Solaris (1976) - Rotten Tomatoes

Solaris (1976)

Solaris (1976)




Critic Consensus: Solaris is a haunting, meditative film that uses sci-fi to raise complex questions about humanity and existence.

Movie Info

Based on a short story by Stanislaw Lem, Solaris is about a psychologist who is sent to a space station orbiting a water-dominated planet called Solaris to investigate the mysterious death of a doctor, as well as the mental problems plaguing the dwindling number of cosmonauts on the station. Soon, he discovers that Solaris' water is actually a type of "brain," which brings out repressed memories and obsessions within the cosmonauts on the space station.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Andrei Tarkovsky, Friedrich Gorenstein, Fridrikh Gorenshtein
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 26, 2002
Kino International


Donatas Banionis
as Kris Kelvin
Jüri Järvet
as Dr. Snaut
Anatoli Solonitsyn
as Dr. Sartorius
Nikolai Grinko
as Kelvin's Father
Sos Sarkisyan
as Gibarian
Sos Sarkissian
as Dr. Gibarian
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Solaris

Critic Reviews for Solaris

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (11)

Tarkovsky's speculative visions enfold the mysteries of death and rebirth, the lost paradise of childhood, the power of art to define identity, the menace of science as destructive vanity ...

Full Review… | June 16, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

The effects are scanty, the drama gloomy, the philosophy of the film thick as a cloud of ozone. The plot is not all that original either.

Full Review… | May 23, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Andrei Tarkovsky spins a strange, slow but absorbing parable on life and love in the guise of a sci-fi theme.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007
Top Critic

More an exploration of inner than of outer space, Tarkovsky's eerie mystic parable is given substance by the filmmaker's boldly original grasp of film language and the remarkable performances by all the principals.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's a smart response to the superficial excesses of the sci-fi genre.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This complex and sometimes very beautiful film is about humanity but hardly at all about politics.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Solaris

Science fiction can be the most fascinating frame to promote thought-provoking intellectual discussions, and Tarkovsky knew it so well, using it in this wonderful film to raise brilliant philosophical questions about reality, human nature, loss and happiness.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris is a masterwork of Science Fiction cinema that ranks up there with some of the finest in the genre. Solaris is a simple idea, but the way it's handled is exceptional. In Tarkovsky's hands, the subject is grand, and the result is bold, Sci Fi epic that is visually stunning and brilliantly acted. The film is breathtaking in its execution and director Andrei Tarkovsky vision is uncompromising and he delivers a picture that is a definite classic of the genre, one that is ambitious in its ideas and it is a movie is unforgettable. I said that the idea is quite simple, and it is, but the way the concept is expressed on-screen, it makes for a truly engrossing form of storytelling and with phenomenal set designs, So0laris is truly a beautiful looking film. This picture should be seen by any film lover that wants a truly compelling story mixed with stunning visuals. One of the reasons that Solaris stands out among other Science Fiction films is that it uses the bare necessitates to create something grand, and the end result is a flawless piece of cinema that ranks among one of the finest Science Fiction films ever made. Along with 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars: A New Hope, Solaris has helped define the genre for many years to come after its release. While using a simple plot, director Andrei Tarkovsky was able to get the most out of the film by focusing on a unique style that is simple unforgettable. This film is a must watch for any genre fan, and I highly recommend it to viewers who are looking for a truly grand film to watch, then Solaris is that film. Solaris is a truly unique picture to watch, relying and terrific visuals to elevate its story, and boasting phenomenal performances from its cast; it has earned its place among the genres finest works, and is like its contemporaries a ground breaking effort in Science Fiction cinema.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


You really have to be in the right mood and frame of mind to watch this and get all the way through. That doesn't mean you need to be high, but that might make things a little more interesting. The comparisons to 2001 are warranted, but only to an extent. Thematically, this movie has more in common with something like Vertigo. If you can handle long, slow, "heavy" art films with a loose plot, then this is for you. I'm not a huge fan of films like this, but I was able to get through this without much effort, which is amazing. Brilliant, poetic, visually stunning, and more like an experience than anything else. If you want something different, check this out.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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