Titanic 1997

Critics score:
88 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Titanic is a film that sweeps us away into a world of spectacle, beauty and excitement. Read more

Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune: With his beatific, sweet, open face, DiCaprio gives us a rooting interest in hoping that someone important to us survives the wreck. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: What really brings on the tears is Cameron's insistence that writing this kind of movie is within his abilities. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: Titanic is indeed a ship of dreams. Climb aboard and bon voyage. Read more

Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer: The execution is state-of-the-art and breathtaking. Titanic offers the full compass of courage and cowardice, and it stands as an achievement that truly is a night to remember at the movies. Read more

Jay Carr, Boston Globe: Titanic is big-budget spectacle and director Cameron brings it off with high-tech bravura, placing us aboard the ship in real time. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: No other film has made the horror of the ship's sinking so palpable, and none other has dared to dramatize the night of the living dead that followed after it sank beneath the North Atlantic. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The regretful verdict here: dead in the water. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: As spectacle, Titanic sets a new standard; as romantic drama, it's substandard. Read more

Janet Maslin, New York Times: Cameron succeeds magically in linking his film's young lovers, played enchantingly by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: Titanic runs well enough in the backstretch of intrigue and contrivance to cross the finish line well ahead of all but a few of the screen's superspectacles in this century. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: This version has deepened and enriched a film that was already rich in emotions and remarkable for its depth of detail. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: Credit Cameron for locating that latitude-longitude spot where haunting loss intersects with sheer cinematic braggadocio. His movie may not be perfect, but visually and viscerally, it pretty well is. Read more

Maria Schneider, AV Club: Titanic provides an absorbing blend of historical fact and old-fashioned Hollywood tearjerking. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: If any film should be redone in 3-D, it's "Titanic." And if any filmmaker should be the one doing the redoing, it's James Cameron. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: All things considered, Titanic is old-fashioned epic filmmaking that carries a wallop. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Cameron is a genius at instilling narrative dread and designing a hokum-drenched fairy tale of a certain size. Read more

Paul Tatara, CNN.com: Cameron has devised a tender love story between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio that serves as the main focus of Titanic's storyline, and it works beautifully. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: A lush and terrifying spectacle of romantic doom. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Titanic is awesome even when it's awful -- you can't take your eyes off the extraordinary thing. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Here is a rare opportunity to return to something you once loved, and discover it still holds up, no apologies necessary. Read more

Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic: Bursting through gaps in the hull, rushing down corridors, licking at rooms, triumphing over great ballrooms and tiny closets, down stairways and into elevators, the sea, in the hands of Cameron and his technical associates, becomes hungry, vindictive. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: "Titanic" still amazes as the kind of massive, build-and-destroy production that few filmmakers have the ambition or budget to make. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: Titanic is big, bold, touchingly uncynical filmmaking. Read more

Dave Kehr, New York Daily News: If computer-generated special effects have overpowered human-generated drama, Cameron seizes that dangerously cold technology and recasts it as dream and delirium, profoundly human in its sources and longings. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Like Kathy Bates' "unsinkable" Molly Brown, "Titanic" is unabashedly American: It's big, brash and sometimes gauche, yet also unapologetically earnest, amazing to look at and devoted to its own cause. And it knows how to win us over. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: There's a lot to like here. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: James Cameron's spectacular new 3-D version of "Titanic'' is everything I'd hoped for, and more. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: You don't just watch Titanic, you experience it. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I found myself convinced by both the story and the saga. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: How is Titanic in 3D? The answer is pretty damn dazzling. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: Glub glub glub. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: The last hour of Titanic is huge and staggering, but there's no horror in it. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Cameron's three-hour disaster epic is a triumph of popular art -- of folk art, really. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: Now it can be told: The Titanic went down because of two distracting smoochers on the poop deck. Read more

Joe Holleman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Take one of history's most compelling tragedies, tell it through the lives of two engaging young lovers and show it with some of the best-ever special effects and you have a dazzling, exciting movie that is also poignant and personal. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Overall, for a blockbuster movie about one great big thing hitting another great big thing, the new film shows distinctly upper-deck restraint. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: Cost: well over $200m. Disregarding the ethics of such expenditure on a film, this unprecedented extravagance has not resulted in sophisticated or even very satisfying storytelling. Read more

Cath Clarke, Time Out: We know the story ends badly but Cameron still sweeps us up in the romance between Kate Winslet's rebellious posh girl and DiCaprio's steerage kid. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The letdown factor has been most keenly felt in conversions from 2D, but Titanic 3D shows how the ambition can be realized if the will and skill are there. We can only hope that other filmmakers follow Cameron's example. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Sure, it's corny, but there's something endearing about the tale of young love and its earnest lack of irony. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: A spectacular demonstration of what modern technology can contribute to dramatic storytelling. Read more

Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice: But the power of Titanic didn't come from originality; it came from punching cliches across with a seldom-seen directness and sincerity that seemed pure of heart, "old-fashioned," or plain corny, depending on your perspective. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: [Cameron] stages the sinking with a flawless sense of detail, pacing, import and dread. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Titanic is a good, often stunning movie caught in a three-and-a-half hour drift. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: This is Cameron at his best. Read more