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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Critic Reviews for Sphere
Ultimately, the explanation we've been waiting for turns out to be just that: an explanation.
Three major stars being involved, it all wraps up happily but implausibly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They seriously screwed up a great book.