Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. 100
    Stupendously exciting and emotionally engulfing... With probing intelligence and passionate feeling, Cameron has raised the adventure film very close to the level of art.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Apr 7, 2013
    I absolutely loved this movie. Great effects, great story and some really memorable characters. Ed Harris in particular. Actually to go back, the effects in this were amazing back when it first came out. But even so, they only play a small part of the movie. Appearing at just the right moments.

    This was one of my favorite movies as a kid, still is today.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 22, 2012
    The plot of James Cameron's fourth film shares many similarities with his third film, Aliens. Teams of armed forces with ultimately ulterior motives sent in to claustrophobic and isolated environments to investigate missing groups. Oh and those environments are occupied by aliens.

    Three-quarters of The Abyss are great as the ever-present dangers of deep sea isolation coupled with Michael Biehn's stir crazy SEAL ratchet up the tension to a decompression sickness-causing level . As the mission begins to fall apart, the greater fear factor is provided by the underwater drama, cut off from the surface in a damaged platform with decreasing oxygen levels rather than the alien presence. This is a little disappointing considering the film followed Aliens, in which there was no doubt what was responsible for the suspense. Cameron obviously felt like giving the Abyss aliens a more mysterious rather than menacing persona. This leads to a slightly disappointing finale as the alien presence is gradually revealed and all threat along with it. It all becomes a little unnecessarily enchanting.

    Ed Harris leads the cast and gives an another excellent performance. Has this guy ever turned in a dud one? Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio gives an equally assured performance as Harris' estranged wife and platform designer. The rekindling affection between the two is key to the film's success and the scene following Harris' return to the platform with Mastrantonio's body is genuinely emotional and fantastically performed by Harris.

    For it's age, The Abyss still looks great and remains a good to great sci-fi thriller.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 18, 2012
    Riding tall on its still-majestic production design and visuals, James Cameron's "The Abyss" also scores high for its cleverly high-brow story and impressively varied display of performances. Full Review »