Sahara

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 148 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 148

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User Reviews

  1. JimG.
    Apr 9, 2005
    3
    Hardly Erroll Flynn and Olivia deHaviland!
  2. MarkB.
    Jan 21, 2006
    2
    Dashing but devil-may-care Matthew McConaughey (A Time to Kill, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) and goofy but lovable Steve Zahn (Joy Ride, Riding in Cars with Boys) are normally two actors I really like, but they couldn't convince me here that they once stood in the same supermarket line, much less have been buddies-in-adventure all their lives, and that's not the least of this Dashing but devil-may-care Matthew McConaughey (A Time to Kill, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) and goofy but lovable Steve Zahn (Joy Ride, Riding in Cars with Boys) are normally two actors I really like, but they couldn't convince me here that they once stood in the same supermarket line, much less have been buddies-in-adventure all their lives, and that's not the least of this astonishingly dull action-comedy's problems. Breck Eisner paces it the way I hope his dad, famed studio exec Michael E., DIDN'T use to run board meetings--literally forty-five minutes pass in which absolutely nothing happens! Obviously this movie wants desperately to reinvent the Indiana Jones wheel, a difficult task but not an impossible one, as both the original Romancing the Stone and 2004's surprisingly refreshing and enjoyable National Treasure certainly prove. [***SPOILERS***]The plot deals with McConaughey's and Zahn's search through the eponymous, scoundrel-filled desert for an extremely rare coin; it takes a seriously wrong turn midway through when it uses the plight of diseased Africans heartlessly used as corporate cannon fodder. The Constant Gardener earns the right to employ this storyline because that's the heart of the film and because it takes that wrenching situation seriously; Sahara uses it as a spiffy little McGuffin, which is nothing short of obscene. (Perhaps this is one reason why Gardener's source author, John LeCarre, is regarded as a real writer while Sahara's, Clive Cussler, is considered a hack.) Almost as offensive is Sahara's total waste of the great William H. Macy in the all-but-invisible role of McConaughey's and Zahn's superior; one of the movie's more curious aspects is its uninspired, supposedly jocular use of several 1974 Top 40 hits ("Sweet Home Alabama", "Right Place Wrong Time"), but in Macy's case it should've added one more: "Billy, Don't Be A Hero (Or Anything Else)". Expand
  3. Spankaccount
    Aug 31, 2005
    0
    Hollyweird schlock at it's worst, but held together with decent visuals. Not worth a rent. That said, my 13 year old loved it.
  4. CJ
    Feb 26, 2006
    0
    The worst trash I have ever seen. I would have paid to get out of the cinema while watching it.
  5. DavidH
    May 4, 2009
    3
    This movie is based on a Clive Cussler novel, who is not exactly Herman Melville, but his adventure novels are great fun and very easy reading for a quick escape. Sadly, if you're a big Cussler fan, you won't like what Hollywood has done to this "Dirk Pitt" adventure. Their most obvious and atrocious error was casting McConoughey in the lead role. Not so much that his talent is This movie is based on a Clive Cussler novel, who is not exactly Herman Melville, but his adventure novels are great fun and very easy reading for a quick escape. Sadly, if you're a big Cussler fan, you won't like what Hollywood has done to this "Dirk Pitt" adventure. Their most obvious and atrocious error was casting McConoughey in the lead role. Not so much that his talent is in question, but that casting him as Pitt is like casting Steve Buschemi in the life story of John Wayne. i.e.: they could not have picked a more opposite person from the character developed in Cussler's books. Likewise for casting of Dirk's sidekick character. If you loved the books, you won't be able to get past the horrible casting choices. If not, it comes across as a fairly high energy but lightweight adventure movie. Expand
  6. LuisV.
    Oct 16, 2005
    0
    This movie is not bad The Movie and Penelope as an actrees are what follows, both are absolutly terrible dont waste your money on this garbage.
  7. WakoJ,
    May 11, 2005
    3
    BOOOOORING! Derivative, silly, amateurish, and not worth your time. For people with very low IQ's.
  8. JeffL
    Jun 29, 2005
    3
    Ridiculously cliche. Not funny enough to warrant it's unoriginality. Not even Steve Zahn was able to save this horrible movie.
  9. oenm.
    Aug 21, 2005
    0
    There is just no excuse for this movie. Even the fact that this is just a dumb actionflick does not relieve the pain and teeth-grinding experienced while watching this piece of junk (even when keeping the target-audience in mind, namely early teen boys who watched too many episodes of the Power Rangers and Pokemon). This Cussler fellow will think twice before selling his story again. (I There is just no excuse for this movie. Even the fact that this is just a dumb actionflick does not relieve the pain and teeth-grinding experienced while watching this piece of junk (even when keeping the target-audience in mind, namely early teen boys who watched too many episodes of the Power Rangers and Pokemon). This Cussler fellow will think twice before selling his story again. (I believe he did try to sue the production, though I don't know what came out of that) The plot / story (or whatever this Eisner thinks that means) is just so twisted it is no fun anymore (And I did enjoy Return of the Dead series). America's Hollywood at it's worst (or best, depending on how one views the reputation of Hollywood...). Collapse
  10. TorvC.
    Apr 15, 2005
    3
    Sahara started off promising enough with a well staged and interesting Civil War naval battle scene, unfortunately it degenerated immediately into a credit sequence, a seemingly endless pan of "meaningful" photograghs utilizing awful 80's pop music, that was meant to convey something about the McConaughey character. As Judy T. below remarked, the music is truly awful, both Sahara started off promising enough with a well staged and interesting Civil War naval battle scene, unfortunately it degenerated immediately into a credit sequence, a seemingly endless pan of "meaningful" photograghs utilizing awful 80's pop music, that was meant to convey something about the McConaughey character. As Judy T. below remarked, the music is truly awful, both innapropriate and intrusive -- it literally made me cringe. The script is ludicrious leaving the viewer slack-jawed at the gaping plot holes. The film is saved from complete obilivion by William Macy and Steve Zahn who provide the only credible and interesting performances in an otherwise dreary film. Directed by Breck Eisner (Michael Eisner's son -- I wonder how he got this job!) "Sahara" is a study in bad film making and poor directing. Made at a cost of $140 million dollars, this money could have been better spent on 140 independent film makers with something truly interesting to say and would have been far more profitable than this absurd film will ever be. Expand
Metascore
41

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 33
  2. Negative: 6 out of 33
  1. Action films can't be this consistently absurd, can't paint their heroes into such dangerous corners, from which only cocktails of luck and divine intervention can save them, over and over. It's a bad-faith bargain with the audience and bad storytelling.
  2. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    60
    About as good as a big, stupid American action movie can be without ever being anything better than a big, stupid American action movie.
  3. Any movie starring Penelope Cruz or William H. Macy can't be all bad. And Sahara, which stars both Penelope Cruz and William H. Macy, proves the point: It isn't all bad.