Poseidon Reviews

Top Critic
Nick Funnell
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Petersen's expert direction ensures it remains gripping, keeping the tension ratcheted right up and commendably steering it all home within 100 minutes.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 22, 2006
Poseidon betrays a studio mindset that can only hasten the current erosion of movie attendance -- skimping on human content while betting heedlessly on boom boom boom and gurgle gurgle gurgle.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 18, 2006
As a humanist, I applaud the respect for life, but I miss the campy fun. The movie is, in all senses, a big downer.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
May 16, 2006
... a waterlogged, unnecessary re-imagining of the cheesy blockbuster from the Seventies heyday of disaster films.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
May 16, 2006
Throughout the movie, Petersen has a dynamic feel for the rush and heave of the deluge, the pent-up energy, the sheer heft and momentum.
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 13, 2006
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
May 12, 2006
There's never any doubt that some of these uninteresting people will make the passage through hell to the hull, it's only a question of which ones. And whether we'll still be there to see whom.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
May 12, 2006
Where the first film had to rely on stunt work and character conflicts, the remake is action on top of unbelievable action.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
May 12, 2006
Petersen definitely brings a nautical pedigree to the gig -- the man knows from water. He's also wise enough to retain only the essentials from the '72 original, just the title ship and the rogue wave that did it in.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
May 12, 2006
Poseidon's not so purely realized or ultra-intense that it can get by without revving its emotional engines, and its problems start early.
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
May 12, 2006
While the ship's survivors are driven to live, Poseidon is never character-driven enough to make us care.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
May 12, 2006
Titanic without the metaphors, the class-consciousness, the love story, or anything resembling a theme, Poseidon invests so little in its screenplay that it might as well be an episode of The Love Boat gone horribly awry.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 11, 2006
Neither bad enough to really laugh at nor good enough to be truly exciting, Poseidon just sits there, occasionally gripping, but only fleetingly. It's a bland spectacle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
May 11, 2006
Poseidon isn't cute, funny, warm, nice, inspirational or uplifting. It's about the incredible labor of survival in a world turned totally sociopathic in an instant.
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
May 11, 2006
Poseidon is named after the wrong god. The god of laughter and derision is Momus, who was cast out of Olympus for mocking Zeus, Athena and Poseidon.
| Original Score: 0.5/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 11, 2006
As enjoyably silly as the original.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
May 11, 2006
The movie is filled with flimsy characters with lives summed up in a tossed-off line or two.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
May 11, 2006
Poseidon, which cost some $160 million to make, certainly qualifies as a big movie. But it's the kind of 'big' that you forget almost as soon as you've left the theater.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 11, 2006
Poseidon is a sodden saga, with a script that is awash in clichés. It nearly drowns under the weight of its own soggy tedium.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 11, 2006
By the end, you won't care who lives or dies, and you'll suspect the filmmakers didn't either.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
May 11, 2006
After you've seen Poseidon, you will never willingly crawl into a thousand-gallon ballast tank again.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 11, 2006
An experience that's exciting and nerve-racking in the moment, but that, in the end, leaves audiences with a lonely walk back to the car.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 11, 2006
There's nothing hip or ironic about Poseidon, which makes Russell and Lucas the perfect leading men: jut-jawed, macho, and able to keep a straight face while being pinned by fake beams, and held hostage by page upon page of sappy dialogue.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 11, 2006
So what if it's not United 93? It's about the spectacularly perilous journey, not the people making it, not some message about an under-regulated industry and accidents waiting to happen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
May 11, 2006
The chief virtue of Wolfgang Petersen's reasonably well-executed remake of The Poseidon Adventure is that it keeps the action moving.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
May 11, 2006
Poseidon is a great leveler of humanity: It renders everyone in the picture eminently disposable and everyone in the audience equally bankrupt for bearing witness.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
May 11, 2006
Poseidon doesn't say much about society today, except that Hollywood continues to pour buckets of money into frivolous projects.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 11, 2006
Relying on empty spectacle rather than drama, Poseidon sinks faster than a topsy-turvy cruise ship.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
May 11, 2006
It's Das Perfect Boot -- with the characters compressed to wafers. And I mean that both ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
May 11, 2006
If The Poseidon Adventure was pure camp classic, Wolfgang Petersen's uninspired re-do succeeds at neither -- it's not camp and it's not classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
May 11, 2006
Watered-down in every way imaginable, Poseidon capsizes under the very large load of corn it carries.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 11, 2006
You can turn off your mind in Poseidon, just don't expect to relax and float downstream; you'll more likely be holding on to your seat like a flotation cushion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
May 11, 2006
You will definitely gasp and gulp while watching the new film. But, sadly, these reactions won't be traced to the expert effects. Instead, you'll find yourself gasping and gulping at the incredibly lame dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 11, 2006
The relative briskness of Poseidon ensures that things won't get bogged down. If a sequence is dull, you can be sure it will soon be replaced by another, and another.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
May 11, 2006
We've sailed these waters before. Poseidon has been reimagined, if that's the word for it, in an impersonal, Palm Piloted manner, though not without its share of unintended laughs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 11, 2006
There will be people who won't go to United 93 because they think it will be depressing yet will go to Poseidon expecting an exciting night at the movies, and I guess I don't understand how their brains work.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 11, 2006
Poseidon is just a string of neat-o special effects in search of something that passes for a story line on which to drape itself.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 11, 2006
Petersen's heart isn't in it. He is too wise a director to think this is first-rate material, and too good a director to turn it into enjoyable trash.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 10, 2006
Petersen sets out to give us a group of undeveloped stock characters and a bunch of cheap thrills, and that's what he delivers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
May 10, 2006
'There's got to be a morning after,' went the Oscar-winning song from the original. In Poseidon, daylight can't come soon enough.
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
May 10, 2006
If the prospect of expiring horribly strikes you as a rather extreme way of growing backbone and getting life plans back on track, you should know that Poseidon is a movie with absolutely no sense of humor.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
May 10, 2006
[An] excellently undemanding, swimmingly enjoyable remake.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
May 9, 2006
An utterly empty-skulled genre mechanism and nothing more.
Top Critic
Brian Lowry
Variety
May 8, 2006
Wolfgang Petersen's large-scale liner moves reasonably well, though anyone with the faintest memory of its 1972 predecessor will wonder where most of the plot went, and the dialogue is so stilted it can honestly be said the less the better.
Top Critic
Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
May 8, 2006
Its intensity is strictly physical, the intended emotional impact submerged in a numbing onslaught of death, danger and derring-do as a bunch of mostly annoying, self-centered passengers fight their way to the surface.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 27, 2006
You'll end up entertained if you forgive the cliches and let Petersen grab you with the visuals, from the avalanche of water in the ballroom to the eerie sight of a flooded crawl space where wires take on the form of deadly tentacles.
| Original Score: 3/4