Sphere (1998)



Critic Consensus: Sphere features an A-level cast working with B-grade material, with a story seen previously in superior science-fiction films.

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Movie Info

Dr. Goodman, biochemist Halperin, and astrophysicist Fielding are selected by the government to study a huge spacecraft located on the Pacific ocean floor. Evidence suggest that this craft comes from the future, and inside is a threatening glowing sphere that sends e-mail messages such as,"I will kill you all"
PG-13 (violence, language)
Action & Adventure , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Home Video

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Dustin Hoffman
as Dr. Norman Goodman
Sharon Stone
as Beth Halperin
Samuel L. Jackson
as Harry Adams
Peter Coyote
as Barnes
Liev Schreiber
as Ted Fielding
Queen Latifah
as Fletcher
Marga Gomez
as Jane Edmunds
Huey Lewis
as Helicopter Pilot
Michael Keys Hall
as Government Official
Bernard Hocke
as Seaman
James Pickens Jr.
as OSSA Instructor
Michael Keyes Hall
as OSSA Official
Ralph Tabakin
as OSSA Official
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Critic Reviews for Sphere

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (14)

An empty shell.

Full Review… | August 4, 2008
Top Critic

Three major stars being involved, it all wraps up happily but implausibly.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The ending, though emotionally satisfying, collapses under scrutiny. This lack of payoff is a real flaw in a film pitched to a discriminating sci-fi mentality.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Given its situational premise -- outer space goes underwater -- Sphere is filled with visual potential, yet Levinson can't tap it. He's just a whole lot more comfortable trying to tame the human software than the technical hardware.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

As the umpteenth entrant in the We-Are-Not-Alone sweepstakes, Sphere feels awfully familiar because it is.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Somewhere out there, maybe there's a small cadre of film-goers who will appreciate Sphere's dubious charms, but I'm not among them.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sphere

Great cast wasted on a manipulative piece of sci-fi drivel. So many plot holes ... ! So you stay to watch the cast, but eventually hate being jerked around alla time, and the lame-o explanations for it. And the ending? A hot turd in your living room.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


For a while in the 90s, it felt like there was a space horror film out every week. This one, based on a Michael Crichton novel takes the issue down into the sea, where a team of scientists tries to find out the secret between a crashed spaceship. Thankfully, the film cares about its characters and keeps their stupidity and the death list to an absolute minimum. Whether you like the film or not depends much on how people take the reveal and its consequences. Viewers expecting Event Horizon-like horror might be disappointed, people who think it's always much scarier when you can't see the enemy should get a kick out of this, though. It helps that the protagonists are actors who know how to deliver the goods. The result is exciting, claustrophobic and actually quite smart, even if not as spectacular as it might make you believe.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


They seriously screwed up a great book.

Joe McCall
Joe McCall

Super Reviewer

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