Three kids are inspired by strange nightmares and a stroke of scientific luck to build their own spaceship, but suddenly find themselves out of control, yanked towards an encounter with some extremely oddball aliens. What really lifts this into the stratosphere of heady entertainment is its dizzy wit and intelligence. The dialogue is deliriously deadpan, the story surreal but surprisingly convincing, and the wealth of references to movie and TV classics hilarious rather than mere smartass posing. Dante's wacky comedy-thriller never degenerates into Spielbergian sentimentality, but mixes its inventive originality with a winning self-deprecating irony. It looks terrific, moves along at a gallop, and is marvellously good-natured.
Cast and crew
River Phoenix Jason Presson Ethan Hawke Dick Miller Amanda Peterson Robert Picardo