44% Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Aug 22
36% If I Stay Aug 22
29% When The Game Stands Tall Aug 22
4% Are You Here Aug 22
95% Love Is Strange Aug 22

Top Box Office

21% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $28.5M
92% Guardians of the Galaxy $25.1M
14% Let's Be Cops $17.8M
35% The Expendables 3 $15.9M
31% The Giver $12.3M
20% Into The Storm $7.9M
66% The Hundred-Foot Journey $7.2M
64% Lucy $5.5M
41% Step Up: All In $2.7M
62% Hercules $2.1M

Coming Soon

0% The November Man Aug 27
98% Starred Up Aug 27
—— As Above/So Below Aug 29
85% The Congress Aug 29
—— The Calling Aug 29

New Episodes Tonight

100% Defiance: Season 2
100% Garfunkel and Oates: Season 1
88% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
56% Married: Season 1
95% Rectify: Season 2
—— Rookie Blue: Season 5
39% Rush: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
82% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
41% Working the Engels: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

Discuss Last Night's Shows

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% The Divide: Season 1
83% Extant: Season 1
—— Franklin & Bash: Season 4
—— Graceland: Season 2
—— Hot in Cleveland: Season 5
57% Legends: Season 1
—— Motive: Season 2
69% Mystery Girls: Season 1
100% Suits: Season 4
38% Taxi Brooklyn: Season 1
43% Young & Hungry: Season 1

Certified Fresh TV

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
83% Extant: Season 1
88% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
86% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
73% Murder in the First: Season 1
89% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
82% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

Phase IV (Phase Four)

Phase IV (Phase Four) (1974)


No Reviews Yet...

Release Date: Sep 1, 1974 Wide



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 1,069

My Rating

Movie Info

Saul Bass had a fascinating career as an animator and as designer of title sequences for a number of notable films, including Psycho, Vertigo, Anatomy Of A Murder and Seconds. However, Phase IV was his only credit as director of a feature film. A visually inventive science-fiction story, Phase IV concerns a group of research scientists working in the Arizona desert who find themselves confronted by an Army of super-intelligent mutant ants. The results are more intelligent than the description

Jun 3, 2008

Watch It Now



Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (1) | DVD (5)

Should forever dispel anyone's image of ants as little black dots

February 27, 2009 Full Review

A killer bug flick upgraded for the downbeat 70s, a small scale B-picture reworked for the post-2001 hard sci-fi set.

November 18, 2008 Full Review Source:

With its amazing bug footage, and psychobabble scripting, it's The Hellstrom Chronicle (an obvious influence) taken into Twilight Zone territory

July 12, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Audience Reviews for Phase IV (Phase Four)

How did Saul Bass not direct more films? This little gem from 1974 is AWESOMELY shot. Did I mention the cinematographers name was Dick Bush? So much amazing cutaway and macro work. That combined with tight editing makes Phase IV is the 2001 of "we're being attacked ants!" movies.

Now I know what your saying,
"Saul Bass, the title sequence goto guy for Hitchcock and Scorsese? Made a movie about being attacked by ants? This has to be a joke. I mean Dick Bush?

Yes, THAT Saul Bass made a really intelligent film about a colony of intelligent ants and it's very much worth checking out.
January 8, 2011

Super Reviewer

"Phase IV" is an oddball, low-budget sci-fi flick from that heady, post-"2001: A Space Odyssey" era before "Star Wars" ruined the genre forever. Two thoughtful scientists are isolated in a Southwest desert laboratory, researching a theory that local ant tribes have gained human-level intelligence and organized themselves into a super-colony eventually poised to subjugate man and take over the world. Once the ants outside learn of this work, they surround the lab and put the scientists (along with a vacant ingenue who survived a nearby attack) under siege. The action is divided into four "phases," delineating stages of the ants' elaborate campaign. This is not some knowingly campy "monster movie" -- it is deadly serious, without any trace of humor.

"Phase IV" is not a great film, due to its tiny cast and scope (there's barely more than one set). However, it's much better than it sounds. The closeup footage of ants is remarkable in suggesting an insect conspiracy, and the orange-tinged color scheme beautifully illustrates the arid heat (a crucial plot point). As the dedicated scientists, Nigel Davenport and Michael Murphy fully commit to making a superficially silly premise seem plausible, and Brian Gascoigne adds a moody synthesizer score with plenty of atmosphere. Interestingly, this was director Saul Bass's only feature. Otherwise, he had a long career as a title designer.

On YouTube, one can find a "lost ending" that is visually brilliant but not necessarily good for the film's narrative shape.
June 30, 2014
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Saul Bass kicks ass! After making many memorable opening credit sequences Bass finally makes his directorial debut. Artistic, gorgeous and disturbing, I'm surprised this isn't at least considered a horror classic let alone a movie classic. Sadly this was Bass' only directorial effort.
February 6, 2008

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Phase IV (Phase Four) on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

<em>The Simpsons</em>
The Simpsons

Catch up on 25 seasons of hilarity

Total Recall
Total Recall

Robert Rodriguez's 10 Best Movies

Worst Summer Movies
Worst Summer Movies

We list the 60 worst since 1975

Scorecard 2014
Scorecard 2014

See where the summer movies rank

Best Comedy Actor
Best Comedy Actor

16 critics predict the Emmys

Foreign Titles

  • Phase IV (DE)
  • Phase IV (UK)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile