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Reviews & Ratings for
Sphere More at IMDbPro »

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113 out of 166 people found the following review useful:

The best underwater action film!

Author: Damian ( from Cardiff, Wales (UK)
27 November 2002

This is the rarest of action films - one that engages your intellect not just your senses.

On the seabed in mid-ocean a huge vessel is discovered. A team is dispatched to investigate - and what they find is beyond belief.

Admittedly there were a couple of scenes which I felt missed the intended realism of the film, and occasionally it seemed far too obvious what was going on, but the ending resolved everything beautifully.

I suspect that fans of action films will feel let down by the thought necessary to follow this film, and fans of science fiction may well feel that after the first half hour there is a lack of a traditional sci-fi element. Many people I'm sure will feel that too little is explained, but the point of the film is that it doesn't need to be - the message of the ending is strong enough that we don't need explanation.

I'd particularly recommend this film to anyone who likes psychological thrillers. I was fairly impressed by the action integrated in The Abyss, but Sphere far surpasses it in terms of plot. Most of all, if you like films that simply entertain, this is not for you. It's more about the reactions it causes in you when you follow the story. If you come away from this film unchanged, you've missed the point.

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77 out of 105 people found the following review useful:

A fairly decent Crichton flick!

Author: farhan_qu from houston, TX
11 October 2002

After reading many users' mixed comments on the movie..i can't help but feel that a majority have underrated the film. True it could have been better, especially in the latter half, but having read the book first, i did not feel it actually falling off midway like the way other viewers have described it. People who have read the novel will acknowledge that the movie does follow the novel fairly closely. Thus comments about Hoffman's role and the ending are unfair, since i feel they are the closest big-screen reproductions of one of Crichton's best works. I feel Stone's character was the role followed the weakest.

Definitely the giant squid thrills are insufficient (note that Crichton devoted a good part of his novel describing encounters with 'the monster'). I guess animation artists were short budgeted...though the film as a whole still is a visual treat...and the atmosphere is rightly captured, with nice music.

Overall, I think the movie is worth watching and is definitely of a much higher caliber than 'The Lost World'. It follows a psychological-cum-sci-fi thriller theme and i feel is better than the similar flick 'Abyss'. As from the novel's could have been done better though. 8/10 stars!

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104 out of 160 people found the following review useful:

Sphere ****

Author: Michael Olinger from Fishkill NY
12 August 1998

Sphere represents a new standard in science fiction. With a solid plot and good acting, it proves itself to be better than the stereotypical childish effects films. Director Barry Levinson provides great visuals that make the spooky underwater environment come alive. The film is a psycological mystery thriller that keeps you guessing to the very end. It has good dialogue and is more concerned with characters and their development than with cool looking ways of killing them off. Based on Michael Crichton's book, Sphere is a breath of fresh air in a genre that really needs it.

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63 out of 100 people found the following review useful:

First half is really good – but quickly becomes a load of `spheres'!

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
16 May 2002

When the military discover what they believe to be a spaceship at the bottom of the ocean they bring in Dr Norman Goodman who had once written a report on the protocol for an alien encounter. His report had named a team of experts – this team is also assembled. The team descend to the craft and begin to find some astonishing things about the craft. However when they find a huge golden sphere they begin to experience problems. Problems that become worse when a storm traps them at the bottom of the ocean.

With a cast like this – you gotta have high hopes. With a director and a writer to match you deserve something fantastic! And for the most part this delivers. The build up is dark, mysterious and exciting. However once the sphere is found it goes downhill. It still has some really good moments – the jellyfish bit is scary and other actions bits are cool. But it gets all muddled up in what the sphere is and who is doing what on the base. It almost manages to hold together until the final half hour then it all just collapses like a flan in a cupboard! It's a shame because for the most part it felt like it was building to something much better, but no.

The cast promised much but didn't deliver. Jackson was great, but I don't think he can be bad – even in a bad movie. Hoffman stutters around like he doesn't know what he's doing. I know he's meant to be playing a character that isn't used to heroics, but he doesn't bring anything. Stone is OK but at times looks like she reading her lines off a board. Coyote is OK and Schreiber is understated by his own hammy standards. It's also cool to see Queen Latifah in a role.

Overall this is worth watching as for the majority it's real good. However you notice that the film has got 30 minutes left to go – make your excuses and leave, by then you've seen the best it has to offer.

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39 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

A strangely disappointing adaptation of a Michael Crichton novel that comes off to a smashing good start but very quickly approaches a precipitous downhill.

Author: Michael DeZubiria ( from Luoyang, China
6 August 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sphere is a science fiction film that starts off with a tremendously fascinating story and ignores all of the possibilities that it entails. Four people (you know the drill – a psychologist (Dustin Hoffman), a mathematician (Samuel L. Jackson), a biochemist (Sharon Stone) and an astrophysicist (Liev Schreiber)) are flown out to the middle of the ocean on a top-secret missions (even they don't know where they're going). We would be just as confused as they were about the details of their mission if we had never seen the previews, but even though we already know what they're going to find out there, it's just as interesting to learn about the details of this ship that has been found on the bottom of the ocean, and that appears to have been sitting there for 300 years (well, okay, 288). The story keeps getting better and better as we learn that there is a hum coming from the ship, indicating that there is still something running inside it, and then even more fascinating revelations once we are taken inside the ship.

There can be no doubt that Sphere contains some truly interesting and entertaining elements, and that things like the acting are just as superb as we would expect from such a spectacular cast, but as the movie progresses, we begin to realize how little the film is going to reveal. I can't say that I wasn't completely enraptured for at the least the first hour of the film, but there were just as many bitterly disappointing things about it as there were good things. Dustin Hoffman and Samuel L. Jackson, in particular, delivered absolutely brilliant performances in this film, delivering some of the best entertainment in the entire film by themselves. There is a mildly interesting but completely unconvincing ex-romantic tension between Sharon Stone's character, Dr. Beth Halperin, and Dustin Hoffman's character, Dr. Norman Goodman, that is there for little other reason than to complicate the lives of the characters as they try to solve the mystery of this undersea ship.

(spoilers) It's really too bad that the movie completely falls on its face in the second half, because the first half of the film is excellent and undeniably entertaining. There's nothing like a bit of time travel and the suggestion of extraterrestrial life to keep you entertained, and it is definitely a great scene when we find out that the ship is a human ship. This is one of the many things in the film that really makes you think. The thing that makes a great film is that it inspires thought. This is probably the one thing that all of the great films have in common with each other. There are surely a lot of things about Sphere that really make you think, which is another reason that the first half of the film is so good. We see that it's a human ship, which opens a whole new area of possibilities for the film. Harry (Samuel L. Jackson) speculates on the fact that the last entry in the ship's log is an entry into an `Unknown entry event,' indicating that they will never reach the surface to reveal what they've found.

There is also a possibly over-extensive excursion into the realm of the psychological element in the film, as the characters are all made to face their fears, some of which are not just your average fears, such as Harry's strange fear of finishing 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. The special effects are definitely nothing to brag about, but there are some interesting scenes that take place in the deep ocean, such as the death of Teeny Fletcher (hey, she's black, she had it coming, right?) in the midst of a mass of strange sea creatures, as well as the scene with the thousands of squid eggs. Weird looking things, I've wondered since I saw the film what kind of props they used for that scene. The conversation with `Jerry' is unfittingly childish, but there is definitely a significant element of tension introduced when Jerry gets mad, as well as the scene where Norman contemplated the implications of Jerry's expression of emotions, indicating his ability to get mad.

There are undeniably a lot of interesting things about Sphere, and it surely has the power to entertain, but it goes off the track later in the film, maybe because it tried to answer too many of its questions. There are some unanswerable things in the film, and the movie deals with them by having the characters have a weakly-written discussion about their fears and questions, and their ultimate decision to `forget' what they know using the power that they seem to have gained from the sphere. While this answers the question of how it could have been an unknown entry event when they all made it to the surface, it's probably the weakest ending that the film could possibly have had.

As a strange twist on the science fiction genre, Sphere succeeds, although only in the first half. Like Hollow Man, Sphere could have and should have been a much better film. The unfortunate fact about the film is that it contains a lot of very interesting and very entertaining things that are surely worth watching, but the disappointing ending almost makes them not even worth seeing.

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44 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

Very good!!

Author: Pookyiscute from Nyiregyhaza, Hungary
17 November 2005

Excellent! I went into the film thinking it would be bad, since that is what I had heard from someone before watching it.

However, I was pleasantly surprised at what a terrific film this actually was. The only downfall to the film, was Dustin Hoffman. With all due respect to one of the best actors ever, he just wasn't suited for this particular role. He was good in it, but just not the right person for the job.

The film begins with Dustin Hoffman flying over the Pacific Ocean in a helicopter, going to a Submarine investigating a plane crash. As a psychologist, he is impatiently waiting to speak to the survivors, and after having been on the sub for over 3 hours, is upset with the Capatain. However, the Captain informs him there was no plane crash, but rather an arrival of some sort not quite 300 years ago, under the Ocean.

Sharon Stone, Leive Shreiber and Samuael L. Jackson join Hoffman as apart of his team, to go beneath the surface to discover and determine what it is exactly that they have found under the Pacific.

With complete intensity and excitement non-stop throughout the entire film, it will leave you feeling a little disturbed at times, and perhaps a bit paranoid, also.

I would advice anyone who does not have a liking to intense sci-fi type films...this is not going to be your cup of tea, but for those enjoy good horror, intensity and a great story line, you will definitely enjoy this flick!

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34 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Flashy, sizzling horror sci-fi with excellent claustrophobic suspense.

Author: silverzero from Dungarvan, Ireland
9 May 2003

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.

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22 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Great movie

Author: Andrew ( from Edmonton, Alberta
10 January 2003

As I've heard from other people, the first half of the movie is good, and it is. But that doesnt mean that the second half of the movie isn't just as good.

The second half is only interesting if you are patient, listen and watch carefully.

The story is really about how our society is far from utopia, regardless of how intelligent and cultured we are. It opens windows of answers to so many problems that our society is facing every day.

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59 out of 106 people found the following review useful:

Holy Moly!

Author: clydfrog from Nashville
29 August 2001

Best movie I have seen in a long time. I first saw `Sphere' on the big screen when it first came out and I have rented it a few times and then went out and bought it on VHS. A little bit of the story for you-Dustin Hoffman plays the part of a psychologist and thinks he is going to counsel the survivors of a plane wreck in the ocean. There is more to the situation than Hoffman knows. At the supposed crash sight Hoffman teams up with Sharon Stone and Samuel Jackson as part of a top team of scientists assembled in high-priority situations. While under water the team finds the unexpected and their worst fears become reality. This movie is perfectly intriguing and very well written. The twists and turns in the movie fit together like puzzle pieces that paint the best psychological thriller that I have seen. Hoffman is of course at his best and Stone and Jackson are right there beside him the whole way.

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56 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

great movie

Author: pfm_kaos from United States
14 May 2005

I gave it a 9 due to the fact that they didn't explain everything out for me. So often I watch movies and can easily predict everything that is going on, and how it is going to turn out. This movie is not that way. Great suspense from beginning to end, and it will leave you thinking when it is over.

If the writers/producers were to tell all about the plot, the best part of the movie (not being exactly sure what is going on) would be ruined.

As they talk to the ''unknown'' creature through the computer, this gives the movie a much more eerie feel.

A must watch for anyone who likes movies.

Rent it or buy it today.

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