Solaris Reviews

Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Scripted, shot, directed and edited by Soderbergh with his customary intelligence and assurance, this is perhaps the most ambiguous and cerebrally sophisticated Hollywood movie in nearly three decades.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 19, 2002
Fiasco of infuriating pretentiousness and numbing incoherence.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
December 19, 2002
I prefer Soderbergh's concentration on his two lovers over Tarkovsky's mostly male, mostly patriarchal debating societies.
Top Critic
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 29, 2002
A hushed, haunted tone poem about love and loss.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 29, 2002
[Soderbergh] tends to place most of the psychological and philosophical material in italics rather than trust an audience's intelligence, and he creates an overall sense of brusqueness.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
November 28, 2002
A solemn, splintered meditation on lost love: a movie about personal space, in space.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
November 28, 2002
It is, all at once, exhilarating, frustrating, cryptic and wise.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 27, 2002
Although it's meant to be restrained and free of emotional hysteria, the result is a movie that pretty much lies dead on the screen for an hour and a half.
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
November 27, 2002
One for the graduate students who know everything about movies except how to enjoy them.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 27, 2002
Soderbergh does a fine job creating a moody atmosphere of pervasive anxiety.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
November 27, 2002
Meshing philosophical inquiry with a propulsive otherworldly mystery, it has the smart-pop quality of a vintage episode of Star Trek.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 27, 2002
While it's rather bracing to see a movie in which everything isn't spelled out from the start ... Solaris is too often a mystifying genre experiment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
November 27, 2002
If you give it half a chance, it will bore into your subconscious, mess with your mind and leave you mumbling, 'Hmm, what if --'
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 27, 2002
Comes across as less than a spontaneous work of the heart and more like a grim-faced stab at artistic importance.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
November 27, 2002
A return to what sci-fi was meant to be: Not a way to titillate teenage boys, but a means of finding a context for complex human issues.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
November 27, 2002
So beautifully made (everything in it is understated except the gorgeous good looks of its stars) and turns out to have such real cumulative power that it is worth holding out to the end.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 27, 2002
This cold, occasionally dull movie practically defies you to embrace it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
November 27, 2002
The filmmaking is extraordinarily assured, and any credible attempt to keep science fiction from becoming exclusively the province of 13-year-olds is welcome.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
November 27, 2002
A shrewdly pared-down version that confines its focus to a single issue for the ages: the nature of romantic passion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Susan Stark
Detroit News
November 27, 2002
The most opaque, self-indulgent and just plain goofy an excuse for a movie as you can imagine.
| Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 27, 2002
An example of an A-list director and movie star using their clout to do what more people in their position should: challenge themselves and their audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
November 27, 2002
A serious movie with serious ideas. But seriously, folks, it doesn't work.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 27, 2002
The kind of smart film that has people arguing about it on their way out of the theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 27, 2002
[Soderbergh] goes so far into the terrors and rewards of romantic love that he comes out the other side into the universal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Powers
L.A. Weekly
November 27, 2002
Tautly elliptical story of love, memory, guilt and redemption.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
November 27, 2002
Visually astonishing and thoroughly admirable.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 27, 2002
Soderbergh, in essence, has come up with a plodding and far less psychologically arresting version of Ghost.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
November 27, 2002
A thought-provoking exploration of the elusive nature of relationships.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 26, 2002
It's an example of sophisticated, challenging filmmaking that stands, despite its noticeable lack of emotional heft, in welcome contrast to the indulgent dead-end experimentation of the director's previous Full Frontal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
November 26, 2002
In the Hollywood pantheon of recycled heroes, [Clooney] suggests a Clark Gable for the new millennium, without the raised eyebrow and rakish leer.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 26, 2002
This is as elegant, moody, intelligent, sensuous, and sustained a studio movie as we are likely to see this season.
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
November 26, 2002
Its audacious ambitions sabotaged by pomposity, Steven Soderbergh's space opera emerges as a numbingly dull experience.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 26, 2002
Soderbergh skims the fat from the 1972 film. What's left is a rich stew of longing.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 26, 2002
The smartest science fiction film since Blade Runner, and yes, that includes The Matrix.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
November 26, 2002
It's a lovely, eerie film that casts an odd, rapt spell.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 26, 2002
Solaris is neither as effective nor as ambitious as Kubrick's masterpiece, but it's still a compelling cinematic experience for those who are willing to abandon themselves to the unforced, measured rhythms of an issues-based motion picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mike D'Angelo
Time Out
November 25, 2002
Whatever else one might say of Soderbergh and Clooney, they understand that clout is something you exercise, not something you safeguard.
| Original Score: 63/100
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
November 22, 2002
Despite its undeniably pure and earnest intent, Solaris is equally undeniably an arid, dull affair that imposes and maintains a huge distance between the viewer and what happens onscreen.
Top Critic
David Hunter
Hollywood Reporter
November 22, 2002
Pleasingly, Soderbergh does not pander much to expectations and more than once evokes Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 20, 2002
A mind-bender in the best sense of the word: The spell it casts follows you all the way home.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 18, 2002
It's very thoughtful and it's the kind of movie you have to discuss afterwards.