Critic Consensus: A cast of solid actors do what they can to elevate the material, but Phantom's script is too clunky and devoid of tension to bear comparison to its thematic predecessors.
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Critic Reviews for Phantom
Ed Harris and company can't lift this one off the seafloor, and "Phantom" fades away into the murky mist.
The film remains mediocre, with flat cinematography and crudely anachronistic dialogue.
A game effort by a decent cast highlights the old-fashioned submarine thriller "Phantom," but heavy-handed dialogue, flurries of melodrama and a silly ending make the whole enterprise sink like a stone.
It's not something you want to plunk down $12 for, but just diverting enough to check out when it arrives on Netflix Instant.
[Its] admirable air of realism dissipates once Robinson takes viewers outside the sub, where torpedo skirmishes are staged with too-perfect CGI bombast.
Audience Reviews for Phantom
A taunt, tense and terrific white-knuckle thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat with suspense and excitement. A classy old-school thrill-ride that returns us to the days of thrilling submarine drama's of the 50's and 60's. A great blend of straightforward storytelling and great character development to fuel an engaging movie. It's an awesome film that just explodes with power and drama. Ed Harris, David Duchovny and William Fichtner are sensational. It also had a great cast of character actors that just add to the films appeal, with actors like Lance Henriksen Sean Patrick Flannery and Jason Beghe you definitely cant go wrong. A rip-roaring entertainment.
I just couldn't get past the American actors playing the Russians...with no Russian accents. At all. Completely American in every way..except they were supposed to be Russian. What were they thinking?
In "Phantom," Demi(Ed Harris) is about to retire from the Soviet navy. His last command from Admiral Markov(Lance Henriksen) is to pilot an old diesel submarine to China in order for it to be sold to their navy. While recognizing few new faces amongst his crew now, especially those of the KGB agents assigned, at least Demi will have Kozlov(William Fichtner) back as his executive officer. But just as they are leaving, Markov shoots himself.
Even with the neat setting of an ancient, claustrophobic submarine, "Phantom" still does not manage to be anything more than just the idlest bit of speculation, Cold War division. That's fueled by gigantic leaps in logic that only serve to keep the plot moving before an ending that truly beggars belief. At least, William Fichtner does his usual very fine work while Ed Harris does some subtle acting here. On the other hand, we get even more proof that David Duchovny cannot act.
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