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182 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Don't miss Academy Award(R)-winners Anthony Hopkins (Best Actor, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, THE INNOCENT) and Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Best Supporting Actor, JERRY MAGUIRE, PEARL HARBOR) in this highly provocative psychological thriller from the hit-making director of PHENOMENON and WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING! In a prison for the criminally insane, deranged anthropologist Ethan Powell (Hopkins) is set to be examined by a bright young psychiatrist, Theo Caulder (Gooding). Driven by ambition and a hunger for the truth, Caulder will eventually risk everything -- even put his very life on the line -- in a harrowing attempt to understand the bizarre actions of this madman! Also starring Donald Sutherland (A TIME TO KILL, DISCLOSURE) and Maura Tierney (FORCES OF NATURE, LIAR LIAR) in a first-rate cast -- Powell and Caulder's adventure of the mind is a riveting journey of discovery ... no matter what the cost!

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Special Features

Theatrical Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Donald Sutherland, Maura Tierney, George Dzundza
  • Directors: Jon Turteltaub, Philippe Rousselot
  • Writers: Gerald DiPego
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 1999
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00001U0DU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,536 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Instinct" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By NurseMare VINE VOICE on May 21, 2005
Format: DVD
I was prepared to not like this movie. There were so many negative and lukewarm reviews. I'm glad I watched it in spite of those reviews.

This is a deeply moving story about an anthropologist who leaves everything behind and lives with a group of gorillas - we get glimpses of that life later in movie. The beginning of the movie is a portrait of him as a madman, who doesn't speak, and has killed two park rangers. He is transported to the U.S. and awaits trial in a prison for the criminally insane. Cuba Gooding Jr. is a psychiatrist who is trying to get him to come out of his shell and speak. Cuba Gooding Jr's performance is the stand out in this awe inspring movie.

For fear of giving too much away, I won't say much more. I will say, however, that this movie is not so much about the crime itself. It is more about the transforming nature of love and respect and, ultimately, the meaning of freedom.

Unlike some other reviewers, I would heartily recommend this film. It is a movie that makes you think. It is a movie that will be on your mind for days and days. It just may transform the way you think.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy James on August 14, 2005
Format: DVD
Everyone thinks this movie is about Anthony Hopkins living out some demented "Gorillas in the Mist" nightmare. That is simply the catalyst for teaching us something about how we relate to the world around us. Everything about this movie is about control, the desire to control those who are not like us, the desire of the guards to control the population, the desire of Gooding's character to contol Hopkins. But, what Hopkins has to teach us is that we are not in control, but we simply hold onto our illusions of control. When our illusions are threatened we become angry and frightened because we are afraid of the reality. Ever wonder why we are so disturbed about a home invasion? Is it because someone came in, or because we had built up an illusion that we were safe, and now that illusion is gone? In this movie look past the gorillas and the corny guards and the predictable plot, look deeper into what the characters reveal about ourselves. Truly, then this is a very frightening movie.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Soaring Heart on August 19, 2002
Format: DVD
INSTINCT has all the components that a great movie should have in my opinion: an early hook, top knotch camera work/direction, a stellar cast, well developed characters and a nicely paced, interesting plot along with plenty of passion and emotion portrayed. INSTINCT gives the viewer bite-sized, puzzle pieces which can be interpreted different ways. The viewer can think and also absorb the information given but can't predict the outcome. INSTINCT ties the story together beautifully with many twists and turns and an interesting, unexpected ending. I personally enjoy a movie which doesn't end sappy but instead, ends with Hope.
Kudos to who casted this movie! Dr. Theo Caulder's Desire and Drive so amply played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. is skillfully contrasted with Dr. Ethan Powell's (Hopkins) deep, dark secrets. What a duo they make--they have Chemistry--the magic so rarely seen on the screen. I was thinking near the beginning of the movie that there was no way that Hopkins could top his performance in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS but he did. He's one of my favorite actors of all time. He makes his characters real and him playing Dr. Ethan Powell is no exception. I've never seen a movie with him in it that I didn't like. And what can I say? Cuba Gooding, Jr. nailed his part. I can't think of anyone who was more suitable to play Theo. Casting is so important! Donald Sutherland plays the mentor/boss of Theo (Gooding, Jr.); I'm so impressed with every word he spoke and how he said it--he's a seasoned, polished actor. Maura Tierney, who plays the daughter of Dr. Ethan Powell (Hopkins) portrayed both longing and love as well as strength, patience and acceptance.
BOTTOM LINE: INSTINCT is a tantalizing, thought-provoking film with much to offer the viewer.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Griffis on November 12, 2001
Format: DVD
The critics completely blew it on this one as it was easily the best movie of the year. I walked out thinking Gooding (actor) and Hopkins (supporting actor) had oscars in the bag. I usually can't stand "show me the money" Gooding (one of the least deserving supporting actor oscars in Jerry McGuire since what's her name in My Cousin Vinny). I knew even at that time I saw it that it was underpromoted and underattended. I had low expectations, but was totally blown away. I haven't so differently read a movie since Billy Bathgate bombed so miserably.
An extremely well-acted and written movie with, gasp, a fully developed female character that complements the two leads. This movie pressed some buttons, and I was frequently in tears as it touched on issues of family and human nature. I was amazed that Hopkins character was so clearly distinguished from Dr. Lector - because it seemed otherwise such a repeat in the trailers - once I saw it. Many a critic pronounced it another Lector character, which shows their haste - only someone who must rush through so many movies to review could miss its greatness. OK, many friends have seen it with equally ho-hum reviews... I don't get it. It just makes it all the more special a movie for me.
Given the mixed reaction this movie gets, go ahead and watch it - you may love it too.
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