Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. 100
    It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted and spellbinding.
  2. 100
    You don't just watch Titanic, you experience it.
  3. Titanic floods you with elemental passion in a way that invites comparison with the original movie spectacles of D.W. Griffith.
  4. 70
    It's both the shortest 3 1/2 hours you'll ever spend at the movies and spectacle of such magnitude that it's hard to imagine feeling you didn't get your time and money's worth.
  5. The last hour of Titanic is huge and staggering, but there's no horror in it. No gravity, either. Entrusted with one of the century's monumental stories, Cameron can present it only as a crying shame. And that's a crying shame.
  6. The first half drags a bit, but the adventure scenes are exciting and the visual effects are as dazzling as Hollywood's most advanced technology can make them. Focusing as much on time and memory as on danger and disaster, it's an epic with a heart.
  7. What audiences end up with word-wise is a hackneyed, completely derivative copy of old Hollywood romances, a movie that reeks of phoniness and lacks even minimal originality.
  8. 78
    Like the doomed vessel from which it takes its tale, Cameron's film is a behemoth, svelte, streamlined, and not the least bit ponderous.
  9. This movie should have blown us out of the water. Instead we catch ourselves occasionally thinking the unpardonable thought: "OK, sink already."
  10. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    Cameron has never been known for his dialogue, but Titanic carries some stinkers that wouldn't make the final draft of a "Days of Our Lives" script.
  11. 20
    Cameron manhandles the real story, scavenging it for his own puny narrative purposes. It's a film made with boorish confidence and zero sensitivity, big and dumb and hulking.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    A spectacular demonstration of what modern technology can contribute to dramatic storytelling.
  13. Titanic is awesome even when it's awful -- you can't take your eyes off the extraordinary thing.
  14. 100
    It's quite possible that Titanic is one of the greatest romantic epics ever filmed.
  15. 100
    The title represents size and power, speed and hubris -- the very things the ship has come to stand for and the things that Cameron has restored to the cinema with grand, generous style.
  16. A film that sweeps us away into a world of spectacle, beauty and excitement, a realm of fantasy unimaginable without the movies.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    100
    His (Cameron) movie may not be perfect, but visually and viscerally, it pretty well is.
  18. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    50
    Ultimately, Titanic will sail or sink not on its budget but on its merits as drama and spectacle. The regretful verdict here: Dead in the water.
  19. Cameron captures the majesty, the tragedy, the fury and the futility of the event in a way that supersedes his trivial attempts to melodramatize it.
  20. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    Titanic is a big-budget spectacle and director Cameron brings it off with high-tech bravura, placing us aboard the ship in real time.
  21. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    The true allure of Titanic is its invitation to swoon at a scale of epic moviemaking that is all but obsolete.
  22. With the ship, with its totality of people, Cameron is wizardly, creating an entire society threading through the various strata of a world that has been set afloat from the rest of the world. [Jan. 5, 1998]
  23. A huge, thrilling three-and-a-quarter-hour experience that unerringly lures viewers into the beauty and heartbreak of its lost world.
  24. 90
    Will take you by surprise as a romantic, fast-paced, entertaining spectacle that deserves to earn back every penny spent to produce it.
  25. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    70
    Like it or hate it, Titanic lives and breathes as a piece of pure cinema.
  26. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    70
    Technically, Titanic is a marvel.
  27. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    50
    The would-be emotional centerpiece of his three-hours-plus adventure flick is the most juvenile romantic tale of 1997.
  28. 50
    The human interest story that occupies fully two-thirds of this three hour plus epic is so flat and unconvincing that, for once, you find yourself longing for the disaster footage to start.
  29. No amount of excellent period costuming and brilliant set decoration can substitute for a good story and decent acting.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 564 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 160
  1. Sep 2, 2011
    3
    Oh do I hate this movie!!! Why did it have to center on a sappy love story? And why so formulaic? And why such a terrible script? And why such over the top and upfront heartbreak? AND WHY BEST PICTURE??? Full Review »
  2. Nov 2, 2010
    10
    Titanic is the movie which really made me respect James Cameron as a film maker. He had made excellent movies before such as Terminator 1 and 2, True Lies, and Aliens, but Titanic is really different. Here he offers excellent and believable characters, stunning visuals and a compelling story. This movie is truly a 10! Full Review »
  3. KaitlynnH.
    Oct 20, 2008
    10
    This movie was a good makeing. It really explains true love. But it also makes you think twice before getting on a ship or a boat in the icey waters.