD. Although situated smack-dab in the middle of the 80s, the film is a big-brotherly pat on the shoulder to every kid who tried to build a spaceship in his backyard while Dad loaded the final bags of rice into the fallout shelter. Screenwriter Eric Luke (whom, as I recall, had been clerking at a Los Angeles science-fiction bookstore when this script sold) has crafted a tale of supreme silliness laced together with just enough plausible beats to allow the audience its all important willing suspension of disbelief. (No, the kids don't actually build their own spaceship, just the lovely Tilt-A-Whirl-based contrivance that rides within the alien forcefield technology they've happened upon.) The cast is remarkable; joining Dante's regular stock company (Roger Corman stalwart Dick Miller etc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A favorite classic.
Great movie, was as good as I remembered it from when I saw it in 87'. Dated now of course but still captures the awe and wonder of being a kid and the imagination that came so... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Michael J Peel-Roelofs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
as very pleased with conditon of product and arrived promptly
Published 3 days ago by Lorrie L. Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Explorers while not a Classic Film is still an entertaining film, full...
Explorers is a great deal of fun as the kids are swept away
by an Alien Space Craft. The Kids are excited about meeting a new
kind of Alien. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Robert Pylant
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank You!
Published 23 days ago by Dan
4.0 out of 5 stars They loved the adventure
My boys are 9&5. They loved the adventure. Great family movie!
Published 24 days ago by christine martineau
4.0 out of 5 stars Fond memories of this movie as a kid!
Watched it with my near 7 year old and he loved it. Some rough language (no curse words) but no violence.
Published 29 days ago by Jerome Dubois
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very Happy
Published 1 month ago by Danny Muth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
my seventh grader saw this film in class and loved it.
Published 1 month ago by amy
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure at its best
I've loved this movie since I was a kid...and I still watch it and love it today. It's adventure at its best.
Published 1 month ago by Robert C. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethan Hawk in the EXPLORERS
I was happy to finally get this movie very good my son likes how the boys make this spaceship I saw this when I was younger and had to get this very good movie
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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what is the name of a move?
Are you kidding? I found your post on the product page of The Explorers, the same movie you're "inquiring" about.
Oct 13, 2009 by Ian Kiddo |  See all 2 posts
The Making of 'Explorers'.... not on the DVD? Be the first to reply
EXPLORERS aspect Ration??? Be the first to reply
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