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Based on 17 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 2 )
  • 50
    Peter Stack San Francisco Chronicle

    But this soggy, sentimental tour through a rural dreamworld of salt-of- the-earth versus supercharged intelligence never quite gets deep enough to touch the soul -- or to make sense. show more

  • 63
    Susan Wloszczyna USA Today

    Phenomenon is a fantasy about super-intelligence that works best if you can switch off your brain. Those who can will reach weepy nirvana. Those who can't will find this sticky-sweet wallow a bit, well, dumb. [03 Jul 1996 Pg.01.D] show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    It's about change, acceptance and love, and it rounds those three bases very nicely, even if it never quite gets to home. show more

  • 63
    Liam Lacey The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    In a film that offers itself as a Gump-esque moral fable, Phenomenon could serve as a case study of When Smart Films Fail. show more

  • 50
    Barbara Shulgasser San Francisco Examiner

    As always, Duvall is magnificent. Even in this small part, he manages to give one of the most stirring performances in the movie. show more

  • 50
    TV Guide

    In time-honored Hollywood fashion, PHENOMENON suggests that smart people are friendless freaks who'd be far better off if only they were just as dumb as the rest of us. show more

  • 50
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    Put simply, this movie is dumb. show more

  • 30
    Marjorie Baumgarten Austin Chronicle

    Phenomenon flails about in a search for direction: inspirational drama, romance, social study, government intrigue- nothing fits or is explored very deeply. show more

  • 75
    David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor

    John Turteltaub directed the drama, which lapses into medical jargon and new-age clichés near the end, but it scores telling points with its respect for intelligence and optimistic view of human potential. show more

  • 42
    Entertainment Weekly

    Phenomenon (directed by Jon Turteltaub, the guy who sedated us with "While You Were Sleeping") would be pretty unbearable were Travolta not so consistently charming. show more

  • October 17, 2012 kaypearl804
    Report This User

    The one movie that gives us hope that maybe one day we can all have that special ability to see true love on this political planet. Love, special feelings portrayed would be so wonderful. Kay Felton

  • May 11, 2012 kookaburra3000
    Report This User

    My all time favorite John Travolta movie.

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