Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
New York Times:
While this is no quick-witted treat on a par with Mr. Levinson's Wag the Dog, it's a solid thriller with showy scientific overtones.
Los Angeles Times:
As the umpteenth entrant in the We-Are-Not-Alone sweepstakes, Sphere feels awfully familiar because it is.
Globe and Mail:
Given its situational premise -- outer space goes underwater -- Sphere is filled with visual potential, yet Levinson can't tap it. He's just a whole lot more comfortable trying to tame the human software than the technical hardware.
Somewhere out there, maybe there's a small cadre of film-goers who will appreciate Sphere's dubious charms, but I'm not among them.
The only excellence is in the acting, and even then the screenplay puts the characters through so many U-turns that dramatic momentum is impossible.
San Francisco Chronicle:
The ending, though emotionally satisfying, collapses under scrutiny. This lack of payoff is a real flaw in a film pitched to a discriminating sci-fi mentality.
Three major stars being involved, it all wraps up happily but implausibly.