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Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 100
Fresh: 80 | Rotten: 20

The underwater footage is both beautiful and awe-inspiring.


Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 4

The underwater footage is both beautiful and awe-inspiring.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 6,361

My Rating

Movie Info

Filmmaker James Cameron has long been fascinated with the ill-fated maiden voyage of the great ship the Titanic, and he used the story as the backdrop for his most famous and successful movie. In the summer of 2001, Cameron and his good friend Bill Paxton (who appeared in Titanic) joined a group of scientists, maritime historians, archaeologists, and deep sea explorers for a daring experiment -- to find and document the Titanic's final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Cameron

Apr 27, 2004


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All Critics (101) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (80) | Rotten (20) | DVD (19)

This hour-long feature, edited down from 900 hours of footage, is both a technical marvel and a heartfelt memorial to those who died when the ship sank in 1912.

December 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It may not have the organisation of 'art', but it's quite some postcard.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cameron, who produced and directed it, does a visually splendid job, though what he has fashioned comes down to a logistical footnote to his great, primal, heart-of- the-ocean blockbuster.

April 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the rare Imax movies in which the 3-D effects are completely melded into the picture, rather than simply used as a gimmick.

April 22, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aside from his CGI ghostcraft unwittingly co-opting Pat O'Neill's last feature, Cameron is entirely predictable in a marines T-shirt, exhorting, 'Next stop, Titanic -- rock 'n' roll!'

April 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ghosts of the Abyss is an incredible experience that will further enhance our century-long fascination with the Titanic.

April 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you see only one James Cameron-directed movie about theTitanic -and you should - see the one that doesn't star Kate and Leo.

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

A bit slow-going and strangely emotionless at times. But Bill Paxton's nervous expressions add humor, and the film's jaw-dropping glimpse at the Titanic are powerful, to say the least.

September 26, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD

James Cameron's latest memorial to the spirit that exists mournfully and sadly in utter silence as the effects of time and salinity slowly and inexorably take their toll.

September 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

I wouldn't call "Ghosts of the Abyss" a compelling documentary or even an artistic one. It's more like a visit to a museum-in this case, one that's 12,500 feet below the surface.

September 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Go and marvel at this spectacular piece of visual history; it's 60 minutes very well spent.

February 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

What's the point of this documentary?

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed | Comment (1)
Cinema Crazed

This is a brilliant showcase for IMAX and Cameron who offer an entertaining and fascinating glimpse of history to us all.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Despite Paxton's whooping every time a new artefact comes on screen, it's hard to be constantly excited about watching a bunch of rusty, decayed junk -- historic and three-dimensional though it may be.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Cameron has gone from shaping the zeitgeist to spoonfeeding it

April 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

The picture's beauty and Cameron's amazing photographic work provide much pleasure. It's just that...there is the feeling we've been there and seen it all before.

April 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

As seqüências rodadas nos destroços do Titanic são estupendas, mas o filme constantemente perde o foco e gasta muito tempo com a narração pouco inspirada de Paxton.

March 16, 2004
Cinema em Cena

Cameron is forever associated with the fateful ship, and I think it's time he moved on.

July 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Not as record setting a motion picture as, say, Titanic, but more haunting and ethereal.

July 3, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Boeuf
Movie Boeuf

Ghosts Of the Abyss is an interesting experiment which fails to take full advantage of the real opportunity granted in its inception - to utilize emerging technology to explore terrain that has never been witnessed by humans. . .

May 30, 2003 Full Review Source:

The Titanic has a haunting beauty that is served well by the movie's 3-dimensional process.

April 30, 2003 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

Ghosts of the Abyss is a beautifully rendered middle-of-the-road documentary that strikes a perfect balance between entertainment and education.

April 30, 2003 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

In the end, it's the visuals of this film that you want to see, and Cameron doesn't disappoint.

April 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Ghosts of the Abyss isn't emotionally engaging or even all that interesting.

April 26, 2003 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Audience Reviews for Ghosts of the Abyss

Disappointingly full of platitudes.
September 7, 2013
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

"Ghosts of the Abyss" is a sci-fi type documentary. James Cameron and Bill Paxton along with a group of scientists, historians, and deep sea explorers head down to explore the remains of Titanic. It's visually stunning to see the ship at the ocean floor. The way it has deteriorated, yet parts like stain glass windows remain beautiful and intact. Runs only at 64 minutes, which is a good run time as the movie does become a little boring mid way through. This was designed for 3D Imax, so watching it on DVD on a 55 inch tv, really doesn't seem to do it the justice is deserves. At home it's kind of just a boring exploration of a fascinating subject. But, I'm sure on a 3D Imax screen this is a real experience.
May 1, 2012
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Ghost of the Abyss is better.
November 16, 2011

Super Reviewer

Funny coincidence: GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS is about the Titanic; it's directed by James Cameron, who directed both the 1997 film TITANIC and the similarly-titled (but ultimately-unrelated 1989 film THE ABYSS. Just thought I'd mention that.
GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS is a smooth, but overly slow, documentary about the investigation of the Titanic. It picks up just about where TITANIC left off (except without the romance, drama, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet), even though made six years later as a factual film. The process in which everything is captured is slightly uneven, but if you want to see a Titanic movie that isn't all lovey-dovey and kissey-blissey (I don't know...I guess I just made that last one up), watch GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS. The only two big things you'll miss that you won't when watching TITANIC are the memorability and the epic.
September 21, 2011

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Misterios del Titanic (ES)
  • Titantic 3D: Ghosts of the Abyss (AU)
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