7.5/10
314,913
817 user 263 critic

The Aviator (2004)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 25 December 2004 (USA)
Trailer
1:55 | Trailer
A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writer:

John Logan
Reviews
Popularity
690 ( 264)

What to Watch: "Mrs. Maisel," "Vikings," and More

Save yourself from endless browsing with our list of top TV picks for the week, including a 16-time Emmy winner, the final season of "Vikings," and Scarlett Johansson's latest film.

Watch our video

Won 5 Oscars. Another 81 wins & 130 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1862, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis
Blood Diamond (2006)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly
The Beach I (2000)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Vicenarian Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. Excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel York, Patcharawan Patarakijjanon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A writer and wall street trader, Nick, finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
Cape Fear (1991)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Casino (1995)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In 1954, a U.S. Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderer who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
The Departed (2006)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Haunted by the patients he failed to save, an extremely burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic fights to maintain his sanity over three fraught and turbulent nights.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Howard Hughes
Cate Blanchett ... Katharine Hepburn
Kate Beckinsale ... Ava Gardner
John C. Reilly ... Noah Dietrich
Alec Baldwin ... Juan Trippe
Alan Alda ... Senator Ralph Owen Brewster
Ian Holm ... Professor Fitz
Danny Huston ... Jack Frye
Gwen Stefani ... Jean Harlow
Jude Law ... Errol Flynn
Adam Scott ... Johnny Meyer
Matt Ross ... Glenn Odekirk
Kelli Garner ... Faith Domergue
Frances Conroy ... Mrs. Hepburn
Brent Spiner ... Robert Gross
Edit

Storyline

Biopic of billionaire Howard Hughes, starting with his early filmmaking years as owner of R.K.O. Pictures, but mostly focusing on his role in designing and promoting new aircraft. Hughes was a risk-taker spending several fortunes on designing experimental aircraft and eventually founding TWA as a rival to Pan Am airlines owned by his great rival Juan Trippe. When Trippe's politico Senator Ralph Owen Brewster accuses Hughes of being a war profiteer, it's Hughes who gains the upper hand. Hughes also had many women in his life including a long relationship with Katharine Hepburn. From an early age, however, Hughes was also germophobic and would have severe bouts of mental illness. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some men dream the future. He built it. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, nudity, language and a crash sequence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Aviator See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$858,021, 19 December 2004

Gross USA:

$102,610,330

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$213,719,942
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Martin Scorsese, filming was completed in ninety-one days. See more »

Goofs

The amount and position of fudge on the sundae that Hughes and Faith Domergue share in the Cocoanut Grove changes with each shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Allene Hughes: Q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e.
Young Howard Hughes: Quarantine. Q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e. Quarantine.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Aside from company logos and the film's title, there are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brief Film Reviews: My DVD/Blu-Ray Collection (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Paramount on Parade
(1930)
Music by Jack King
Lyrics by Elsie Janis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Concurrent Rise and Fall of a Legend
15 January 2008 | by DaveDigglerSee all my reviews

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the best actors of his generation. Martin Scorsese is the greatest director of all time. They have made a formidable pair over the years and sometimes I think DiCaprio is miscast for certain roles ("Gangs of New York," "The Departed"), but "The Aviator" has DiCaprio's name all over it. This is one of the best, if not thee best, acting performances I have seen since Robert De Niro in "Raging Bull." Both characters have their similarities as well. Jake La Motta had his own inner demons which lead to his paranoia about his wife which ultimately lead to the destruction of the people around him and Howard Hughes' demons are brought front and center as we see where it all starts when he's given a bath at an age where the young Howard should be more than capable to cleaning himself. His mother tells him about all the diseases and makes him spell the word "quarantine." In this unsettling opening scene we see where his delusions start.

DiCaprio can be hilarious at times and heartbreaking at others. Scorsese and DiCaprio do an incredible job of taking us from the marvel of his genius and innovation in aviation to the destruction of his OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). It starts off slow with a few hints here and there that something isn't quite right with Howard Hughes, but gradually we see more and more and more and more and more until we finally see some horrifying acts from Hughes as he locks himself in his projection room playing reels of his films "The Outlaw" and "Hell's Angels" over and over and over and over again. These films have been completed and released, but Hughes is still watching. Still looking for these imperfections. He's stuck. He's stuck in his mind and he's stuck in his life and he's stuck in his projection room.

There are some very good scenes with Cate Blanchett, who plays Katharine Hepburn, and quite wonderfully I might add, and by wonderfully I mean terribly annoying, loud, and excessive. The damn woman does not shut up. Howard says, "I could always hear you." She replies, "That's 'cause I'm so Goddamn loud." Yes you are miss Hepburn, yes you are. They have some great scenes together, but the best one comes when Howard meets her entire family and it's quite possibly the greatest dinner sequence I have ever seen. It's beautifully shot as we watch Howard Hughes struggle to keep up with all the conversations going on at the same time due to his deafness. They are extremely rude people and they bully him and then he finally snaps and we feel so good for him. Katherine Hepburn is a completely different person with her family than alone with Howard. Howard accuses her of acting in her real life and wonders if she even knows anymore. This leads to the destruction of their relationship and leads to more paranoia from Howard Hughes as he burns all the cloths that she had infected. He calls Noah Dietrich (John C. Reilly) to tell him to buy him some cloths and then quickly changes the conversation and starts asking him about recorders and asks if he's recording his conversation. This is where Howard Hughes and his paranoia starts to take off.

The best part of the film comes in the third act, during a simple and what some may think as a rather uneventful Congressional Hearing. It's two people cross examining each other, what could be so great about that? You would have to see to understand it. Alan Alda is the villain as Senator, Ralph Brewster, who is trying to pass a CAB Bill through the Senate that will put a monopoly on the air ways giving Pan Am sole possession of the sky. Juan Trippe (Alec Baldwin) had his people create the bill on their behalf to shut out the competition from Hughes' growing airway company- Trans World America- which is expanding across the Atlantic Ocean into Europe. Brewster and Trippe team up to investigate Hughes as they try to embarrass him in public by revealing all his secrets. They order the FBI to raid Hughes' house over and over again causing Howard Hughes to shut himself off from outsiders like nothing you have ever seen before. They threaten to take Hughes down by investigating what he did with the 50 million he received from the government to build plans that ultimately didn't fly during the war. Howard Hughes can simply sell over Trans World America to Juan Trippe and everything will be forgotten to hide him of the public embarrassment. Alda is spectacular and so crafty, always looking for a way to the top, or always getting his way with a smile on his face, just rubbing his arrogance in the face of everybody. During the Congressional Hearings the film reaches it's climax. This is where Hughes tries to overcome his extremely paranoid state and go to these Congressional Hearings and fight for his reputation. The battle that ensues between Alda and DiCaprio is incredible to watch. The final sequences brings us triumph. Only then are we brought right back down as we see Howard Hughes has not progressed in the final scene. It's a brutal ending it the subtlest of ways. The fact that we seen him at the Congressional Hearings gave us hope that he can somehow recover from his paranoid state; that he conquered his fear. Then, we are shot right back down with the final moments of the film capping off an incredible roller-coaster ride of emotions. The final act of the film is what I thought would undoubtedly give Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar, but to my surprise that didn't happen and that's a shame because he is absolutely incredible here. A fan of his or not, you can't deny his greatness in "The Aviator."

One of Scorsese' best.

10/10


11 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 817 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed