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Solaris
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Solaris More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Nope, not an intelligent movie though it threatens at times...

4/10
Author: LaurieMann from Pittsburgh, PA, United States
28 November 2002

This is a handsomely-produced movies that forgot to get a script, good actors and just cribbed from 2001 a lot.

With the right material and director, George Clooney is an engaging actor, but he was completely wrong for this movie. And the fight over showing George's ass was probably the only way this movie could hope to get any publicity. Deleting those scenes would not have mattered in the least.

There were a few instances when the movie attempted to make a point, but, unfortunately, it did not work.

Nice special effects though.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

re: Jack Christal-Gattanella's comments

Author: dhnyny from New York, NY
28 November 2002

Readers of Jack Christal-Gattanella's comments may get the mistaken impression that "Solaris" is a remake of "2001." It is a remake of the 1972 film "Solyaris," a masterpiece by Russian director Tarkovsky, not of "2001." It strikes me as odd to make any comparison at all between "Solaris" and "2001," since the films have next to nothing of significance in common, other than being science fiction films written by masters of the genre, Lem and Clarke, respectively.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Att: Steve, you're not Stanley.

Author: u2zooman from MA
28 November 2002

Any true fan of cinema will see right through this barely modified carbon copy of past science fiction works. The most obvious influence here (as even Mr. Soderbergh himself has stated) is Stanley Kubrick's milestone film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Being a huge Kubrick fan, I went to see this film hoping that it would pay homage to the late master director. Alas, I left the theater feeling disappointed and even angry. The directing was decent, the acting was at times very good, and even most of the dialogue was fairly intelligent, but the story, the true substance of the movie, was trite, muddled, and downright poor. At least Kubrick had a point to his great piece. Soderbergh, on the other hand, is attempting to be deep without having anything really to say. The premise reminded me of a guilty pleasure of mine, Event Horizon, though in Solaris, there is absolutely no follow through. I have never felt so detached from the characters in a movie in my life. Jeremy Davies provoked an occasional smirk, but other than that, I felt absolutely nothing throughout the entirety of the movie, until feeling very very upset as I exited the theater. Davies' mildly humorous performance upgraded this picture from a $10 root canal to a botched filling. Take my advice: for true sci-fi mastery, see 2001. For a fun and creepy b sci-fi flick, check out Event Horizon. Steve, you simply should not attempt what has already been done. Just because you left the fetus out of the sphere at the conclusion of the film, it doesn't mean I, as well as many others I'm sure, didn't see what you were doing, and as a Kubrick defender, I am insulted by your "movie". D. Davies saved this from an F.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Slow but not Thoughtful

5/10
Author: pchas (pchas@hotmail.com) from San Francisco, California
28 November 2002

Because of the slow pacing, the Philip Glass-ey music and the obvious references to 2001, you might get the idea that this is a thoughtful film that engages the intellect. You would be wrong.

While it's true that many recent films are all rather shallow, filled with hyperactive action-adventure (the recent Bond film comes to mind) but not much else, it does not follow that stripping a film of action and adventure automatically make it a "good" film as some here have averred. Solaris is as devoid and sterile of genuine thought and emotion as its crash bang counterparts are.

Mr. Soderbergh has made "Solaris" a post-modern love story. The swirly colors are pretty to watch, and the soundtrack is easy on the ears. But ultimately, this is a pretty vacuous experience.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

In two words: It sucked!

Author: xalf18 from Surfdise, FL
28 November 2002

I cannot believe the length of commentary attributed to this movie. It was the most boring movie I have seen since Sleuth. It made absolutely no sense. The characters were wooden, the script was obfuscated. George must have been embarrassed by it all (except that he picked up a paycheck for it). The only pluses are:

(1) I had some wonderful sleep that was desperately needed.

(2) I did not have to pay an admission charge. I was on assignment to evaluate the quality of the print, sound, etc., which was very fine--thanks to the theater projectionist and equipment.

(3) The movie was only slighly more than 1 and 1/2 hours in length.

Watching the grass grow created more of a stir than did this movie. I can only pray that there will not be a sequel to this.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pointless to no end

Author: EL TORO 79
28 November 2002

Ok I am not one to tear apart movies but this movie is so boring and pointless. It has little to zero plot, no structure, no life. The scenes jump around and it does not follow any story line. All it involves is Clooney (him being in every scene) walking around confused and saying random lines of dialogue and having pointless flashbacks. George Clooney can do so much better. The best thing about this movie was the fact that Clooney was in it other then that bring a pillow.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The film equivalent of a Sharper Image catalog.

5/10
Author: pigsflew3000
28 November 2002

I really wanted to like this movie. However, it came off like a Sharper Image catalog: glossy, slick, and full of a lot of cool stuff. On the other hand, I would never really buy anything out of a Sharper Image catalog. The visuals and sets are no less than stunning. The story - with its elements of love, loss, memories, and atonement - is a good one, though its execution suffers with some inconsistent points. Where Solaris falls flat is in its pacing and its acting. The movie presents itself as a thriller/experimental/sci-fi/romance/etc, but the pace never goes above a crawl. This sort of slow and atmospheric pacing works very well when done with style (Pi, for example, with its brooding intensity). In Solaris, it is mildly boring. The acting is cold and mechanical. Perhaps this is a statement on life in this future, perhaps not. In any case, it is very difficult to feel sympathy for any of the characters, as none of them are memorable enough to really get engaged in their lives or situations. Another very strange element to this film is its soundtrack. In the trailers, a sweeping and very cinematic score accompanies the actions onscreen. In the actual movie, the ambience is provided by an incessant steel drum and bell chorus. The same phrase plays throughout the entire movie. For the first hour or so, it emphasizes the isolation and repetition of a desperate situation; in the latter portion of the movie it becomes annoying. Cinematic scores are very stirring to provide emotional cues - they tell you exactly how to interpret the story. When done poorly, they seem intrusive. When done well, they subtly guide you along. If not done at all, it is a very rare movie that feels complete. Solaris is a bit difficult to review. After leaving the theater, I initially enjoyed it quite a bit. The more I thought about it, the less I liked it. See Solaris on the big screen only if you have the patience to invest time and thought in a cold and inaccessible film with some interesting ideas and great visuals. Otherwise, save it for a rental.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Genius through Obfuscation

2/10
Author: captain-54 from Okemos, Mi.
27 November 2002

I heard people say of this movie, "It was good, but I didn't understand it." What this means then, is that these people were entertained by colors swirling on a big white screen. The point of a movie is to tell a story. Now, unless I'm a retard or a toddler, if I don't understand it, then somebody dropped the ball here. This was the case with "Solaris". Put together a bunch of meaningless, if poignant, scenes on a beautiful, mysterious backdrop and then hope the audience feels it went over there head and doesn't mind dropping seven bucks on a convoluted story that has no clear purpose or ending.

Well, I'm there to tell you, slapping some goo together on film that befuddles an audience is easy, it's not "artistic" and it doesn't make you some "mis-understood genius", it makes you a bad director or producer or whoever it was that made me waste my time on this movie.

Not good, not at all.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Solaris: Ponderous, man

Author: Thrillho-5 from Boston, MA
27 November 2002

Why is Hollywood so afraid of exploring intelligent science fiction (ala 2001, Alien, , Blade Runner, Matrix)? Why is Solaris a ponderous,plodding, tale of obsession? I know it's based on a novel, and a 70s movie, neither of which I'm familiar with. I just can't comprehend why anyone would remake this material in this fashion.

Don't get me wrong, Solaris is beautifully filmed; Soderbergh has obviously seen 2001 a few times. It's just that the illogical turns, and unexplored possibilities, submarine the whole thing.

For example, why does Clooney's friend invite him to Solaris, saying he's the "perfect" person to be there? The illogic of this has to be intentional, but why? Upon arrival, Clooney turns from a top-notch psychiatrist into an irrational fool. No interest into getting to the bottom of what's going on, just indulgence of his own subconscious. And of course, no contact with Earth to keep him rooted in his mission. The ending is too muddled and contrived to spawn any post-movie discussions.

Yeah, I know, its intended to be a psychological piece, and it has all the trappings of an "important" movie. But it's a failed attempt to be something more than what it is... ponderous eye-candy.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

miss...miss...

4/10
Author: allan825 from Colorado Springs
27 November 2002

Tarkovsky's adaptation of Lem's novel takes quite a few liberties, jettisoning, for instance, the brilliant satirical elements and re-creating in its own potent terms the story's fascinating strangeness. But Tarkovsky does remain true to the novel's central sci-fi premise: that life elsewhere in the universe may have evolved along lines so different from life on Earth that we could never fathom it. Lem's novel, then, is an extraordinary rebuttal of all the ridiculous, anthropomorphic sci-fi scenarios in which aliens appear as strangely familiar humanoids (often demanding to be taken to some leader, in English). The new Solaris strats from the original in a far more fundamental way than Tarkovsky did, shifting the focus from the mind-bending sci-fi premise to something far more predictable and far less interesting: a rather conventional tale (told largely through flashbacks) of love, regret, and redemption. Instead of Lem's world-wide sentient ocean, we get a few shots of some neon clouds--and virtually no explanation at all of what Solaris is. In fact, Solaris itself becomes so peripheral to the story that one almost wonders why the filmmakers even bothered to use the name. The film will probably come as a major disappointment to fans of the original (or of the earlier film version, with its unique `Tarkovskyan' style and atmosphere). It will also disappoint the casual cineplex viewer who expects that since Cameron's name is linked with the project that it must be some rip-roaring rollercoaster ride rather along the lines of another Aliens or Terminator II. (Thus "miss...miss...") Yes, the film's quite slow, but the slowness is not enigmatic and compelling as in Tarkovsky; it's mostly boring and often unimaginative. And the performances certainly do not redeem the picture. One in particular (the `dude' who plays Snow) is almost fascinating in its sheer badness. The difference between Lem (and Tarkovsky) and the new version is nowhere more apparent (or disappointing) than in the ending. In place of the fathomless ambiguities of the novel's conclusion (`I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past'), we get a rather saccharine, allegorical happy ending. `Cruel miracles': no, there's nothing remotely to compare with that. The shift toward allegory is strongly reinforced by an iconic (and rather pedestrian) visual allusion to Michelangelo. At the same time, I suppose, one could see the scene as an allusion to Kubrick's `Star-Child'. Throughout, the film's visual style and sudden fits of Ligeti-like music owe much more to 2001 than to anything in Tarkovsky--and to say that the invited comparison is not in the newer film's favor is a bit of an understatement. The filmmakers seem to depend on the beautiful stars to carry the viewer's interest, in lieu of the braintwisting thematic substance of the original(s). Yes, I enjoyed watching Natascha McElhone's high-cheekboned face--in fact the main reason I stayed to the end was to find out the actress's name (since there are no opening credits). But that's candy rather than nutrition. I strongly recommend--especially to those who have yet to encounter Lem or Tarkovsky--that you stay home and either read the novel or rent the earlier version. Having done both a couple of times, I still wished I had made that choice.

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