August 7, 2020
It pays to be incredibly suspicious of a movie where nearly all dramatic tension is drawn from characters standing around bleeping computer screens and commenting on how bad things look.
February 26, 2020
I was utterly confused by the end of Sphere... This project had all the resources to make a fine film, and it squandered them all, for want of a cogent screenplay.
January 8, 2018
Ultimately, the explanation we've been waiting for turns out to be just that: an explanation.
June 24, 2006
Three major stars being involved, it all wraps up happily but implausibly.
May 26, 2006
The central idea for Sphere is an intriguing one, but similar concepts have been much better executed on episodes of Star Trek, which makes one wonder why movie writing is allowed to be so bad.
February 2, 2004
Word 'pointless' is the one that should be attributed to this whole film, one of the worst to come from Hollywood in past decade and one that would test patience and temper of the audience like few others.
August 12, 2003
Let's face facts: Michael Crichton is a hack. He comes up with innovative concepts, but his characters are cardboard cutouts. Given the psychological foundations of the story, that's an egregious flaw, and the ending is absurdly dissatisfying.
May 22, 2003
If you want a better sci-fi film go see Dark City. A better Levinson movie? Try Wag the Dog.
May 14, 2003
Packaged as a smart psychological drama, it gradually dissolves into a badly edited action thriller, albeit one obscured by a cast of top notch talent.
February 8, 2003
For a movie of a novel written by Michael Crichton with such a capable cast, Sphere is quite a disappointment.
January 2, 2003
Sphere yearns to be a philosophical epic but it's final and only edict is so rudimentary as to barely exist: man is not yet 'ready' either intellectually or emotionally for the gifts E.T.'s are willing to share with us.
October 15, 2002
You can't accuse the makers of Sphere of skimping on talent. If only they knew what to do with it.
June 18, 2002
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.
June 5, 2002
Sphere is not trashy, or silly, or exploitative; a lot of talent has been used to good effect here. But in the final analysis, fine filmmaking cannot overcome mediocre material.
April 12, 2002
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.
March 1, 2002
A sci-fi thriller that presents a riveting and rounded anatomy of fear.