Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
San Jose Mercury News:
If you give it half a chance, it will bore into your subconscious, mess with your mind and leave you mumbling, 'Hmm, what if --'
[Soderbergh] goes so far into the terrors and rewards of romantic love that he comes out the other side into the universal.
Detroit Free Press:
An example of an A-list director and movie star using their clout to do what more people in their position should: challenge themselves and their audience.
This cold, occasionally dull movie practically defies you to embrace it.
Ebert & Roeper:
It's very thoughtful and it's the kind of movie you have to discuss afterwards.
New York Times:
In the Hollywood pantheon of recycled heroes, [Clooney] suggests a Clark Gable for the new millennium, without the raised eyebrow and rakish leer.
While it's rather bracing to see a movie in which everything isn't spelled out from the start ... Solaris is too often a mystifying genre experiment.
Los Angeles Times:
It's an example of sophisticated, challenging filmmaking that stands, despite its noticeable lack of emotional heft, in welcome contrast to the indulgent dead-end experimentation of the director's previous Full Frontal.
[Soderbergh] tends to place most of the psychological and philosophical material in italics rather than trust an audience's intelligence, and he creates an overall sense of brusqueness.
The filmmaking is extraordinarily assured, and any credible attempt to keep science fiction from becoming exclusively the province of 13-year-olds is welcome.
A serious movie with serious ideas. But seriously, folks, it doesn't work.
Soderbergh, in essence, has come up with a plodding and far less psychologically arresting version of Ghost.
Globe and Mail:
A shrewdly pared-down version that confines its focus to a single issue for the ages: the nature of romantic passion.
Dallas Morning News:
Its audacious ambitions sabotaged by pomposity, Steven Soderbergh's space opera emerges as a numbingly dull experience.
A return to what sci-fi was meant to be: Not a way to titillate teenage boys, but a means of finding a context for complex human issues.
New York Post:
So beautifully made (everything in it is understated except the gorgeous good looks of its stars) and turns out to have such real cumulative power that it is worth holding out to the end.
Solaris is neither as effective nor as ambitious as Kubrick's masterpiece, but it's still a compelling cinematic experience for those who are willing to abandon themselves to the unforced, measured rhythms of an issues-based motion picture.
The kind of smart film that has people arguing about it on their way out of the theater.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Comes across as less than a spontaneous work of the heart and more like a grim-faced stab at artistic importance.
A solemn, splintered meditation on lost love: a movie about personal space, in space.
Meshing philosophical inquiry with a propulsive otherworldly mystery, it has the smart-pop quality of a vintage episode of Star Trek.
Scripted, shot, directed and edited by Soderbergh with his customary intelligence and assurance, this is perhaps the most ambiguous and cerebrally sophisticated Hollywood movie in nearly three decades.
Soderbergh does a fine job creating a moody atmosphere of pervasive anxiety.
Despite its undeniably pure and earnest intent, Solaris is equally undeniably an arid, dull affair that imposes and maintains a huge distance between the viewer and what happens onscreen.
This is as elegant, moody, intelligent, sensuous, and sustained a studio movie as we are likely to see this season.