Metascore
40

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 22
  2. Negative: 6 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Feb 28, 2013
    80
    In this classy, taut white-knuckler – largely shot inside a real-life decommissioned Soviet sub – Robinson asks us to consider more than the hypothetical possibility that the world nearly ended in 1968. He reminds us that we have no idea how many other near-misses may have happened in the behind-the-scenes history of the modern age and also, more troubling still, that long after the Cold War has faded into memory we continue to have difficulty telling the crazy people from the sane ones.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Feb 28, 2013
    75
    Much of what's contained in Phantom is at best speculative and at worst completely made-up. But, regardless of the accuracy, it makes for compelling viewing. Phantom is one of the best films of a lousy early 2013 release roster.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Feb 28, 2013
    60
    Phantom is a relatively tight, gripping story told with efficiency that makes room for its fine roster of actors to explore old-fashioned ideas on honor and loyalty.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Feb 26, 2013
    60
    Manly, sharp-edged submarine B movies don’t come along often anymore — so consider this Cold War off-white-knuckler a welcome blast of recycled air.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Mar 1, 2013
    50
    Ed Harris in Phantom is like Steve Carlton with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1972 — delivering a wall-to-wall, amazing performance that's lost in a sea of dreadfulness.
  6. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Mar 1, 2013
    50
    Intriguing, if uneven, thriller.
  7. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Feb 28, 2013
    50
    Todd Robinson’s Phantom gives us a couple of things we haven’t seen in a while: the great Ed Harris and a Cold War submarine thriller. It’s not something you want to plunk down $12 for, but just diverting enough to check out when it arrives on Netflix Instant.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Feb 28, 2013
    50
    The combination of tight close-ups and jarring camera work might require a dose of Dramamine. Better yet, give this movie a wide berth and check out a superb film set in a submarine, the 1981 classic "Das Boot."
  9. Reviewed by: Stephen Whitty
    Feb 28, 2013
    50
    In the end, The Phantom remains mediocre, with flat cinematography and crude dialogue.
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Feb 28, 2013
    50
    The crew doesn’t much look the part either, save for Schaech’s Stalin ’stache. Yet the movie does show the ability to get past this, even with the weight of all its narratively risky conspiracy theorizing. It’s a shame the intrigue has to get torpedoed by elements that mostly feel correctable.
  11. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Feb 28, 2013
    50
    Robinson is undone partly by his own workmanlike touch as a writer, and partly by matters of casting. I like Harris, and he's quite moving here, but every time Duchovny reappears the overall energy level sinks to crush depth.
  12. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Feb 27, 2013
    50
    Though pitched as a thriller, Robinson’s woefully underbudgeted film plays instead like a chamber drama, so simple and unadorned that it could just as easily be staged as an off-off-Broadway play without anyone telling the difference. And that isn’t entirely to the film’s detriment, either: With a cast choked with great character actors like Ed Harris, William Fichtner, and Lance Henriksen, less is sometimes more.
  13. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Feb 27, 2013
    50
    To be honest, I can rarely recall any film, on any subject, that made less sense.
  14. 50
    Robinson manages some suspense, but the thriller’s ticking clock is a weak one.
  15. Reviewed by: Laremy Legel
    Mar 2, 2013
    42
    The idea of the film is certainly clever enough, it’s the execution that lacks finesse.
  16. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Mar 1, 2013
    40
    The newest model of the old submarine-from-hell picture.
  17. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Feb 28, 2013
    30
    Despite the world-changing ramifications inherent to the plot, the results are more tedious than thrilling.
  18. Reviewed by: Chris Packham
    Feb 26, 2013
    30
    The ensuing suspense story is a pastiche of familiar tropes—effectively paced, but without originality. And what is up with combinations of Ed Harris, water, and unbelievably hokey endings?
  19. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Feb 25, 2013
    30
    The potential for screw-tightening suspense gets lost amid the ineffectual dramatics in Phantom, a feeble fictionalization of a crucial but little-known moment when a rogue Soviet submarine brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
  20. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Mar 1, 2013
    25
    Heavy-handed dialogue, flurries of melodrama and a silly ending make the whole enterprise sink like a stone.
  21. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Feb 23, 2013
    25
    Todd Robinson's film is a third-rate submarine-set drama until, in its final moments, it sinks to fourth-rate.
  22. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Feb 28, 2013
    0
    The dialogue is dreadful (though we are at least spared the usual hokey Russian accents) and the wrap-up ridiculous, the only mystery being why this peculiarity was ever greenlighted at all.
User Score
4.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 6
  2. Negative: 3 out of 6
  1. chw
    Jul 17, 2014
    1
    Phantom was a very incredibly stupid movie that was not anything besides confusing. Ed Harris, William Fichtner, and David Duchovny probablyPhantom was a very incredibly stupid movie that was not anything besides confusing. Ed Harris, William Fichtner, and David Duchovny probably made a fortune by starring in something like this. Full Review »
  2. Mar 11, 2013
    2
    Ed Harris has a bad lead performance which is unusual for him, but more importantly its badly written and just all around stupid in every way.
  3. Mar 6, 2013
    4
    Ed Harris stars as a washed-up Russian submarine captain (is there any other kind in movies?). His final mission includes a KBG agent (DavidEd Harris stars as a washed-up Russian submarine captain (is there any other kind in movies?). His final mission includes a KBG agent (David Duchovny) with diabolical plans. None of it matters because this is one of the slowest, most talky war movies ever. Since it takes place in the small confines of the sub, tension should be built-in, but the only drama is provided by obnoxious ominous music and painfully portentous dialogue. Even worse, the action is often confusing If you enjoy Cold War sub conflict, you might find it worthy. Otherwise, stay above the surface. NOTE: Look for Johnathon Schaech hiding behind a giant moustache. Full Review »