He was right. I wish he had remembered that lesson when he was preparing “Jurassic Park,” his new thriller set in a remote island theme park where real dinosaurs have been grown from long-dormant DNA molecules. The movie delivers all too well on its promise to show us dinosaurs. We see them early and often, and they are indeed a triumph of special effects artistry, but the movie is lacking other qualities that it needs even more, such as a sense of awe and wonderment, and strong human story values.
Watch Jurassic Park (1993), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie
Jurassic Park (1993)
A pragmatic paleontologist touring an almost complete theme park on an island in Central America is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park’s cloned dinosaurs to run loose.
Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Gerald R. Molen. It is the first installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, and the first film in the Jurassic Park original trilogy, and is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton and a screenplay written by Crichton and David Koepp.
The film is set on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, located off Central America’s Pacific Coast near Costa Rica. There, wealthy businessman John Hammond and a team of genetic scientists have created a wildlife park of de-extinct dinosaurs. When industrial sabotage leads to a catastrophic shutdown of the park’s power facilities and security precautions, a small group of visitors and Hammond’s grandchildren struggle to survive and escape the perilous island.
Before Crichton’s novel was published, four studios put in bids for its film rights. With the backing of Universal Studios, Spielberg acquired the rights for $1.5 million before its publication in 1990; Crichton was hired for an additional $500,000 to adapt the novel for the screen.
Koepp wrote the final draft, which left out much of the novel’s exposition and violence and made numerous changes to the characters. Filming took place in California and Hawaii from August to November 1992, and post-production rolled until May 1993, supervised by Spielberg in Poland as he filmed Schindler’s List. The dinosaurs were created with groundbreaking computer-generated imagery by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs built by Stan Winston’s team.
To showcase the film’s sound design, which included a mixture of various animal noises for the dinosaur roars, Spielberg invested in the creation of DTS, a company specializing in digital surround sound formats. The film also underwent an extensive $65 million marketing campaign, which included licensing deals with over 100 companies.
Jurassic Park premiered on June 9, 1993, at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., and was released on June 11 in the United States. It went on to gross over $914 million worldwide in its original theatrical run, becoming the highest-grossing film ever at the time, a record held until the release of Titanic in 1997. It received positive reviews from critics, who praised its special effects and Spielberg’s direction.
Following its 20th anniversary re-release in 2013, Jurassic Park became the oldest film in history to surpass $1 billion in ticket sales and the seventeenth overall. The film won more than twenty awards, including three Academy Awards for its technical achievements in visual effects and sound design.
In 2018, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. The film was followed by five sequels – The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Jurassic Park III (2001), Jurassic World (2015), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), and Jurassic World Dominion (2022).
Jurassic Park (1993) Trailer
Jurassic Park (1993) Reviews
Richard Attenborough, as the millionaire who builds the park, is given a few small dimensions – he loves his grandchildren, he’s basically a good soul, he realizes the error of tampering with nature. But there was an opportunity here to make his character grand and original, colorful and oversize, and instead he comes across as unfocused and benign.
As the film opens, two dinosaur experts (Sam Neill and Laura Dern) arrive at the park, along with a mathematician played by Jeff Goldblum whose function in the story is to lounge about uttering vague philosophical imprecations. Also along are Attenborough’s grandchildren, and a lawyer, who is the first to be eaten by a dinosaur.
Attenborough wants the visitors to have a preview of his new park, where actual living prehistoric animals live in enclosures behind tall steel fences, helpfully labeled “10,000 volts.” The visitors set off on a tour in remote-controlled utility vehicles, which stall when an unscrupulous employee (Wayne Knight) shuts down the park’s computer program so he can smuggle out some dinosaur embryos. Meanwhile, a tropical storm hits the island, the beasts knock over the fences, and Neill is left to shepherd the kids back to safety while they’re hunted by towering meat-eaters.
The plot to steal the embryos is handled on the level of a TV sitcom. The Knight character, an overwritten and overplayed blubbering fool, drives his Jeep madly through the storm and thrashes about in the forest. If this subplot had been handled cleverly – with skill and subtlety, as in a caper movie – it might have added to the film’s effect. Instead, it’s as if one of the Three Stooges wandered into the story.
The subsequent events – after the creatures get loose – follow an absolutely standard outline, similar in bits and pieces to all the earlier films in this genre, from “The Lost World” and “King Kong” right up to the upcoming “Carnosaur.” True, because the director is Spielberg, there is a high technical level to the execution of the cliches. Two set-pieces are especially effective: A scene where a beast mauls a car with screaming kids inside, and another where the kids play hide and seek with two creatures in the park’s kitchen.
Think back to another ambitious special effects picture from Spielberg, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977). That was a movie about the “idea” of visitors from outer space. It inspired us to think what an awesome thing it would be, if earth were visited by living alien beings. You left that movie shaken and a little transformed. It was a movie that had faith in the intelligence and curiosity of its audience.
In the 16 years since it was made, however, big-budget Hollywood seems to have lost its confidence that audiences can share big dreams. “Jurassic Park” throws a lot of dinosaurs at us, and because they look terrific (and indeed they do), we’re supposed to be grateful. I have the uneasy feeling that if Spielberg had made “Close Encounters” today, we would have seen the aliens in the first 10 minutes, and by the halfway mark they’d be attacking Manhattan with death rays.
Because the movie delivers on the bottom line, I’m giving it three stars. You want great dinosaurs, you got great dinosaurs.
Spielberg enlivens the action with lots of nice little touches; I especially liked a sequence where a smaller creature leaps suicidally on a larger one, and they battle to the death. On the monster movie level, the movie works and is entertaining. But with its profligate resources, it could have been so much more.
Jurassic Park (1993) Credits
Jurassic Park (1993)
Laura Dern as Ellie
Jeff Goldblum as Malcolm
Sam Neill as Grant
Richard Attenborough as Hammond
Based On The Novel by
- Michael Crichton
- Steven Spielberg
Jurassic Park (1993) Plot
Industrialist John Hammond has created a theme park of cloned dinosaurs, Jurassic Park, on tropical Isla Nublar. After a dinosaur handler is killed by a Velociraptor, the park’s investors, represented by lawyer Donald Gennaro, demand a safety certification. Gennaro invites mathematician Ian Malcolm, while Hammond invites paleontologist Alan Grant and paleobotanist Ellie Sattler. Upon arrival, the group is shocked to see a live Brachiosaurus.
At the park’s visitor center, the group learns that the cloning was accomplished by extracting dinosaur DNA from prehistoric mosquitoes preserved in amber. DNA from frogs and other animals was used to fill in gaps in the genome of the dinosaurs, and to prevent breeding, all the dinosaurs were made female by direct chromosome manipulation.
The group witnesses the hatching of a baby Velociraptor and visits the raptor enclosure. During lunch, the group debates the ethics of cloning and the creation of the park; Malcolm warns about the implications of genetic engineering and scoffs at the park’s conceptualization, saying that it will inevitably break down.
Hammond’s grandchildren, Lex and Tim, join for a tour of the park, while Hammond oversees from the control room. The tour does not go as planned, with most of the dinosaurs failing to appear and the group encountering a sick Triceratops; it is cut short as a tropical storm approaches. Most of the park employees leave for the mainland on a boat while the visitors return to their electric tour vehicles, except Sattler, who stays behind with the park’s veterinarian to study the Triceratops.
Jurassic Park’s disgruntled lead computer programmer, Dennis Nedry, has been bribed by Dodgson, a man working for Hammond’s corporate rival, to steal fertilized dinosaur embryos. Nedry deactivates the park’s security system to gain access to the embryo storage room and stores the embryos inside a container disguised as a shaving cream can. Nedry’s sabotage also cuts power to the tour vehicles, stranding them just as they near the park’s Tyrannosaurus rex paddock.
Most of the park’s electric fences are also deactivated, allowing the Tyrannosaurus to escape and attack the group. After the Tyrannosaurus overturns a tour vehicle, it injures Malcolm and devours Gennaro, while Grant, Lex and Tim escape. On his way to deliver the embryos to the island’s docks, Nedry becomes lost in the rain, crashes his Jeep Wrangler, and is killed by a Dilophosaurus.
Sattler helps the game warden, Robert Muldoon, search for survivors; they only find an injured Malcolm, just before the Tyrannosaurus returns and chases them away. Grant, Tim, and Lex take shelter in a treetop, and encounter a Brachiosaurus. They later discover the broken shells of dinosaur eggs, and Grant concludes that the dinosaurs have been breeding, which occurred because of their frog DNA—some West African frogs can change their sex in a single-sex environment, allowing the dinosaurs to do so as well.
Unable to decipher Nedry’s code to reactivate the security system, Hammond and chief engineer Ray Arnold reboot the park’s system. The group shuts down the park’s grid and retreats to an emergency bunker, while Arnold heads to a maintenance shed to complete the rebooting process. When Arnold fails to return, Sattler and Muldoon head to the shed.
They discover the shutdown has deactivated the remaining fences and released the Velociraptors. Muldoon distracts the raptors, while Sattler goes to turn the power back on, before being attacked by a raptor and discovering Arnold’s severed arm. Meanwhile, Muldoon is caught off-guard and killed by the other two raptors.
Grant, Tim and Lex reach the visitor center. Grant heads out to look for Sattler, leaving Tim and Lex inside. Tim and Lex are pursued by the raptors in a kitchen, but they escape and join Grant and Sattler, who have returned. The group reaches the control room and Lex uses Nedry’s computer to restore the park’s power, allowing them to call Hammond, who calls for help.
As they try to escape by the front entrance, they are cornered by the raptors, but they escape when the Tyrannosaurus appears and kills the raptors. Hammond arrives in a jeep with Malcolm, and the group boards a helicopter to leave the island.
Jurassic Park (1993) Box office
Jurassic Park became the highest-grossing film released worldwide up to that time, replacing Spielberg’s own E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). It grossed $3.1 million from Thursday night screenings in the United States and Canada on June 10, and $50.1 million in its first weekend from 2,404 theaters, breaking the opening weekend record set by Batman Returns the year before. The film would hold that record for two years until 1995 when Batman Forever took it.
Upon opening, it became the first film to generate $50 million in a single weekend. By the end of its first week, Jurassic Park had grossed a record $81.7 million, and remained at number one for three weeks. It eventually grossed $357 million in the U.S. and Canada, ranking second of all-time behind E.T. Box Office Mojo estimates the film sold over 86.2 million tickets in the US in its initial theatrical run.
The film also did very well in international markets and was the first to gross $500 million overseas, surpassing the record $280 million overseas gross of E.T. It broke opening records around the world including in the United Kingdom, Japan, India, South Korea, Mexico, Germany, Australia, Taiwan, Italy, Denmark, South Africa and France. In Japan, Jurassic Park grossed $8.4 million from 237 screens in two days (including previews).
In the United Kingdom, it also beat the opening weekend record set by Batman Returns with a gross of £4.875 million ($7.4 million) from 434 screens, including £443,000 from Thursday night previews, and also beat Terminator 2: Judgment Day‘s opening week record, with £9.2 million. The film held the record for having the country’s opening of any film until it was beaten by Independence Day in 1996.
After just three weeks, it became the highest-grossing film of all-time in the UK surpassing Ghost, eventually doubling the record with a gross of £47.9 million. Jurassic Park would remain as Europe’s box office leader before being surpassed by Aladdin.
In Australia, the film had the widest release ever and was the first film to open with a one-day gross of more than A$1 million, grossing A$5,447,000 (US$3.6 million) in its first four days from 192 screens beating the opening record of Terminator 2 and also beating the weekly record set by The Bodyguard with a gross of A$6.8 million.
In the same weekend, it also set an opening record in Germany with a gross of DM 16.8 million ($10.5 million) from 644 screens. In Italy, it also had the widest release ever in 344 theaters and grossed a record Lire 9.5 billion ($6.1 million). It eventually opened in France on October 20, 1993, and grossed a record 75 million F ($13 million) in its opening week from over 515 screens.
The film set all-time records in, among others, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan (in US Dollars), Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Ultimately the film grossed $914 million worldwide in its initial release, with Spielberg reportedly earning over $250 million from the film, the most a director or actor had earned from one film at the time. Its record gross was surpassed in 1998 by Titanic, the first film to gross over $1 billion.
The 3D re-release of Jurassic Park in April 2013 opened at fourth place at the US box office, with $18.6 million from 2,771 locations. IMAX showings accounted for over $6 million, with the 32 percent being the highest IMAX share ever for a nationwide release. The international release had its most successful weekend in the last week of August, when it managed to climb to the top of the overseas box office with a $28.8 million debut in China.
The reissue earned $45.4 million in the United States and Canada and $44.5 million internationally as of August 2013, leading to a lifetime gross of $402.5 million in the United States and Canada and $628.7 million overseas, for a worldwide gross of $1.029 billion, making Jurassic Park the 17th film to surpass the $1 billion mark. It was the only Universal Pictures film to surpass the $1 billion mark until 2015, when the studio had three such films, Furious 7, Minions, and the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World.
The film earned an additional $374,238 in 2018 for its 25th anniversary re-release. In June 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing most theaters worldwide and limiting what films played, Jurassic Park returned to 230 theaters (mostly drive-ins). It grossed $517,600, finishing in first for the fourth time in its history. It became the first time a re-issue topped the box office since The Lion King in September 2011.
It currently ranks as the 37th highest-grossing film of all time in the United States and Canada (not adjusted for inflation) and the 40th highest-grossing film of all time.
Jurassic Park (1993) Critical Response
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively reported an approval rating of 92% based on 130 reviews, with an average rating of 8.40/10. The site’s critical consensus reads: “Jurassic Park is a spectacle of special effects and life-like animatronics, with some of Spielberg’s best sequences of sustained awe and sheer terror since Jaws“. Metacritic gave the film a weighted average score of 68 out of 100, based on reviews from 20 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”.
Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A” on an A+ to F scale.
Janet Maslin of The New York Times called it “a true movie milestone, presenting awe- and fear-inspiring sights never before seen on the screen […] On paper, this story is tailor-made for Mr. Spielberg’s talents [but] [i]t becomes less crisp on screen than it was on the page, with much of the enjoyable jargon either mumbled confusingly or otherwise thrown away”. In Rolling Stone, Peter Travers described the film as “colossal entertainment—the eye-popping, mind-bending, kick-out-the-jams thrill ride of summer and probably the year […] Compared with the dinos, the characters are dry bones, indeed.
Crichton and co-screenwriter David Koepp have flattened them into nonentities on the trip from page to screen”. Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four: “The movie delivers all too well on its promise to show us dinosaurs. We see them early and often, and they are indeed a triumph of special effects artistry, but the movie is lacking other qualities that it needs even more, such as a sense of awe and wonderment, and strong human story values”.
Henry Sheehan of Sight & Sound argued: “The complaints over Jurassic Park‘s lack of story and character sound a little off the point”, pointing out the story arc of Grant learning to protect Hammond’s grandchildren despite his initial dislike of them. Empire magazine gave the film five stars, hailing it as “quite simply one of the greatest blockbusters of all time”.
Jurassic Park (1993) Accolades
In March 1994, Jurassic Park won all three Academy Awards for which it was nominated: Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects (at the same ceremony, Spielberg, editor Michael Kahn, and composer John Williams won Academy Awards for Schindler’s List). The film won honors outside the U.S. including the 1994 BAFTA for Best Special Effects, as well as the Award for the Public’s Favorite Film.
It won the 1994 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, and the 1993 Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction, Best Writing for Crichton and Koepp and Best Special Effects. The film won the 1993 People’s Choice Awards for Favorite All-Around Motion Picture. Young Artist Awards were given to Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello, with the film winning an Outstanding Action/Adventure Family Motion Picture award.
In 2001, the American Film Institute ranked Jurassic Park as the 35th most thrilling film of American cinema. The film is included in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, film lists by Empire magazine, and The Guardian.
|1993||Bambi Awards||International Film||Jurassic Park||Won|
|1994||66th Academy Awards||Best Sound Effects Editing||Gary Rydstrom and Richard Hymns||Won|
|Best Sound||Gary Summers, Gary Rydstrom, Shawn Murphy and Ron Judkins||Won|
|Best Visual Effects||Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett and Michael Lantieri||Won|
|Saturn Awards||Best Director||Steven Spielberg||Won|
|Best Science Fiction Film||Jurassic Park||Won|
|Best Special Effects||Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett and Michael Lantieri||Won|
|Best Writing||Michael Crichton and David Koepp||Won|
|Best Actress||Laura Dern||Nominated|
|Best Music||John Williams||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Young Actor||Joseph Mazzello||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Young Actor||Ariana Richards||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Jeff Goldblum||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Wayne Knight||Nominated|
|Awards of the Japanese Academy||Best Foreign Film||Jurassic Park||Won|
|BAFTA Awards||Best Special Effects||Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett and Michael Lantieri||Won|
|Best Sound||Gary Summers, Gary Rydstrom, Shawn Murphy and Ron Judkins||Nominated|
|BMI Film Music Award||BMI Film Music Award||John Williams||Won|
|Blue Ribbon Awards||Best Foreign Language Film||Steven Spielberg||Won|
|Bram Stoker Award||Screenplay||Michael Crichton and David Koepp||Nominated|
|Cinema Audio Society||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Feature Film||Gary Summers, Gary Rydstrom, Shawn Murphy and Ron Judkins||Nominated|
|Czech Lions||Best Foreign Language Film||Steven Spielberg||Won|
|Grammy Awards||Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television||John Williams||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Action Sequence||Nominated|
|Best Movie||Jurassic Park||Nominated|
|Best Villain||T. rex||Nominated|
|Mainichi Film Concours||Best Foreign Language Film (Fan Choice)||Steven Spielberg||Won|
|Motion Picture Sound Editors||Best Sound Editing||Won|
|People’s Choice Awards||Favorite Motion Picture||Jurassic Park||Won|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Youth Actor Co-Starring in a Motion Picture Drama||Joseph Mazzello||Won|
|Best Youth Actress Leading Role in a Motion Picture Drama||Ariana Richards||Won|
|Outstanding Family Motion Picture – Action/Adventure||Jurassic Park||Won|
|Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation||Jurassic Park||Won|
Jurassic Park (1993) Movie Info
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