(1989)

Critic Reviews

62

Metascore

Based on 14 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Before this voyage plummets into Stevie Spielberg's locker, the human stuff is more than worth the descent.
75
USA Today
If you end up cursing, try not to forget The Abyss' spectacular oil-rig collapse, a killer chase scene, two fine leads, and one Oscar-worthy "creature'' special effect midway through. Do forget the rest - unless you really dig Casper, the Friendly Ghost. [9 Aug 1989, Life, p.1D]
75
Entertainment Weekly
The Abyss ends with a whimper. But it starts out with a bang that lasts for an exciting hour and a half. And that's enough to make it worth taking the plunge.
75
San Francisco Chronicle
Both Mastrantonio and Harris are terrific, never missing a beat, always convincing, even when playing the most extreme emotions. [9 Aug 1989, Daily Datebook, p.E1]
75
Chicago Tribune
The Abyss is at its best during such moments of reverie-when the abstract metaphors and the unique physicality of the deep sea setting come together to produce powerful, unvoiced meanings. The film does have its beckoning depths; what it needs is a more polished surface. [9 Aug 1989, Tempo, p.1]
70
Variety
A firstrate underwater suspenser with an otherworldly twist, The Abyss suffers from a payoff unworthy of its buildup.
50
It lacks the emotional impact and suspense of its predecessors and is spoiled by a disappointingly inane ending. What ultimately saves the film are its extraordinary sets and phenomenal Oscar-winning visual effects.
50
Time
Harris and Mastrantonio do have a strong death and resurrection sequence, but long before that, one is pining for a rubber shark or a plastic octopus -- anything, in fact, out of a good old low-tech thriller. [14 Aug 1989, p.79]
40
Chicago Reader
The attempt to extract the essences of several genres (cold-war submarine thriller, love story, Disney fantasy, pseudomystical SF in the Spielberg mode) and mix them together ultimately leads to giddy incoherence.
38
Christian Science Monitor
The Abyss' isn't abysmal, but it's a replay of hits we've already seen - a recycled "close encounters of the wet kind'' with far too few ideas of its own. [18 Aug 1989, Arts, p.10]

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