Everyone in this romantic comedy is waiting for something. Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) is an immigrant waiting in New York’s Kennedy airport for a valid visa. Airport security officer Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci) is waiting for his supervisor to retire. And Amelia, the glamorous flight attendant (Catherine Zeta-Jones), is waiting for her lover to leave his wife. Viktor’s homeland, a small Eastern European country, has been overtaken in a military coup, making Victor’s passport and visa invalid by U.S. immigration. This means that Viktor can’t leave the terminal. Not speaking much English, the befuddled traveler becomes the main attraction on the security cameras. For six months, Viktor makes Gate 67 his home as he teaches himself English, applies for airport jobs and wins the hearts of all who cross his path. The Terminal’s gentle humor and limited action will appeal more to mature viewers than teenagers. Directed and produced by Steven Spielberg.
Viktor shows good-natured acceptance of rules he doesn’t understand and an ability to provide for himself without stealing. When Frank makes it possible for Viktor to escape the terminal and disappear into Manhattan, the foreigner refuses to leave. Amelia’s life revolves around her affair with a married man who is obviously taking advantage of her. She cares about Viktor but keeps the relationship platonic. Viktor’s accent and struggle with English causes him to mispronounce “cheat” so that it sounds like the s-word. Several obscenities and profanities give The Terminal a slightly negative rating from Preview, but it is otherwise a thoughtful, entertaining movie with some uplifting moments.