Harrison Ford delivers one of his most-acclaimed performances in Peter Weir's adaptation of Paul Theroux's novel (scripted by Paul Schrader). Ford plays Allie Fox, an inventor embittered by the blighted landscape of the contemporary United States. As he tells his oldest son, Charlie (River Phoenix), Look around you. It's a toilet.
He moves his wife (Helen Mirren) and kids -- Charlie, Jerry (Jadrien Steele), April (Hilary Gordon), and Clover (Rebecca Gordon) -- to the rain forests of Central America, where he plans to create a new civilization starting with his own nuclear family.
Allie's family compliantly goes along with his scheme to build a free society, but slowly notices that his obsession has turned him into a tyrannical fascist. Rather than create a utopia, Allie's driving egomania demands total subservience from his downtrodden brood.