(1998)

Critic Reviews

35

Metascore

Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
60
The New Yorker
Levinson is terrific at claustrophobia. In fact, this doesn't resemble any of his previous films so much as it does his gripping TV series, "Homicide."
60
The New York Times
While this is no quick-witted treat on a par with Mr. Levinson's ''Wag the Dog,'' it's a solid thriller with showy scientific overtones.
40
Keeps you hanging on until the very last moment, not because it's scary, but because you can't believe that's all there is to it.
40
Don't trust the impression created by Sphere's intriguing trailers that it has much to do with the awe and terror of direct contact with an advanced alien intelligence.
38
Chicago Sun-Times
A watered-down take on the sci-fi classic "Solaris," by Stanislaw Lem, which was made into an immeasurably better film by Andrei Tarkovsky.
38
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Filled with visual potential, yet Levinson can't tap it. He's just a whole lot more comfortable trying to tame the human software than the technical hardware.
38
ReelViews
By trying to satisfy every kind of viewer, it's possible that Sphere may end up pleasing no one.
30
With the talent involved in Sphere -- director Barry Levinson, novelist Michael Crichton and actors Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson and Sharon Stone--how could it fail? Somehow, it does.
30
New York Magazine (Vulture)
At the end of Sphere, the three principals -- Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sharon Stone -- agree, for the good of humanity, to forget everything that has happened to them in the movie up to that point. This is a pact I can only rush to join, and with exactly the same motive.
30
Chicago Reader
The film itself regresses, starting in the present and winding up with a cautionary ending that evokes the hokiest SF movies of the 50s.

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