Phenomenon (1996)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Small-town auto mechanic George is a well-liked but simple man. His life is forever altered when late one night he steps outside and a brilliant flash of light endows him with exceptional brain power, increasing his capacity for and retention of knowledge and gifting him with psychokinetic abilities.

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Gerald Di Pego
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 15, 2002


as George Malley

as Lace Pennamin

as Nate Pope

as Professor Ringold

as Dr. Wellin

as Niedorf

as Ted Rhome

as Jack Hatch

as Alberto

as Bonnie

as Ella's Father

as Major Benz

as Reporter

as Sick Boy's Father

as Intense Man at Libra...

as Taunting Man at Libr...

as Man in Orchard

as Customer at Malley's

as Furniture Store Owne...

as Man in Crowd

as Woman in Crowd

as Man at Bar No. 1

as Man at Bar No. 2

as Man at Bar No. 3

as Woman at Bar

as Technician No. 1

as Female Officer

as Agent No. 2

as Helicopter Pilot

as Jack Hatch
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Phenomenon

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (12)

Works best if you can switch off your brain. Those who can will reach weepy nirvana. Those who can't will find this sticky-sweet wallow a bit, well, dumb.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

For a movie that's ostensibly about intelligence, Phenomenon proves to be rather simple-minded.

Full Review… | July 13, 2012
Creative Loafing

Gentle tearjerker about sudden mental superpowers.

Full Review… | December 15, 2010
Common Sense Media

Flawed story, but compelling story does hook one.

October 16, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Audience Reviews for Phenomenon


An average American man working as a mechanic in a California town finds himself granted supernatural abilities on his 37th birthday in this whimsical dramedy starring John Travolta.

There was speculation that this film had ties to Scientology, but I really wouldn't know, nor do I care to get involved in that discussion. I just remember my dad saying (sometime back in the 90s), that this was the only Travolta film (at that time at least), that he thought was any good. I didn't, and still don't agree with that, but it is a pretty good film nonetheless.

I liked that this regular guy gets powers just out of happenstance, and how the film concerns him and everyone else around him, having to deal with the positive and negative consequences of this situation.

It's been forever since I've seen this, so my memory of it is hazy, but I seem to recall that, while it does have fun with him messing around with his powers, it actually takes the situation seriously too, and mostly does so without being too heavy handed.

The performances are good, the concept quite nice, and in the end it makes you all warm and fuzzy, and all that mushy stuff, so if that sounds good to you, then give it a shot.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

There are a few movies out there where something out-of-the-ordinary causes the hero to become a genius. It always seems to be a temporary phenomenon. This movie is no exception to the rule.

I did not mind it - somehow it is a satisfying movie - perhaps the wish that one can solve all the world's ills.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer


Sad and depressing, but hadmany heartwarming scenes. But really? Tumor superpowers.

Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

Phenomenon Quotes

– Submitted by Akil H (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Akil H (3 years ago)

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