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2010 (1984)

aka 2010

"The year we make contact."

Directed By: 
Details: 116 mins · English, Russian, Deutsch · PG (USA)


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From Everybody:

As much as the first film, _2001: A Space Odyssey_, may have confused me, it was still a film I thoroughly enjoyed on some level. I felt this film _2010: The Year We Made Contact_ tried to force the first film to make sense in a way I didn't appreciate. If the monolith in this film had been replaced with some other random object, I may have enjoyed it more, but it didn't live up to the potential of the first and, when compared to the first, didn't have the same appeal. I wouldn't say it was an absolutely horrible film, but it didn't quite reach the heights for which it was aiming.

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Small Dr. Walter Curnow
Small Tanya Kirbuk
Small Dr. R. Chandra
Small David Bowman
Small Dimitri Moisevitch
No_movie_poster Christopher Floyd
No_movie_poster Victor Milson
No_movie_poster Dr. Vasili Orlov
No_movie_poster Caroline Floyd
Small Maxim Brajlovsky
Small SAL 9000
Small Dr. Heywood Floyd
Small Man on park bench
No_movie_poster HAL 9000


Small Arthur C. Clarke Novel
No_movie_poster Rick Simpson Set Decoration
No_movie_poster Albert Brenner Production Design
No_movie_poster Patricia Norris Costume Design
No_movie_poster David Shire Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Peter Hyams Director
No_movie_poster Peter Hyams Production
No_movie_poster Neil A. Machlis Production
No_movie_poster Peter Hyams Writer
Small Arthur C. Clarke Story Contributor


"The year we make contact."

"We are not alone."


Nine years earlier, the American Discovery One's mission to Jupiter mysteriously failed. As depicted in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Discovery's HAL 9000 computer—or "Hal" (Douglas Rain)—malfunctioned, killing four astronauts. The fifth, David Bowman (Keir Dullea), disappeared into a large, alien Monolith orbiting the planet. Bowman's last transmission before his disappearance was the cryptic line "My God! It's full of stars!"

Back on Earth, Heywood Floyd (Roy Scheider), head of the National Council on Astronautics, received the blame for the failure and left the NCA. Since then he has been the Chancellor of the University of Hawaii.

While diplomatic tensions are growing between the United States and the Soviet Union over a dispute in Honduras, both nations prepare space missions to determine what happened to the Discovery. Although the Soviet ship, the Alexei Leonov, will be ready before the American spacecraft Discovery Two, the Soviets need American astronauts to help board the Discovery and investigate Hal's malfunction. The US government agrees to a joint mission since it has been determined that Discovery will crash into Jupiter's moon Io before Discovery Two is ready. Floyd, along with Discovery designer Walter Curnow (John Lithgow) and HAL 9000's creator Dr. Chandra (Bob Balaban), join the Russian mission.

Upon Leonov's arrival at Jupiter, Captain Tanya Kirbuk (Helen Mirren) and the other Soviets wake Floyd early from his hibernation because they have detected the presence of chlorophyll and other chemical signatures of life on Jupiter's frozen moon Europa. An unmanned probe is sent from the Leonov to investigate the readings coming from Europa, but just as it finds the source, a mysterious energy burst destroys the probe as well as all telemetry data recorded by it. The "burst" then flies at great speed, past the Leonov, and toward Jupiter. Though the Soviet crew believes the burst was simply electromagnetic radiation, Floyd suspects that it was actually a warning to stay away from Europa.

After surviving a dangerous aerocapture through Jupiter's upper atmosphere, the Leonov crew find the Discovery, abandoned but undamaged, orbiting the planet close to Io. Curnow reactivates the ship and Chandra restarts Hal, which Dave Bowman had deactivated shortly before he disappeared. Also close by is the alien Monolith that was the purpose of the Discovery mission. Cosmonaut Max Brailovsky (Elya Baskin) travels to the Monolith in an EVA pod, at which point the Monolith temporarily reopens to allow Dave Bowman, now a being of pure energy, to return to Earth (as was seen at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey); Max is swept away when the Monolith opens and is never seen again. On Earth, Dave Bowman, now an incorporeal being but with all the memories of his former human self, appears on his widow's television screen and wishes her farewell. He also visits his terminally ill mother in a nursing home and brushes her hair just before she dies peacefully.

Back on the Discovery, Chandra discovers the reason for Hal's malfunction: The National Security Council ordered the computer to conceal from Discovery's crew the fact that the mission was about the Monolith. This conflicted with Hal's basic function of open, accurate processing of information, causing him to suffer a paranoid mental breakdown. This was done without Floyd's knowledge, even though the order bears his signature, outraging Floyd.

On Earth, the tensions escalate to what is "technically a state of war"; the Americans are forced to leave the Leonov and move to the Discovery, with both sides ordered not to interact with the other save for emergencies. Both crews plan to leave Jupiter separately when a launch window opens in several weeks. However, Bowman reappears as an entity and tells Floyd that everybody must leave Jupiter space within two days because "something wonderful" is going to happen. Floyd, shocked to the core by Bowman's appearance, returns to the Leonov to talk to Kirbuk, who at first refuses to believe him; at that moment, the Monolith suddenly disappears, and a growing black spot appears on Jupiter itself. The spot is actually a vast group of Monoliths that are constantly multiplying. The Monoliths begin shrinking Jupiter's volume, increasing the planet's density, and modifying the chemical properties of its atmosphere.

This convinces the two crews that they must leave soon. Since neither ship can reach Earth with an early departure, they work together to use the Discovery as a booster rocket for the Leonov. Tension arises when Hal is not told that the Discovery will be left stranded in space, and possibly destroyed, and Chandra fears that another deception may cause Hal to malfunction again. During the launch countdown, Chandra finally tells the computer the truth. Hal agrees that he must sacrifice himself for the human beings onboard Leonov to complete Discovery's mission, and thanks Chandra for telling him the truth.

As Leonov and Discovery launch away, Bowman appears once again to Hal and tells him that their mission has been a success and repeats that "something wonderful" is going to happen. Hal admits once again to Bowman that he is afraid, to which Bowman simply replies "Don't be" and tells Hal that they "would be together where he is now" (it is implied that, as with the book, Bowman will remove Hal's AI from the Discovery before it is destroyed). He commands Hal to break his communication link with the Leonov and to repeatedly broadcast a final message to Earth:

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1984-12-07 : United States of America

DVD : 1998-08-25