When psychologist Norman Goodman (Dustin Hoffman) wrote a report for the government on how to deal with extraterrestrial life forces, he didn't expect his recommendations to be used. Now that a secret government agency is investigating what may be an alien spaceship that has been discovered partially buried on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, Norman finds that the plan he outlined is being put into effect and that the team he named in his report has been assembled. In addition to Norman, there is Harry Adams (Samuel L. Jackson), a mathematician; Ted Fielding (Liev Schreiber), a physicist; and Beth Halperin (Sharon Stone), a biochemist and Norman's old flame. Led by the secretive Barnes (Peter Coyote), the foursome undergoes a crash course in diving and living under the sea in a naval habitat and begins investigating the mysterious vessel, discovering a huge glowing sphere made of an unidentifiable substance with a shimmering, almost liquidlike surface. As the investigation continues, a series of strange, horrific events leads the team of scientists to doubt each other's sanity and motives. The film is based on the best-selling novel by Michael Crichton.
Main Cast & Crew:
Barry Levinson - Director
Samuel L. Jackson
- Format: DVD (New Packaging)
- Run Time: 134
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 883929077373
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Rating: PG-13 (MPAA) (sci-fi action including some startling images)
- Release Date: July 1998
Theatrical release: February 13, 1998. Filmed at Mare Island, Vallejo, CA, and San Francisco, CA. Director Barry Levinson had previously collaborated with novelist Michael Crichton on DISCLOSURE. Levinson had been interested in directing a science film for years and was drawn to Crichton's story because it reflected many of the themes prevalent in Levinson's other films, such as betrayal, friendship, and loyalty. SPHERE marks Levinson's fourth film with actor Dustin Hoffman, who also appeared in RAIN MAN, SLEEPERS, and WAG THE DOG.
"...Fresh....Witty...and packed with possibilities..." - 04/01/1998 Sight and Sound, p.52-3
"...Acted in a no-nonsense style by a stellar cast....Mr.Hoffman's cool authority is well used here, as are Mr. Jackson's muscular intensity and discreetly mocking air..." - 02/13/1998 New York Times, p.E18
"...The set-up is intriguing....Levinson keeps the action moving at a fast clip....The film also benefits from its eerie deep-sea setting and some smashing special effects..." - 04/01/1998 Box Office, p.212