Sahara (2005)



Critic Consensus: A mindless adventure flick with a preposterous plot.

Movie Info

Matthew McConaughey stars as explorer and adventurer Dirk Pitt in this adaptation of the best-selling novel by Clive Cussler. Pitt thinks he may have found both a fortune and the answer to a long-standing mystery when he discovers a rare coin in the waters of a river in West Africa. During the Civil War, an ironclad battleship with a valuable cargo went missing, and Pitt's theory is that the coin places the ship somewhere in the Sahara Desert. Pitt and his goofy sidekick, Al Giordino (Steve … More

Rating: PG-13 (for action violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Clive Cussler, Delroy Oppenheimer, Thomas Dean Donnelly, John C. Richards, James V. Hart
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 30, 2005
Box Office: $68.6M
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


as Eva Rojas

as Al Giordino

as Yves Massarde

as Dr. Frank Hopper

as Admiral Sandecker

as Kitty Mannock

as Mrs. Nwokolo

as Train Driver

as Gunboat One Officer

as Pick-Up Truck Guard

as Captain Tombs

as Kazim's Officer Asse...

as 1st Lieutenant, Iro...

as Oshodi

as General Zateb Kazim

as Tuareg Sangare

as Fuse Cutter

as Ambassador Polidori

as Pick Up Truck Driver

as Modibo's Tuareg 2

as Train Gurad

as Gun Captain

as Tuareg Village Boy 1

as Tuareg Village Boy 2

as NUMA Crew Member

as Azikiwe Nwokolo

as Pilot, Ironclad

as Powder Monkey

as Solar Planet Guard

as Old Woman in Labbeza...

as Sailor Who Drops Gol...

as Rudi Gunn
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Sahara

All Critics (180) | Top Critics (41)

For an adventure movie based on chase scenes in exotic locations "Sahara" never takes hold because director Breck Eisner and his team of screenwriters can't agree on what the story's about or what tone should resonate against it.

Full Review… | April 18, 2009

The whole movie is a kick, actually.

Full Review… | August 18, 2007

A pretty offensive comedy about Africans who range from primitive to demonic that, sorry, is just not funny.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
Long Island Press

Vapid, lengthy, and mostly lifeless -- kind of like the desert it's named for.

October 2, 2006
Christianity Today

Sahara rather resembles National Treasure, another film with a strained story line and deadening lack of visual richness.

Full Review… | February 7, 2006

For "Sahara," the problem is that we have the Indiana Jones movies to compare it to, and I'm afraid there's no comparison. It's never more than a likable poseur.

Full Review… | November 18, 2005
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Audience Reviews for Sahara

Im pretty sure i wasnt suppose to enjoy this movie at all. Is is suppose to be horrible according to reviews but what i found was 2 hours of fun, humor and action. Now that I know this is a book. I think I need to go look them up.

John Manard

Super Reviewer

So I've read this is THE most expensive flop in Hollywood history, was a bit of a surprise to me I must say but I can see why really. The whole franchise based on the Dirk Pitt novels has collapsed after this first film which isn't a big deal really seeing as the character is a combination of Indy Bond and Errol Flynn, overly cliched and overused.

The film is really a poor man's Indiana Jones, a poor man's Indiana Jones in the present day basically, yet somehow the film is almost two hours long and really quite dull. The whole film consists of the heroes running around African desert whilst being shot at by various people really, there is a silly plot about trying to find a buried American civil war ironclad warship and also a plot about stopping most of the African water supply getting poisoned.

Personally I feel like they have gotten the era's mixed up, McConaughey looks and acts like a kind of dashing cinematic silver screen legend of the 30's-40's yet he is in the present day and accompanied by the rather whiny and annoying Zahn. Both the main leads are always clad in desert colour outfits which all seems to have stemmed from Indiana Jones, there is the all too common vintage car racing through the desert whilst been shot at sequence, Cruz is completely pointless throughout, it tries to be funny but fails and the ending is a rip roaring anti-climax.

To be frank I think this failed because its set in the present day and we already have a character for that and his name is James Bond. These type of adventures seem to work better when period set, 'The Mummy' films and 'The Phantom' are good examples of this type of boys own wilderness set adventures that work in another era.

I still don't get how the CSS Texas was shown at the start of the film in Virgina, US and ends up in the Niger River, Africa, anyone?? Plus on a final note...Dirk Pitt has to be one of the dumbest attempts at a cool heroic name I've come across for some time.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


"Sahara is action packed with not even one boring moment. I really liked McConaughey and Zahn together on screen. They have great chemistry and work great off of each other. Penelope does a good job in this too. Macy brings humor to the mvoie. I liked his character. I appreciate humor in a movie when it's not meant to be a comedy. It makes the film more enjoyable and Zahn is very funny in this. It's a great adventure film if you get the chance to see it."


Super Reviewer

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