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Sphere (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  13 February 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 75,801 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 271 user | 105 critic | 21 from

A spaceship is discovered under three hundred years' worth of coral growth at the bottom of the ocean.



(novel), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Title: Sphere (1998)

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Complete credited cast:
Marga Gómez ...
Helicopter Pilot
Bernard Hocke ...
O.S.S.A. Instructor
Michael Keys Hall ...
O.S.S.A. Official
Ralph Tabakin ...
O.S.S.A. Official


1000 feet below the ocean, navy divers discover an object half-a-mile long. A crack team of scientists are deployed to the site in Deepsea Habitats. What they find boggles the mind as they discover a perfect metal sphere. What is the secret behind the sphere? Will they survive the mysterious 'manifestations'? Who or what is creating these? They may never live to find out. Written by Michael Hofer <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Terror can fill any space See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action including some startling images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

13 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esfera  »

Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$16,586,765 (USA) (13 February 1998)


£2,397,055 (UK) (24 April 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was shot in warehouses with specially constructed water tanks rather than being filmed on the high seas because Warner Bros didn't want to repeat the debacle of Waterworld (1995). Filming it on the ocean would have sent the budget into the stratosphere, which is what crippled Waterworld's chances at the box-office. They managed to trim the budget by 20 million dollars, but despite all their precautions, Sphere (1998) still died a quiet death at the box-office. See more »


When Jane Edmunds gets called away from her station she pushes her headset down from her head onto her neck and walks away - only the previous shot shows that the headset is connected with a cable. See more »


Beth: I wanted to thank you for saving my life.
Norman Goodman: ...An interesting life to save...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are cast over an invisible sphere. See more »


References Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) See more »


Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Flashy, sizzling horror sci-fi with excellent claustrophobic suspense.
9 May 2003 | by (Dungarvan, Ireland) – See all my reviews

The fourth Michael Crichton adaptation in line is quite a good one. After the blockbuster success of `Jurassic Park' and minor hits `Congo' and `The Lost World', `Sphere' matches up to theses levels. And with so much talent in store, it certainly is appealing. Academy Award winners Barry Levinson and Dustin Hoffman (who coincidentally won Oscars for the same film) and Oscar Nominees Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson all headline the movie.

The end result is relatively good, but with so much talent on board it could have been a bit better. However, the film succeeds in what attempts to do. There are ample scarifying chills along with a high enjoyability factor. The haunting suspense is soon followed by an equally chilling action. This is good because other chillers such as `The Sixth Sense' built up the suspense, but no action followed. For that film, the scares lost all their quality the second time round. But in `Sphere's' case, the suspense keeps its intensity every time.

The film starts out very well whilst on the surface, but gradually it gets worse only to amount to a satisfying conclusion. The middle scenes aren't bad, but they're a bit too gloomy and eerie. Another quibble is the obvious lack of originality. The main plot of `Event Horizon', which was made the year before that, is quite similar to the plot of this. There are also bits and pieces of other science fictions such as `Alien' taken here and there. Luckily it takes the bests bits and leaves you on the edge of your seat. But the finished product isn't as nourishing as it should be. The plot can get complicated at times, but for the most part it's actually quite clever.

And the glamorous cast of familiar faces insures that the movie never drags on. Dustin Hoffman is well cast as the calm, stable psychiatrist and makes a suitable lead. It's not her most challenging role, but Sharon Stone s believable as the kooky biochemist. She still hasn't received any tough roles after `Casino' though. The most complex character in the film, Samuel L. Jackson drops the usual machismo for some convincing scepticism and abnormal goofiness. The supporting cast including Leiv Shreiber, Queen Latifah and Peter Coyote do their parts adequately, not that they can do much with them.

The directing is good as expected by a great director. Levinson beautifully creates the required intensity and the visuals are very impressive aswell. The glistering shimmer of the huge golden sphere of the title is a delight to gaze at.

The stars flash and the plot sizzles. There are a few plot-holes that it falls into along with a bit of a sag in the middle. Nevertheless, `Sphere' is an impressive sci-fi horror that succeeds on almost every other level. My IMDb Rating: 6.8/10.

32 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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how did this not win a Razzie a_hat_trick
a better ending shaffer2112
So where did the Sphere come from? vin-bourke
Would you like to see this re-made? bgates87
Spaceship surviving black hole? shebotnov
Sphere vs The Abyss vs Event Horizon vs Solaris philiptutton
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