Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation | Release Date: August 9, 1989
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 71 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
58
Mixed:
12
Negative:
1
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9
Rox22Apr 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 smallI 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.

Overall:
This was one of my favorite movies as a kid, still is today.
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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8
A_NorthernerDec 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 andThe 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.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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9
Compi24Dec 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.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
Film_Fanatic_15Nov 24, 2010
The true wonder of the movie seems to take a direct nosedive toward the abyss after temporarily becoming a long war crime drama. Special effects will grab anyone's attention, especially in 1989's case. The characters: developed. Romance:The true wonder of the movie seems to take a direct nosedive toward the abyss after temporarily becoming a long war crime drama. Special effects will grab anyone's attention, especially in 1989's case. The characters: developed. Romance: average. Action is "average" as well. The plotline is the center of attention, and it wouldn't be much of a movie without it. James Cameron's vision of aliens under the sea are not what you would expect. They appear like giant electric sea creatures that are distorted in a way, making the line hazy between a giant sea creature never before discovered and something that actually came from space. By the end, everyone could be thinking "entertainment under the surface, who knew?" Collapse
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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7
[Anonymous]Jul 11, 2005
Very good, but it's a bit too long. That female character was too irritating to like, even though she revealed her issues close to the end. The pacing of her development was developed too late, making her annoying and too hard to Very good, but it's a bit too long. That female character was too irritating to like, even though she revealed her issues close to the end. The pacing of her development was developed too late, making her annoying and too hard to forgive in the end. Giving us a hook or two suggesting something more to her in the beginning would've solved this problem, and brought more life to the enchanting moments. Underwater scenes are excellent. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
BillFeb 20, 2005
The movie as a whole was great! However, the ending is what leaves a bad taste. It is never a good thing when you are watching a far out Sci-Fi movie and the thought "Now come on that's just not believable at all" races across your mind The movie as a whole was great! However, the ending is what leaves a bad taste. It is never a good thing when you are watching a far out Sci-Fi movie and the thought "Now come on that's just not believable at all" races across your mind at the end of the show. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
MikeFeb 14, 2005
One of the better sci fi movies out there. Plenty of action, great special effect, and good cast of actors. The ending isnt exactly what I was hoping for. But overall not a bad movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JoshJan 30, 2005
Really great movie. good storyline, theme, effects and acting. Scary at times too. THUMBS UP!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
[Anonymous]May 31, 2004
The whole film is all about taking the viewer on a voyage of discovery. Brilliant cast and beautiful camera work. Anyone who loves science fiction needs to see this show.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
RobM.May 31, 2004
Another wonderful film art work from this crew. The imagery is out of this multiverse. The way the underwater gear is made is ahead of its time. Angels right in the ocean all along. And then love conquering the divorce courts when Ed rejoins Another wonderful film art work from this crew. The imagery is out of this multiverse. The way the underwater gear is made is ahead of its time. Angels right in the ocean all along. And then love conquering the divorce courts when Ed rejoins his wife who he deeply loves. Underwater aliens filled with warmth and compasion to befriend the human race even with all its faults. This is a class A movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
GilbertMulroneycakesAtSeaMay 9, 2004
Actually, the newage airheadedness only turns up at the ending - at both endings, in fact, neither of which work very well, being either too dumb or too talky or both. There's no explanation for the aliens - they're just there, and Actually, the newage airheadedness only turns up at the ending - at both endings, in fact, neither of which work very well, being either too dumb or too talky or both. There's no explanation for the aliens - they're just there, and the best you can do is get used to it, damn your eyes. James Cameron doesn't have to explain things to the likes of you, he's the King of the World. And the director's cut is nothing so much as longer, which I'm sure you'll agree is something every mid-paced two-and-a-half hour long film needs to be. But never mind, because before the lots o' dumb finish, we have a genuinely tense, claustrophobic and scary movie - a faster Das Boot with aliens - featuring great work from Ed Harris, MaryElizabeth Mastrantonio (give her more work, damn you) and a brilliantly twitchy Michael Biehn sporting a tache which on its own could have caused an interplanetary conflict. It's not His Majesty's best movie ever (Terminator, anyone?) - it's not even his best movie centering around a sinking water-based vehicle - but it's still damn fine. And this DVD package is one of the best there is - look at the expressions of utter blank-eyed horror on the faces of Harris, Mastrantonionionio et al as they recall the shoot. Worth two and a half hours of your life. Whether it was worth several months of their lives in Hell, I'm not so sure. Expand
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5
YoonMinC.Oct 21, 2003
Before Cameron sank the Titanic he made this silly movie about people duking it out far below ocean depths which opportuned him to come up with some impressive underwater effects. The central problem is the mindless plot, the stupid Before Cameron sank the Titanic he made this silly movie about people duking it out far below ocean depths which opportuned him to come up with some impressive underwater effects. The central problem is the mindless plot, the stupid violence, and worst of all, the flaky deep sea civilization that's something like Close Encounters of the Underwater Kind. The director's cut has an ending so preachy and hokey one wonders if Cameron is really this stupid or so shamelessly manipulative. Cool effects in the service of newage airheadedness. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
7
JeremySep 29, 2003
Ok, the ending sucks. But for most of it's 145 minutes, The Abyss is a first-rate science fiction thriller with intelligence balancing out action.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
BobM.Aug 22, 2003
Sleeper. Didn't like it in my youth or now. Interesting in very few ways. Nice effects. Rent it for a quiet evening when you'll barely pay attention to the movie (quiet evening at home with your lover.)
0 of 1 users found this helpful