Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 81 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Master diver Frank McGuire has explored the South Pacific's Esa-ala Caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank's team--including 17-year-old son Josh and financier Carl Hurley--are forced to radically alter plans. With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever? (Universal Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 33
  2. Negative: 8 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Adam Markovitz
    Feb 3, 2011
    As we go deeper into the cave, walls squeezing, water rising, the movie has a narrative pull as sure as gravity.
  2. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Feb 3, 2011
    While Sanctum is frustratingly familiar, it's easy to get caught up in the action.
  3. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    Feb 5, 2011
    Workmanlike suspenser, with plenty of cold water but sparse chills. When it comes to James Cameron scuba thrillers, "The Abyss" still has the edge.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Feb 3, 2011
    A muscular Australian B-movie down to the thin characters and boilerplate dialogue.
  5. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Feb 4, 2011
    This 3-D cave-diving adventure plays on a lot of fears, so avoid it if you have an aversion to claustrophobia, drowning or really bad acting.
  6. 40
    Banal dialogue, over-modulated performances and melodramatic scoring combine forces to sink the stirringly photographed proceedings quicker than that treacherous flash flood.
  7. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Feb 3, 2011
    Those audiences who have complained about the clunky exposition and mawkish emotional dialogue in Cameron's films will discover the "King of the World"'s own dramatic talents to be on par with the Bard in comparison to the shouty, over-emoted hokum on display here.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 37
  2. Negative: 15 out of 37
  1. Apr 16, 2012
    This movie isn't a 10 - I'm only giving it that to balance the score because people are hating on this movie for no reason. The acting is kinda cheesy at the beginning but it gets better once the action startes. The 3D is veryy well done and there are some very tense sequences. It's a 7 / 10 for me. Expand
  2. Jul 2, 2011
    Note: This is identical to my review of this movie on Rotten Tomatoes. So here it is: This movie was a surprisingly good one. Now I have to say around the first half hour of the film the dialogue is pretty bad. There is a hell lot of swearing and in reality nobody would really curse that much. But after the cheesy half hour ends and the real movie kicks in it's actually pretty decent. The 3D in the film is better than most I should say. Since it's by James Cameron. Now to state my opinion I have to say this movie was better than Avatar for me. The story of Avatar was bad even though I liked the film. But if the dialogue wasn't so cheesy in this film then the story would get perfect marks. Now the characters are sort of one dimensional but as the movie swiftly improves they become more realistic. And that's what makes this film so good. I went to see this last night on my birthday party with three of my mates and they said they really liked the film. Now I liked it a lot too. The reason being is that the start of the film you're probably thinking, "Oh hurry up already I want to see the action!", or something like that. And by the end of the film you would be completely satisfied. Because that's exactly what you get. Now I'm not going to spoil anything here but all I'm saying now is that there is one survivor. And I don't know why but I sort of knew that there would a sole survivor so during the film I was thinking, "Who's going to escape safely?", and you're probably going to be thinking that as well. So in other words this film is somewhat suspenseful. Now I'm running out of things to say here so here's the rest. Since the movie is in 3D, and the 3D is the best 3D I've seen in ages, the film sort of drags you in with the divers. You feel so claustrophobic during the underwater escape scenes and by the time the movie ends not only the survivor gets a huge breath of fresh air but so do you. You feel so relived and happy for the character by the end of the film so by the end you'll probably be thinking, "That was worth it!", and you'll probably never forget it. Another thing I should note that the film actually seems much longer than it actually is. Instead of being one hour and forty five minutes to me it actually seemed like two hours and forty five minutes. So time doesn't actually fly when you're having fun. It slows down a bit. And well that's the reason I had a hell lot of fun with this movie! So to say what's left I have to say the film is beautifully photographed and filmed. The film looks brilliant. It's graphics and effects are just amazing. But that's not really surprising since this is made from the guy who made Avatar right? So to end this review I'm giving this movie an 8/10 for it's brilliant scenery, effects and tension but also for it's cheesy dialogue and slightly cardboard characters. So that's my review for Sanctum 3D and this is Mewtwo465 saying goodbye! Expand
  3. Feb 6, 2011
    I am not sure why most everyone is hating on this film so badly. It was just as cheesy as I was expecting from seeing the commercials. We both enjoyed it. The only thing missing was a cave-dwelling animal attack. Expand
  4. Mar 1, 2011
    What can I say about this movie... It is Intersting, but let's face it we were all expecting much better from James Cameron. It has some scary parts and some good ones but I really didn't liked it. It was't a movie that will stay forever in my mind. (Except for the main actor wow good abs). Expand
  5. Mar 29, 2011
    lack of depth in concept. lifeless characters. poorly narrated. outdated camera movements and screenplay makes sanctum a hell of a movie. only saving grace is slick visuals in the movie. Expand
  6. Feb 25, 2011
    The swarm of negative reviews should warn potential viewers. Without the 3d effects we're left with something akin to the old Saturday morning kids adventure flicks. It is really hard to imagine that this came from the same creative mind as Avatar. It's so cheesy, such wooden acting and stilted dialogue. Best unintentionally funny line - "I'm not wearing the wet suit of a dead person!" So there. Maybe if you could actually care about the characters it could have generated some emotional involvement. Only saving grace, some native folks got paid for working on this abysmal production. Expand
  7. Feb 5, 2011
    what a Terrible Movie. Waste of 11.00 dollars. James Cameron should be a shame of putting his good name on this awful movie. I voted it a 0. movie was east to predict the out come Expand

See all 37 User Reviews