Phenomenon

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Buena Vista Released 1996

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Movie Summary

Director:
Jon Turteltaub
Released:
1996
Rating:
PG

Phenomenon is a 1996 science-fiction drama directed by Jon Turteltaub. In the film, George Malley (John Travolta) is an all around average guy, who is an auto mechanic and a very loyal friend. His life is changed forever on the evening of his 37th birthday. George sees a strange flash of light and this extraordinary occurrence creates an unexpected series of events in his life. Suddenly, George cannot seem to learn enough, he also is able to understand things that were previously beyond his comprehension. Along with his increased intelligence, George also seems to have telekinetic powers. He wants to use his newfound powers to help his community, but the townspeople do not understand his new abilities, instead they fear and shun him. The only people who do not turn away from him are his dear friends Doc Brunder (Robert DuVall), Nate Pope (Forest Whitaker) and Lace Pennamin (Kyra Sedgwick). A second flash of light complicates the matter even more. Can George Malley use his new gifts to help his town, or is he destined to live the rest of his life alone?

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Metacritic Score

  • 40

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    A whopping wrong turn throws this lightweight, benign-looking movie terminally off course.

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Well-meaning and convinced it has something of value to say, its "Reach Out and Touch Someone" sensibility ensures that all its satisfactions will prove hollow, and so they do.

  • 40

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Instead, director Jon Turteltaub has taken the easiest road, emerging with a soppy, soft-headed disease-of-the-week-style piece that sentimentalizes or opts out of every interestin...

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    Themes

    Supernatural, 90s