Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

2001

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Critics Consensus

The movie raises the bar for computer animated movies, but the story is dull and emotionally removed.

45%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 143

48%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 141,611
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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Photos

Movie Info

The first feature-length motion picture to use computer-generated imagery to create not only effects, props, and environments but also the human cast members themselves, this lavish science-fiction adventure follows closely on the heels of another video game-based film, Tomb Raider (2001). Ming-Na provides the voice of Dr. Aki Ross, a female scientist in the year 2065, a time when Earth has been overrun by extraterrestrial phantoms borne of a crashed meteor. Humans have been pushed back to cities protected by barriers that keep the marauding space monsters away, but time is running out. Fatally infected by one of the ghostly beasts, Ross seeks information about their purpose and physiology, assisted by her mentor Dr. Sid (voice of Donald Sutherland) and the Deep Eyes military squad of courageous Captain Gray Edwards (voice of Alec Baldwin). Tension develops between Aki's quest to stop the alien onslaught through study and the more extreme solution favored by the vengeful, saber-rattling General Hein (voice of James Woods), who would destroy both the aliens and the Earth itself. Aki ultimately comes to realize that the key to unlocking the mystery of the invaders lies within her own dreams.

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Cast

Ming-Na Wen
as Dr. Aki Ross
Alec Baldwin
as Capt. Gray Edwards
Ving Rhames
as Ryan Whittaker
James Woods
as Gen. Hein
Keith David
as Council Member No. 1
Jean Simmons
as Council Member No. 2
Matt McKenzie
as Maj. Elliot
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Critic Reviews for Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

All Critics (143) | Top Critics (32)

  • I never stopped marveling at the thousands of individually delineated pores and hair strands of the heroine, but the thin story covering her acquisition of one wave after another while narrowly escaping death time and again is strictly for player one.

    Apr 12, 2010 | Full Review…
  • This bigscreen adaptation of the long-popular interactive computer game is visually impressive if not dramatically cool, and is marked by "acting" that is no worse than that found in the majority of sci-fi films.

    Sep 9, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The human figure, however, remains a challenge to current CGI technology, since the detailing of hair and freckles, for instance, proves rather more credible than the marionette-like impression created by cold eyes and oddly unconvincing body movements.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
  • The story is adequate, if familiar, but after half an hour relapses into cliche.

    Aug 10, 2001 | Full Review…
  • The visual grandeur cannot hide clichéd dialogue, thin characters, and a frustrating lack of development.

    Jul 24, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Danny Graydon

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • The exercise is so elaborately pointless you'd think the Pentagon had bankrolled it.

    Jul 18, 2001

Audience Reviews for Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

  • Jan 03, 2013
    With groundbreaking animation, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within delivers the first photorealistic computer animated feature. However, the story is insanely bizarre; alien ghosts are attacking humanity and threatening the planet's Gaia. Yet the animation is amazing, delivering some truly astounding visuals. And the film is well cast, and includes Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, and James Woods. But as interesting as the film is, the story drags it down. Still, despite its issues, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is an amazing technical achievement, and is a fun and entertaining science fiction film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2012
    I don't know why they couldn't just have made a Final Fantasy movie instead of this awful hippie idealism meets Sci Fi abortion.
    Mace R Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2011
    Compared to the best anime films this isn't as good but as a stand alone film it would have been way better. By that I mean if this was live action and had nothing to do with anime then I would have gotten a higher rating. This featured a great story with great emotion. I have no idea what the critics are saying. I think they're just mad because this is a huge franchise. I'm not a fan mostly because I don't play video games anymore. The only thing I like about this is Steve Buscemi's voice acting. That last scene was emotional and moving so don't listen to the critics.
    Eduardo T Super Reviewer
  • Jun 19, 2011
    Surprisingly good. I'm personally not a fan of the Final Fantasy games (truth be told, I can't stand them). Thankfully, unlike the Advent Children film, this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Final Fantasy series except for its name, so needless to say, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It has a cool plot, even if it is difficult to understand at times. The CGI is dated but still cool looking, and the action is pretty cool. The cast is surprisingly star-studded, so that's a great addition to this film as well.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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