And also a homage to the late great Carl Sagan. I have seen this movie 3 times, the most recent being on DVD (more on that later). I saw it originally on the big screen and it did not get the publicity it deserved. I then bought a copy of video to savour it again and was not disappointed. This is not a simplistic movie, the visuals are faultless and the clash of politics, religion and science very well done. As is the romance between the Reverend Palmer Joss (Played by Matthew McConaughy)and the atheistic Dr. Ellie Aroway (played by Jodie Foster). This issue of their sincerely held (but opposite) belief systems is never resolved but is left open. Ellie is a true scientist and even though some of the glory is withheld from her by a scheming ex-boss, somehow it all holds true, this sort of political jockeying happens and people do get away with it. The supporting cast is faultless and the special effects are incredible. Now the DVD - "Special Edition". What a disappointment, mainly typewritten notes on a variety of topics, simplistic computer graphics of the sets and no interviews with the stars or even footage of Carl Sagan shown. No outtakes, deleted scenes or director commentary. A complete rip off. Keep your video. 9 out of 10 for the movie, a must-see.