6.1/10
95,757
304 user 106 critic

Sphere (1998)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
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 »
3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Abyss (1989)
Adventure | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn
Event Horizon (1997)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan
Contact (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster), after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, sending plans for a mysterious machine.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt
Pandorum (2009)
Action | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two crew members of a spaceship wake up from hypersleep to discover that all their colleagues are missing. Despite this, it appears that they are not alone.

Director: Christian Alvart
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet
Pitch Black (2000)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A commercial transport ship and its crew are marooned on a planet full of bloodthirsty creatures that only come out to feast at night. But then, they learn that a month-long eclipse is about to occur.

Director: David Twohy
Stars: Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Vin Diesel
Red Planet (2000)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Astronauts, and their robotic dog AMEE (Autonomous Mapping Evaluation and Evasion), search for solutions to save a dying Earth by searching on Mars, only to have the mission go terribly awry.

Director: Antony Hoffman
Stars: Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tom Sizemore
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When the first manned mission to Mars meets with a catastrophic and mysterious disaster after reporting an unidentified structure, a rescue mission is launched to investigate the tragedy and bring back any survivors.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The wanted criminal Richard Bruno Riddick (Vin Diesel) arrives on a planet called Helion Prime and finds himself up against an invading empire called the Necromongers, an army that plans to convert or kill all humans in the universe.

Director: David Twohy
Stars: Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Colm Feore
Sunshine (2007)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A team of international astronauts are sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans
Riddick (2013)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick's past.

Director: David Twohy
Stars: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff
Gattaca (1997)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law
Equilibrium (2002)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In an oppressive future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system and state.

Director: Kurt Wimmer
Stars: Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Emily Watson
Edit

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 ... Seaman
James Pickens Jr. ... O.S.S.A. Instructor
Michael Keys Hall ... O.S.S.A. Official
Ralph Tabakin Ralph Tabakin ... O.S.S.A. Official
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sphere See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,433,957, 15 February 1998

Gross USA:

$37,020,277

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$37,020,277
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the book, the sphere was supposed to be visualized as a "chrome colored ball bearing" with "grooved convolutions" that acted as a door opening so that people could enter. The movie originally had planned to use a sphere that had the same qualities (chrome ball bearing), but soon found out that if it was placed in a dark room, the reflection would look almost entirely black, and not as impressive. The Special Effects Designer and Director Barry Levinson eventually decided to go with a "champagne" colored sphere due to how it looked on-screen. See more »

Goofs

The team needs to decompress each time that they enter the sub/ habitat module/ spaceship while scuba diving, which at 1000 ft, actually takes ~15 hrs. There is no need to decompress on board the surface ship since the sub's interior air pressure is always ~15 psi (1 atm) during the entire ascent (and descent) - as are presumably the habitat module and spaceship. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Harry Adams: I'm not choking, you asshole! I hate squid!
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 »


Soundtracks

Bali Ha'i
Written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Samuel L. Jackson (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Great potential falls flatter and flatter as it goes...
10 October 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Sphere (1998)

Barry Levinson is one of those directors who has no interest in art, or in invention, or in pretension, either. And so his films sometimes hit a popular strain that makes them take off. He has some terrible misfires, for sure, but his best films ("Rain Man," "Sleepers") have people who you relate to, and who have to confront something extraordinary.

That was the idea here, based on a Michael Crichton novel (that should have been a heads up). The cast is headliner stuff. Dustin Hoffman is particularly convincing, Samuel Jackson plays a great type, and Liev Schreiber is sharp. Sharon Stone is a dull fourth. They bond, and realize they have things in common, in the first minutes of the film as they converge and go under water to check out an alien spaceship. Even after they are deep below the surface and beginning their unlikely exploration they make a viewer connect. As much as it borrows from "Alien" and "Aliens" this could have been a good film on its own terms. Even the talking computer/alien has its own edge compared to HAL.

What goes wrong is the plot itself, and not acting, or even directing, can overcome that. As it gets hairier, we need it to be more plausible, not less. Events get increasingly chaotic, so that action and loud noise drive some of the scenes. Subplots are continued but seem increasingly meaningless (at one point, Hoffman and Stone are rushing into the water in an absolute emergency and they start to chitchat about their distant failed love affair). And finally, as people die off and the menace becomes more ambiguous, the movie becomes completely ambiguous, and as a kind of escape valve, announces that any number of crazy thing we have been watching may or may not have been imagined by one character or another.

But what does that mean about the camera? Isn't there still a differentiation between cinema reality and one character's delusion? Or if these are global delusions including the viewer, shouldn't they do more than simply disorient us? Well, don't hang on for answers. Just hang on. An explosion (of course) caps it all off (why they didn't hit the disarm button isn't explained), and a final logical wrap up that avoids the time travel paradox is warm and fuzzy.


14 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 304 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed