(1996)

Critic Reviews

41

Metascore

Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
It's about change, acceptance and love, and it rounds those three bases very nicely, even if it never quite gets to home.
75
Christian Science Monitor
John Turteltaub directed the drama, which lapses into medical jargon and new-age clichés near the end, but it scores telling points with its respect for intelligence and optimistic view of human potential.
50
ReelViews
Put simply, this movie is dumb.
50
San Francisco Chronicle
But this soggy, sentimental tour through a rural dreamworld of salt-of- the-earth versus supercharged intelligence never quite gets deep enough to touch the soul -- or to make sense.
50
As always, Duvall is magnificent. Even in this small part, he manages to give one of the most stirring performances in the movie.
40
A whopping wrong turn throws this lightweight, benign-looking movie terminally off course.
40
While Phenomenon attempts, tritely, to ascend into mind-blowing significance, it also plummets into a pit of sentimental mush.
30
Still, well-intentioned sappiness is something we can deal with; the lack of any genuine dramatic conflict is a more damaging shortcoming.
30
Phenomenon flails about in a search for direction: inspirational drama, romance, social study, government intrigue- nothing fits or is explored very deeply.
30
Chicago Reader
I don't doubt the noble motives behind this Disney parable, but the attempts at amiable, laid-back dialogue (script by Gerald DiPego) are painful, the pacing is sluggish, and the confused story's poorly focused.

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