Ghosts of the Abyss Reviews

Ted Shen
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
December 11, 2009

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.


Time Out
Top Critic
June 24, 2006

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

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
April 23, 2003

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.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
April 22, 2003

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Edward Crouse
Village Voice
Top Critic
April 15, 2003

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!'

Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic
April 14, 2003

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

Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

Besides the considerable technological magic of the film, it's blessedly done without a spirit of vanity.

Daphne Gordon
Toronto Star
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

The footage from the dives shows perfectly preserved details from the inside of the ship.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

A mesmerizing journey, made all the more immediate by its reach-out-and- touch-it 3-D.

| Original Score: 3/4
Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

A lot like a theme-park ride: occasionally exciting but carefully controlled.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
John Anderson
Newsday
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

Documentary dramatizations usually are awful, but in Ghosts of the Abyss, they work.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

The remarkable 3-D photography, which adds amazing depth and detail to the projected image, makes even the pointless passages absorbing.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

Ghosts doesn't need gimmicks to sell itself. Titanic's watery grave is awe-inspiring enough.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

Though Cameron can't resist using 3D in traditional style -- a deckhand throws out a rope that grazes your head -- he mostly uses it imaginatively.

| Original Score: 3/4
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

It's a unique trip that flirts with hokeyness at the surface but that grows more compelling, awe-inspiring, and tragic the deeper you go.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

Not your usual snoozy IMAX documentary.

| Original Score: 3.5/4
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

We're watching a kid playing video games at a tomb.

Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

The footage of the old ship, whose ghostly grandeur is still apparent despite nearly 90 years of existence underwater, speaks volumes.

Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

A pedestrian film by a hack director that is still worth seeing for the fascination of its subject matter.

| Original Score: 3/5
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

Cameron proves himself modest here, finding an unexpectedly low-key approach to a monumental subject.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Dave Kehr
New York Times
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

Haunting and beautiful 3-D documentary.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
April 11, 2003

The result is often spellbinding, and to mention some of the sights we see is to praise the film's ambition.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
April 10, 2003

It explores the remains of the marathon ship with such intimacy that you expect all the characters in [Titanic's] ethereal final scene to suddenly appear and offer handshakes.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Robert Koehler
Variety
Top Critic
April 10, 2003

Though quite routine on the logistics of deep-sea exploring, pic develops a visual style as it replays the events of the sinking.

Mark Olsen
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic
April 10, 2003

Rivaling only George Lucas as Hollywood's reigning tech-obsessed gadget wizard, Cameron (who is never introduced, he's just there) seems pretty fascinated by this stuff, but as a filmmaker he has a hard time letting anybody else in on the appeal.

Kevin M. Williams
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
April 10, 2003

A trip to the bottom of the sea that has no real purpose save to flog the wreck of the Titanic, Cameron's cash cow.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic
April 10, 2003

The next best thing to riding a sub to the bottom of the North Atlantic and prowling around the sunken ocean liner.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
April 4, 2003

Despite over-ripe narration and an understandable urge to cram too much in, Ghosts of the Abyss is a thrilling documentary.

| Original Score: 3.5/4