I'd sooner believe that Moby Dick could swim up the drainpipe.
Rita Kempley - Washington Post
The human stuff is more than worth the descent.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
The attempt to extract the essences of several genres (cold-war submarine thriller, love story, Disney fantasy, pseudomystical SF in the Spielberg mode) and mix them together ultimately leads to giddy incoherence.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
A firstrate underwater suspenser with an otherworldly twist, The Abyss suffers from a payoff unworthy of its buildup.
Variety Staff - Variety
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Anyone looking for a discouraging word about this stupendously exciting and emotionally engulfing film should read no further. The Abyss confirms James Cameron as a world-class filmmaker.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
The Abyss gains in some ways from its own Achilles heels, in a way most movies don't... its formal technique, its reckless obsessiveness, and its gutsy emotionalism are what I can't stop turning over in my mind.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
One need not be a Cameron acolyte to recognise that The Abyss has aged better than some of the films that outshone it back in the day.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
The movie was a bear to make and it shows onscreen, parading around a series of mesmerizing set-pieces that look deliciously hard-earned in ways our current CG-drenched filmmaking climate never allows.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
As a follow-up to Cameron's great sci-fi Aliens, The Abyss is too verbose for an actioner and the special effects, striking as they are, are not well integrated into the narrative, but it's still worth seeing.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
What ultimately saves the film are its extraordinary sets and phenomenal Oscar-winning visual effects.
Dean Essner - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Great blending of spectacle and drama.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Jake Euker - F5 (Wichita, KS)
Forget Titanic this is Cameron's best underwater flick
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
This overlong concoction is scuppered by dire dialogue, histrionic performances and maudlin sentimentality.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
What was once a well-made, well-acted mess is now a very poignant and satisfying sci-fi adventure.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
A gorgeous and fascinating underwater adventure.
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
A remarkable film...the vfx are super!
Clint Morris - Moviehole
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Click to read review
Staci Layne Wilson - StaciWilson.com
Spence D. - IGN Movies
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
For God's sake, make sure you have the director's cut. The theatrical cut was an abomination.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Brilliant at sustaining tension and interest.
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Aaron Hillis - Premiere Magazine
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
Suffers due to its incredible length and slow pace, but intriguing, nonetheless.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
Pretty great underwater adventure.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Brandon Judell - PopcornQ
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
...the undersea adventure may have you waterlogged after the first hour.
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
The film lasts for more than two hours, yet the audience could hardly expect to be bored.
Dragan Antulov - rec.arts.movies.reviews
a rare film--big-budget Hollywood entertainment on a grand scale that is able to seamlessly incorporate many levels of meaning into an entertaining experience.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
A finely crafted film.
Elspeth Haughton - Apollo Guide
If the 1989 cut is a thrill ride, then the 1993 revamp is a frequently wrenching emotional roller coaster.
Bill Chambers - Film Freak Central
Begins with a bang and just keeps on rolling.
Chris Hicks - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
One of the best science fiction film ever made. This remains true in spite of a rather superficial treatment of the some of the science fiction elements. It is very much a 2001 with the slowish parts replaced by a good fast-paced adventure film.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews