User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 120 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 120
  2. Negative: 12 out of 120
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Apr 29, 2011
    9
    I *will not* see this film trashed! This was a ripper of an adventure that should have been much more successful than it was. Indiana Jones with a wry smile. James Bond with tongue very firmly-in-cheek. Dashing and goofy rolled into one. Perhaps audiences didn't quite know what to do with this film?? It just hit the balance perfectly, imho, between being a couple of adventurers who happenI *will not* see this film trashed! This was a ripper of an adventure that should have been much more successful than it was. Indiana Jones with a wry smile. James Bond with tongue very firmly-in-cheek. Dashing and goofy rolled into one. Perhaps audiences didn't quite know what to do with this film?? It just hit the balance perfectly, imho, between being a couple of adventurers who happen upon a dastardly plot and a pinch of a slightly daffy comedy. This was undeniably a cut-above most films of its ilk -- and how few there are. I consider it a real tragedy that it wasn't more successful and that Sahara 2 will never be made. Expand
  2. D.A.
    Jan 31, 2009
    10
    When "It's a Wonderful Life" came out, it was considered a grand flop, as well! It took 30+ years - by sheer fluke of luck - for that beautiful film to be recognized as the incredible gem we all now know and love... and I do LOVE this movie!! Sahara has great humor and chemistry and it just works. Still, timing is everything, and it simply wasn't this movie's time, When "It's a Wonderful Life" came out, it was considered a grand flop, as well! It took 30+ years - by sheer fluke of luck - for that beautiful film to be recognized as the incredible gem we all now know and love... and I do LOVE this movie!! Sahara has great humor and chemistry and it just works. Still, timing is everything, and it simply wasn't this movie's time, unfortunately, because I would have loved to have seen McConaughey, Zahn, Macy, and Rainn Wilson work together again on this fantastic franchise. Expand
  3. Dec 23, 2012
    8
    Sahara is one of the best adventure movies of the 2000's. The plot is utter popcorn nonsense but the film is fun and the action is exciting. Sahara is a good modern-day competitor to Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone.
  4. Feb 4, 2011
    8
    This movie is AWESOME! Here are 3 reasons why.
    1-A fun, creative, entertaining storyline that while not believable gave off an Indiana Jones aura that complimented it.
    2- Its FUNNY! This movie will have you laughing all the way through. All the main characters are quit lovable in their own individual way. 3- Originality, I don't think I had ever seen a movie quite like this one. The story
    This movie is AWESOME! Here are 3 reasons why.
    1-A fun, creative, entertaining storyline that while not believable gave off an Indiana Jones aura that complimented it.
    2- Its FUNNY! This movie will have you laughing all the way through. All the main characters are quit lovable in their own individual way.
    3- Originality, I don't think I had ever seen a movie quite like this one. The story is quite its own thing. My only issue was the lack of theme, I do not remember any sort of theme underlying the story, and thus a lack of reason to watch this movie for more than pure entertainment.

    Overall this movie is AMAZING. Its no work of Shakespeare, but if you like a quality adventure you will love it.
    Expand
  5. Nov 15, 2012
    5
    Action. Boo, whatever. I need depth. Sahara has NONE.
  6. Jun 7, 2013
    5
    Sahara is a rare film that manages to win you over despite its complete ridiculousness. The plot is insanely over-the-top, but I guarantee that you'll enjoy the hell out of it. There's so much fun to be had with this film!
  7. JoeB.
    Apr 6, 2005
    8
    Great action flick.
  8. JimB.
    Sep 7, 2005
    7
    Fluffy but fun, it was great to finally see a Cussler/Dirk Pittnovel on the Silver Screen.
  9. JudyT.
    Apr 10, 2005
    4
    Lousiest movie music I have ever heard. The worse shooting by the villians in this movie. With mediocre dialog and ridiculous action and escapes. I was glad when it was over.
  10. MarkH.
    Apr 10, 2005
    9
    Cusler fans should really like this movie. I was very impressed with how well the three main characters maintained the book's excitement even after some of the sensationalism was toned down from the book. The only thing I really missed was the fort battle at the end. Definitely a must see for Cusler fans!
  11. SPYBREAK
    Apr 7, 2005
    6
    Could
  12. AB
    Apr 7, 2005
    8
    It was a good film, I don't understand why so many critics didn't like it.
  13. BillS.
    Apr 8, 2005
    9
    Wow! Finally somebody makes an action film like they used to. It's got everything I like. Great stunts, funny lines, a cool mystery. Remember when movies used to be fun?
  14. JimG.
    Apr 9, 2005
    3
    Hardly Erroll Flynn and Olivia deHaviland!
  15. AndyW.
    Apr 9, 2005
    10
    I am a big fan of all the Cussler books, especially Sahara. I was very skeptical of the cast, but was surprised they pulled it off. Even Steve Zahn, who plays Al, was perfect! I had low expectations of this film, because Cussler had no rights to the script editing, so I was very happy to see they put most of the important parts of the book into the movie. I don
  16. 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
  17. JuniorB.
    Mar 7, 2007
    6
    This movie is ok if there is nothing else on tv i guess. McConaughey once again shows that he can only play one character - good ol southern boy, cocky, too cool for school(i'm guessing that's must be his real personality).The HD-DVD version has amazing picture quality which is the main reason i gave it a 6. Also Penelope Cruz was very nice to look at. BTW who picked the songs This movie is ok if there is nothing else on tv i guess. McConaughey once again shows that he can only play one character - good ol southern boy, cocky, too cool for school(i'm guessing that's must be his real personality).The HD-DVD version has amazing picture quality which is the main reason i gave it a 6. Also Penelope Cruz was very nice to look at. BTW who picked the songs for this movie? Matthew McConaughey himself using his dazed and confused leftovers tracks. Expand
  18. TonyB.
    May 9, 2007
    6
    Just because you probably will not believe a minute of it does not mean you will not have a pretty good time.
  19. PatC.
    Nov 10, 2005
    4
    An action movie that flaunts its refusal to do reality checks.
  20. SteveN.
    Apr 10, 2005
    8
    Good fun, lots of action and the interaction between McConaughey and Zahn is great. Zahn plays a great sidekick. The whole thing is a bit over the top, but quite an enjoyable movie without the usual vulgarity common in many films.
  21. SusanM.
    Apr 14, 2005
    8
    Good movie, very exciting and the setting is amazing. Matthew is a dream to watch, it's one of those movies that are just plain fun, the type that help you escape from reality for a little while!!
  22. PaulH-E
    Apr 8, 2005
    10
    This is a fantastic movie! The cast are obviously having fun in their roles, and it carries through to the audience well. Matthew McConaughey plays Dirk Pitt exactly as Clive Cussler wrote him, an adventurer par excellence, while Steve Zahn is brilliant as his buddy, Al. The movie balances character, adventure and humour perfectly, with stunning locations, gorgeous cinematography and This is a fantastic movie! The cast are obviously having fun in their roles, and it carries through to the audience well. Matthew McConaughey plays Dirk Pitt exactly as Clive Cussler wrote him, an adventurer par excellence, while Steve Zahn is brilliant as his buddy, Al. The movie balances character, adventure and humour perfectly, with stunning locations, gorgeous cinematography and it's a joy to watch. Go see it! Expand
  23. TD
    May 1, 2005
    9
    This movie is a lot of fun. You can relax, and somehow as crazy as some scenes are, you still think they can still happen. An awesome piece of entertainment. They all can't be thought filled and meaningful, but this isn't meant to be one to begin with. Mmm.. can't go wrong with Ms.Cruz either.. mmm. lol.
  24. ChristopherB
    May 2, 2005
    7
    I still wonder how Dirk fell off the tower and managed to cling onto the mirrors and then climb back up. Ask Spiderman? Good film for a wet day. CB (age 7).
  25. BeauW.
    May 6, 2005
    8
    I am amazed at the bad review this movie got from the Dallas Observer and Washington Post. What were they expecting? It was an action movie staring Mathew McConaughey. For what was expected of it, it was an entertaining movie.
  26. nickw.
    Jul 7, 2005
    8
    This movie deserves an 8. it isnt meant to be moving or inspiring it is meant to be an exciting movie with plenty of action and a touch of humor.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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
  30. ChrisK.
    Oct 11, 2005
    8
    Action, humor, great locations and wonderful visuals. Just a good movie for a weekend inside. Anyone who says that it is bad, is an independent film snob who didn't like Raiders of the Lost Ark.
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.