Phenomenon Image
Metascore
41

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: An uplifting story of an ordinary man transformed by extraordinary events. (BV Entertainment)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
  1. 75
    It's about change, acceptance and love, and it rounds those three bases very nicely, even if it never quite gets to home.
  2. 63
    Phenomenon is a fantasy about super-intelligence that works best if you can switch off your brain. Those who can will reach weepy nirvana. Those who can't will find this sticky-sweet wallow a bit, well, dumb. [03 Jul 1996 Pg.01.D]
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    50
    Soft to the point of squishiness, Phenomenon is rescued from terminal bathos by Travolta's radiant conviction.
  4. But this soggy, sentimental tour through a rural dreamworld of salt-of- the-earth versus supercharged intelligence never quite gets deep enough to touch the soul -- or to make sense.
  5. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    40
    Instead, director Jon Turteltaub has taken the easiest road, emerging with a soppy, soft-headed disease-of-the-week-style piece that sentimentalizes or opts out of every interesting issue the script raises.
  6. Well-meaning and convinced it has something of value to say, its "Reach Out and Touch Someone" sensibility ensures that all its satisfactions will prove hollow, and so they do.
  7. I don't doubt the noble motives behind this Disney parable, but the attempts at amiable, laid-back dialogue (script by Gerald DiPego) are painful, the pacing is sluggish, and the confused story's poorly focused.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 23, 2014
    10
    Opposing to the astonishingly acid critics review, to me, the story reflects deeply how fears (of being hurt in Kyra Sedgwick, of loving aOpposing to the astonishingly acid critics review, to me, the story reflects deeply how fears (of being hurt in Kyra Sedgwick, of loving a father in her child when John Malley comes into their lives and he has the possibility of restoring the presence of a father, and his trauma for divorce abandoment drives him away from Malley, the isolation into fantasy of John's friend, who evades reality with Diana Ross not to confront his deep loneliness in terms of couple, social fears from the people when he becomes different...) can change our lives and keep us from relating to others, to love. Incredible actors, music, photography. Beautiful. Whoever focuses on the feasibility of the supernatural, did not understand the move. John Malleys dialogue with the doctor at the end, incredibly deep, therefore, not undertood by whoever is not able to go that deep into human experience in general. Only Travolta and Kyra Sedgewick could be the characters and Duvall the doctor and the friend... Expand
  2. AtticusD
    Mar 1, 2009
    10
    SO good.
  3. JayH
    Sep 13, 2009
    6
    After such a promising first half, the story just peters out and loses its focus. The performances are good and sincere, I just wish they had After such a promising first half, the story just peters out and loses its focus. The performances are good and sincere, I just wish they had kept the lightness of the first half throughout the film. Interesting idea given a fair treatment. Expand
  4. Jan 11, 2012
    6
    Autant le dire tout de suite, Phénomène n'est pas un film mémorable. En effet, il est l'exemple type deAutant le dire tout de suite, Phénomène n'est pas un film mémorable. En effet, il est l'exemple type de la gentille comédie tout droit sortie des studios hollywoodiens qui flirte avec le fantastique pour attirer les spectateurs (en plus du casting, composé tout de même de John Travolta, Forest Whitaker, Robert Duvall...). Avec une mise en scène plate et une bande son trop poussée lors des séquences romantiques ou tristes, le film ne cache en aucun cas son statut de divertissement américain. Mais il faut bien reconnaître que Phénomène reste avant tout attachant. En premier lieu par ses personnages, assez bien interprétés; et par son histoire qui prend enfin de l'ampleur après une première partie axée sur la comédie orientée fantastique/science-fiction, grâce à un retournement de situation astucieux sur ce que vit le personnage de Travolta. Un film juste attachant et pas désagréable à regarder. Expand