The Andromeda Strain

  • Network: A&E
  • Series Premiere Date: May 26, 2008

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 18
  2. Negative: 8 out of 18

Critic Reviews

  1. Each part has edge-of-the-seat moments, thanks to some admirable performances as well as several intriguing new plot twists that inject surprise at key moments.
  2. New York Magazine (Vulture)
    Reviewed by: John Leonard
    This mini-series actually improves on the original 1969 Michael Crichton sci-fi non-thriller, which spent too much time in a fab lab in the desert and not enough inside the icky green virus—or outside, where the government was covering up its biological-warfare experiments.
  3. 70
    This slick and often scary update presents a gripping medical mystery of scientific trial and error against a topical backdrop of bioterrorism, environmental activism and 24-style government conspiracy.
  4. 70
    This version of “The Andromeda Strain” is paced well; it gives Crichton’s story a hint of blandness but it also marches through the plot with no-nonsense efficiency.
  5. 50
    Unfortunately, the new plots continually intrude, dissipating tension and making an already complicated story too convoluted to follow.
  6. For about three hours and 40 minutes, the mini-series rockets along, an exciting pile of preposterousness with conspiratorial overtones. Then it fizzles, with stuff you've seen 1,000 times before, and irritating loose ends.
  7. 50
    This version of his story arrives in a world that has seen not only "Lost," but "The X-Files," "Armageddon," and every other sci-fi show or movie that melds disaster, conspiracy, and teamwork. By now, it takes a lot more than clever ideas to keep us hooked.
  8. Andromeda is a two-night extravaganza that could have been one if its characters didn't speak in massive, clunky chunks of technojargon. [30 May 2008, p.80]
  9. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Where the movie was content to focus on that process, director Mikael Salomon and writer-playwright Robert Schenkkan throw in a veritable kitchen sink of elements. [...] Too bad, because the project has assembled a solid cast, even if they're constrained by spouting all that scientific jargon and spend too much time squabbling and grappling with outside distractions.
  10. 40
    As an A&E miniseries, the Michael Crichton novel unfolds as a fast-moving thriller with many jolting sequences. Unfortunately, the mini's makers fumble the most crucial action sequence. They're all thumbs, and the results are stupendously silly.
  11. 30
    A&E's The Andromeda Strain is just a very expensive, very cheesy retread.
  12. 30
    A hacky remake of a mediocre 1971 film of a pulp-science 1969 novel, this miniseries (it concludes Tuesday, if you must waste two nights of your life) is a poster child for generational decline: Whatever few IQ points were present in the original have long since leached away.
  13. It never grows quite suspenseful enough, and it rests on the rather un-sci-fi-ish idea that the future is a benign force, like a mentor uncle with something meaningful to teach us about our venality and callous disregard for the Earth.
  14. As each new element is added, explored and explained, the tension evident in the original novel gets watered down as we digest these other distractions. The result is completely devoid of any suspense.
  15. Return you must. Otherwise, you'll miss the full-on descent into pants-wetting, outrageous, sci-fi crackery that makes the final two hours fly by.
  16. If it's relevant and reflects the hip themes of today, perhaps nobody will notice wooden acting, ludicrous dialogue and a plot so convoluted that the whole enterprise has as much tension as a broken violin string.
  17. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Woo, dog, is this miniseries bad--quite possibly worse than "Tin Man."
  18. So here it is, a two-part A&E miniseries that manages, despite a cast culled from some of the best shows on TV, to be both overwrought and dull, a veritable Frankenfilm of sci-fi thrillers, built of debris from sources including "Outbreak," "Sphere," "The Omega Man," "The Birds," "The China Syndrome" and, oh, yes, "The Andromeda Strain."
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 25
  2. Negative: 9 out of 25
  1. JerryG
    May 31, 2008
    I found the series to be very interesting if not true to the original book. The parts about the cover-up was a definite improvement from he I found the series to be very interesting if not true to the original book. The parts about the cover-up was a definite improvement from he book. That being said th ending was so far out of left feild it was in another movie. But all in all you should give it a try. Full Review »
  2. Jul 6, 2014
    In 2008, The Scott brothers, along with the master of the mini-series, Mikael Salomon, decided to remake the 1969 debut novel and 1971 film,In 2008, The Scott brothers, along with the master of the mini-series, Mikael Salomon, decided to remake the 1969 debut novel and 1971 film, The Andromeda Strain, written by famed Jurassic Park author, Michael Crichton. The film was in serious need of an upgrade, and while the new technology really enhanced the film, making it all the more believable, the updates to the story along with the new characters that were introduced, really did the original story a disservice. The basic story was not changed, just modernized, and for that we are very thankful. The story was always a terrific tale of Science Fiction and an early message about the damage we are doing to our planet. I like how the story was updated and I loved the technological advancements. What I didn't like was how much they changed the cast. They wanted to make them more diverse and I don't have a problem with that, but this is not a story that focuses on individuals, it's more about the virus, the technology, and the human impact on our planet. In that sense, I felt it hurt the series, but the technology enhanced it, evening things out. The original novel and movie were 4 stars, and so is the remake. It's different, but there wasn't much harm done, the way you often see in remakes. I think Michale Crichton would have approved. Full Review »
  3. Jan 7, 2013