Sanctum (2011)



Critic Consensus: Sanctum is beautifully photographed, and it makes better use of 3-D technology than most, but that doesn't make up for its ham-handed script and lifeless cast.

Movie Info

The 3-D action-thriller Sanctum, from executive producer James Cameron, follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea. Master diver Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh) has explored the South Pacific's Esa-ala Caves for months. But … More

Rating: R (for language, some violence and disturbing images)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Andrew Wight, John Garvin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 7, 2011
Box Office: $23.1M
Universal Pictures - Official Site


as Frank McGuire

as Carl Hurley

as Josh McGuire

as Victoria

as Crazy George

as Crazy George

as Jim Sergeant

as Chopper Pilot

as Kastom Shaman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Sanctum

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Critic Reviews for Sanctum

All Critics (163) | Top Critics (35)

Its downfall is its cliché-riddled and fusty script.

Full Review… | October 7, 2011
Top Critic

Despite the millions clearly poured into it, the film feels cheap and amateurish. See it on IMAX if you wish, but the flaws will only look bigger.

Full Review… | February 25, 2011
Top Critic

I couldn't wait for these people to drown.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

While Sanctum isn't a great film, it's enjoyable for the thrilling element.

Full Review… | August 26, 2013
7M Pictures

The strong special effects can't overcome the story's sour focus on pain and hopelessness.

Full Review… | June 30, 2013
Big Hollywood

Mixed in with flat characters and tense action is an incredible 3D visual component - which is where Cameron's involvement in the project is most apparent.

Full Review… | October 4, 2012

Audience Reviews for Sanctum

Mediocre action film, Sanctum is a film that had potential of being a great film; unfortunately it falls flat, and relies more on clichés than anything. The film is a well made, and there some exciting bits here and there, unfortunately, the material presented here is something we've seen many times before. Sanctum is the perfect example of a film that's style over substance, it looks great, but the plot is paper thin, and relies on recycled ideas from previous films in order to create an engaging film. Unfortunately the results here lack, and despite a few good moments, it doesn't do anything to really grab your attention. The end result leaves you wanting more, and considering it was produced by James Cameron, you'd expect a great film viewing experience. Unfortunately, the ideas here are overdone, and not that interesting. The high point of the film however, is that the film looks great, and it's well shot, but overall it's an empty vessel, a film that lacks effective execution to make a truly exciting thrill ride from start to finish. Sanctum is just a collection of clichés, and underwhelming performances. If you're going into this one expecting a great movie, you'll sadly be disappointed. Sanctum had potential, but the filmmakers squander that to rethread old formulaic ideas that just are not interesting. Overall, I was let down by the film, and I can't recommend it because it's just a pointless effort that lacks anything that will truly grab your attention. Watch something else, Sanctum just doesn't deliver and it is a film that should have used plenty of script rewrites before getting the go ahead. In terms of action, adventure films, this one is forgettable, and there are better ones out there.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

A decent survival thriller. Watched it on DVD so don't know how good it is in 3D. The cave looks amazing and steals the show really, otherwise it ends up follow a already well trodden path for this type of film and others little new. I have to say as well why oh why make the English actor do an awful American accent, why not make his character English and save embarrassment!

Dean King

Super Reviewer


Not a bad movie, but not great either. I bet it must have been pretty cool in 3D with all the suspended in water dive scenes. Without the 3D aspect, just another cave dive movie with a high body count.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Sanctum Quotes

– Submitted by Evan T (13 months ago)
– Submitted by Brittany L (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chuck C (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Kerwin M (3 years ago)

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