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Sphere (1998)

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

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

Michael Crichton (novel), Kurt Wimmer (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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3,639 ( 724)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dustin Hoffman ... Norman
Sharon Stone ... Beth
Samuel L. Jackson ... Harry
Peter Coyote ... Barnes
Liev Schreiber ... Ted
Queen Latifah ... Fletcher
Marga Gómez Marga Gómez ... Jane Edmunds
Huey Lewis ... Helicopter Pilot
Bernard Hocke Bernard Hocke ... Seaman
James Pickens Jr. ... O.S.S.A. Instructor
Michael Keys Hall Michael Keys Hall ... O.S.S.A. Official
Ralph Tabakin Ralph Tabakin ... O.S.S.A. Official
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Storyline

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 <fbci4@escape.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the bestselling author of 'Jurassic Park' and 'The Lost World' See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sphere See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,586,765, 13 February 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$37,020,277

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,100,000, 5 April 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Samuel L. Jackson and Queen Latifah appeared in Juice (1992). See more »

Goofs

When Beth opens the cupboards to show Norman that there is no food, she opens the left door and then the right, and when she closes them the left door stays closed but the right one swings open a little bit. The camera cuts to Norman, and when it cuts back to Beth the left door is open and the right one is closed. See more »

Quotes

Norman Goodman: ['Jerry' types on the screen "I WILL KILL YOU!"] No Jerry don't do that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

SPOILER ALERT: An alternate television edit has been shown with a simplified and more ambiguous ending that follows the shooting script; Harry warns them that the authorities are on their way to debrief them, and they will demand answers. The three survivors ready themselves to forget about their mission and the power they possess. Outside, a helicopter sets down. Subsequently, we see the three survivors being interviewed in a debriefing room after decompression, each shot individually against the same background. They react as if they're oblivious to anything going wrong in the Habitat, unaware of anything that happened to Ted, Barnes or the Sphere. The helicopter leaves, and the camera pans down to the ocean, where the Sphere supposedly still remains. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Taken (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

ONLY A LONELY HEART SEES
Written by Felix Cavaliere and Jay Tran
Performed by Felix Cavaliere
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Flashy, sizzling horror sci-fi with excellent claustrophobic suspense.
9 May 2003 | by SilverzeroSee 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.


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