Ghosts of the Abyss


Ghosts of the Abyss

Critics Consensus

The underwater footage is both beautiful and awe-inspiring.



Total Count: 102


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,481
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Ghosts of the Abyss Photos

Movie Info

Director James Cameron journeys back to the site of his greatest inspiration--the legendary wreck of the Titanic. With a team of the world's foremost historic and marine experts and friend Bill Paxton, he embarks on an unscripted adventure back to the final grave where nearly 1,500 souls lost their lives almost a century ago. Using state-of-the-art technology developed expressly for this expedition, Cameron and his crew are able to explore all of the wreckage, inside and out, as never before.

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Critic Reviews for Ghosts of the Abyss

All Critics (102) | Top Critics (31)

  • Cameron reconstructs life aboard in the shape of living tableaux of passengers and crew, seen in spectral mode, eating, drinking, dancing or promenading among the watery remnants of their vessel. It is done with finesse and, oddly, is deeply touching.

    Jan 10, 2018 | Full Review…
  • This hour-long feature, edited down from 900 hours of footage, is both a technical marvel and a heartfelt memorial to those who died when the ship sank in 1912.

    Dec 11, 2009 | Full Review…
  • It may not have the organisation of 'art', but it's quite some postcard.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Cameron, who produced and directed it, does a visually splendid job, though what he has fashioned comes down to a logistical footnote to his great, primal, heart-of- the-ocean blockbuster.

    Apr 23, 2003 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • One of the rare Imax movies in which the 3-D effects are completely melded into the picture, rather than simply used as a gimmick.

    Apr 22, 2003 | Rating: 3/4
  • A great experience for Titanic buffs.

    Apr 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ghosts of the Abyss

  • May 01, 2012
    "Ghosts of the Abyss" is a sci-fi type documentary. James Cameron and Bill Paxton along with a group of scientists, historians, and deep sea explorers head down to explore the remains of Titanic. It's visually stunning to see the ship at the ocean floor. The way it has deteriorated, yet parts like stain glass windows remain beautiful and intact. Runs only at 64 minutes, which is a good run time as the movie does become a little boring mid way through. This was designed for 3D Imax, so watching it on DVD on a 55 inch tv, really doesn't seem to do it the justice is deserves. At home it's kind of just a boring exploration of a fascinating subject. But, I'm sure on a 3D Imax screen this is a real experience.
    Everett J Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2012
    Ghosts of the Abyss is one of the best Titanic documentaries; delivering a rich and interactive look at the wreckage site. With new specialized equipment, James Cameron leads a new expedition to the wreckage of the Titanic and goes further into the ship than ever before. Using a blend of underwater footage superimposed with live action sage footage, the film delivers a real sense of the dimensions and feel of the ship. The film also has an added sense of poignancy, given that Cameron's expedition coincided with the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center; presenting an interesting parallel of one disaster being explored during the mist of another. Ghosts of the Abyss is a fascinating documentary and serves as a perfect companion piece to James Cameron's 1997 epic film; revealing the fact behind the fiction.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 22, 2010
    a good tribute to a beautiful ship, the visuals were amazing, i think it could of been better, i wish it lasted longer, i also think it would of been good if they played more music as your seeing imagery of the ship like at the end. i didn't like parts where it went on about the history because as a person really interested in the titanic, i was being given alot of information i already knew, i can't complain too much but as they have so much more footage they should release more.
    Paul A Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2010
    After garnering a handful of Oscars and amassing more than a billion dollars in ticket sales with 1997's <i>Titanic</i>, James Cameron elected to take a break from dominating the box office to document a historic trip. Clearly, the filmmaker was not content with the time he'd already spent on the Titanic story, so for 2003's <i>Ghosts of the Abyss</i> he travelled back to Titanic's resting place armed with IMAX cameras and the latest in underwater submersible technology. Documentaries prior to <i>Ghosts of the Abyss</i> had offered glimpses at the Titanic wreck which lies at the bottom of the North Atlantic, but this is the most penetrating, spellbinding view of the wreckage so far - it offers audiences and historians the definitive glimpse of the aftermath of one of the most notorious disasters in human history. It's a nice companion piece to Cameron's <i>Titanic</i> too, with the footage here serving as a grim addendum to the blockbuster. <p> <i>Ghosts of the Abyss</i> chronicles James Cameron's 2001 expedition to explore the wreckage of the R.M.S. Titanic; the famous ocean liner (thought unsinkable) which struck an iceberg and sunk in 1912 on its maiden voyage. Accompanying Cameron for the expedition was actor Bill Paxton (also of <i>Titanic</i> fame) and artist Ken Marschall, among others. Using two specifically designed and equipped underwater bots nicknamed Jake and Elwood, the crew probed the insides of the sunken luxury liner in astonishing detail. Following the film's efficient opening segment that introduces us to the crew and the technology, we're taken down some 12,500 feet to the bottom of the North Atlantic. There is a lot of jaw-dropping footage to behold here of the eroded and broken Titanic; rooms were even explored that had not been seen by human eyes since the ship sunk. In order to help viewers discern where the team is within the wreckage at certain times, Cameron devised ghostly recreations in post-production which place historic scenes over the contemporary material. It's a masterful touch. <p> The breathtaking images of the Titanic wreck constitute the film's most interesting moments, so it's a tad disappointing to report that the transitional scenes are awkward from time to time, and sometimes focus is taken away from the sunken ship. For instance, after one dive, a full five minutes is spent watching the crew as they struggle to bring the submarines up out of the water. Furthermore, the film loses steam towards the end when too much time is devoted to a rescue operation of the little bots. This was probably injected to add some action and suspense due to how expensive these machines are, yet this inclusion is extraneous - why should this rescue take precedence over the exploration of the graveyard for 1,500 souls? Interesting stuff, sure, but this material is best saved for a "making of" documentary. It's fortunate, then, that these inclusions are only minor, and the dead spots are rare. However the soundtrack choices are a tad skewiff, and threaten to turn the film into an unintended parody (for instance the use of <i>Just the Two of Us</i> when Jake and Elwood are rescued). <p> Still, <i>Ghosts of the Abyss</i> is a haunting and fascinating experience. Paxton is an effective spectator whose asides of sheer wonderment will be shared by Titanic enthusiasts, while screen-time is also given to experts and professionals to supplement the on-screen information (most interesting are the discussions regarding facets of the disaster). At some point during the film, too, the adventure is hindered when the crew receive news of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Rather than avoiding the subject or smoothing it over, Cameron integrated it into the narrative in order to highlight the connection between 9/11 and the Titanic disaster, both of which will be remembered due to mankind's obsession with the lurid. Without question, <i>Ghosts of the Abyss</i> is a must-see for those who cannot get enough of Titanic lore.
    Cal ( Super Reviewer

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