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Hollywood favorite John Travolta (SWORDFISH, PULP FICTION) stars in this acclaimed, uplifting story of an ordinary man transformed by extraordinary events! On the night of his 37th birthday, George Malley (Travolta) is knocked to the ground by a mysterious, blinding light and suddenly develops amazing mental abilities! With his newfound knowledge, George astounds everyone in town. But when his incredible powers cause even his oldest friends to turn away, George comes to realize that his wondrous experience has changed him and the lives of everyone around him forever. With an outstanding supporting cast featuring Robert Duvall (SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT), Forest Whitaker (SPECIES), and Kyra Sedgwick (SINGLES) -- don't miss this must-see motion picture event!

John Travolta's should've-been-nominated-for-an-Oscar performance is the best reason to see this largely moving work, which is a little reminiscent of the novel Flowers for Algernon (basis for the film Charly). Travolta plays a mechanic who sees a bright light in the sky one night and wakes up the next morning a genius, hungry for knowledge and so smart he figures out national defense secrets in his own living room (and gets in hot water for it). The more interesting drama, however, is not with the government but with the character's longtime neighbors and friends, who come to reject him for being different. Robert Duvall gives a stirring performance as a doctor who has known the hero all his life, and Kyra Sedgwick is very good as an ambivalent love interest. If you missed this one in the theaters, then you haven't seen one of Travolta's best performances since his comeback. The DVD release presents a widescreen image, optional French soundtrack, optional Spanish subtitles, and theatrical trailer. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • One of my favorite movies
    This story this movie touches me in so many ways and
    on so many levels. It is a bittersweet but lovingly
    told story of the power and magic that is life and death.
    It will reach into your heart into your soul and you
    will feel the tears in your heart and some may fall
    from your eyes. I believe that I can guarantee you
    that this movie will be time well spent. Immerse
    yourself in this story and feel the magic, the
    power of love and life , and the passing of life.
    It is definitely worthy of your
    movie collection. I recommend this movie to
    one and all. May you be blessed for having
    watched it. ...more info
  • It's All About Life!
    This movie moved me to tears - can I rate it more than 5 stars?
    To this day I cannot hear Bryan Ferry's "Dance With Life" without being reminded that life is a gift and it's all about how you treat people and interact with them. John Travolta has been my favorite since Welcome Back, Kotter and so versatile an actor. When the town's mechanic changes to a genius overnight after seeing a brilliant light in the heavens on his 37th birthday, people don't know how to treat him. As he touches lives with his gift, some are grateful, others suspicious. If you have not seen this movie yet, DROP EVERYTHING and do so! It will move you to dance with life!...more info
  • Good stuff
    I only gave it 4 because it seems this movie idea is rehatched all the time. From this movie all the way up to present day with movies like K-Pax and Powder. Awesome movie, just not very original....more info
  • Romantic Drama With Healthy Comedy
    I originally saw this movie in the theater and was pleasantly surprised. Not that I can see it at home the film's wonder has not disappeared.

    Phenomenon stars John Travolta (with an appearance by Brent Spiner of ST:NG). The premise of this film is that John sees a light in the sky that hits him and knocks him out. After that he has increased brain usage. This enables him to read quickly, comprehend, think clearly and even perform minor telekinesis. In the small town in which he lives this sort of thing can cause some problems and fear. Robert Duval gives an excellent portrayal of a small town doctor and the rest of the cast does a marvelous job.

    Phenomenon is partly a love story as John pursues the woman of his dreams, but it is also much more. It is a film about facing the unknown and the wonder of learning. While much of the film is funny it is definitely not a comedy and you should be prepared to have various emotional strings pulled throughout the film. An excellent choice for fans of romantic comedies and romantic dramas....more info

  • A wonderful, poignant film to be enjoyed by all
    Normally I am the type that would ignore a film with John Travolta and Kyra Sedgewick; I would assume it was too mainstream, not original, etc. I'm not sure how then I did come to see this film, but I must say I am glad I did.

    This is a gem of a movie, about life, death, regret, etc. It is just so poignant. I've now seen the film a few times, and every time, I get a lump in my throat at the end. (I especially also liked the "apple scene"!) The music really works in this film as well....more info

  • Down to earth
    Confusion. Nauseating. Touching. Homey. Four words I'd use to describe the movie known as "Phenomenon", one that I watched yesturday during my psychology class. Why the confusion, why the nausea? Perhaps because I wasn't expecting this movie...I didn't even know what it was called. But aside from that, and aside from looking at a scientific explanation, this movie exceeds on most standards. What fooled me at the beginning surprised me near the end; towards the beginning I was feeling almost stupid watching this because there was no scientific explanation for what was happening. A man sees a bright light and the next day wakes up a genius. He seems oblivious to wanting to know why this happens to him but instead choses to go with the flow and, after sensing the beginnings of an earth quake, seems at a loss and seeks for answers to his newly developed questions when all begins to go downhill.

    I won't go into too much detail about what happens next but for the most part of the movie, I was in a state of confusion. Why was Travolta feeling like this? What happened to him? And most importantly, why doesn't he seem concerned when everybody else in his know-all town is? I think that, coupled with the small-town feeling (which makes me feel nauseas at times) and the irritating music made me feel out of the loop while everybody else around me was oohing and awing over Travolta's performence.

    Towards the end, I was feeling a little bit more reassured. There are some touching scenes but Travolta's great performence more than makes up for the confusion surrounding his diagnosis. His love interest (who's name I cannot recall at the moment) does an outstanding performence as a torn bystander who doesn't know what else to do but simply watch her friend break apart day by day. Altough Travolta's diagnosis is truly devastating, it's wonderful to watch how he deals with it...and I think that's where this movie excels, the point it's trying to make and the point I missed entirely (perhaps because I was expecting more of a scientifically visioned film). This movie isn't about psychology or about earning 200 IQ points over night - it's about being the outcast, being the scum of society, being the freak of nature...and learning how to deal with it.

    ...more info
  • One of the most POIGNANT movies I've ever seen!
    The phenomenon about Phenomenon is that it wasn't more of a hit at the box office! I found this movie to be extremely "watchable," and if you harbor any lingering doubts about Travolta's acting abilities, this movie will extinguish them for good! Travolta delivers a stirring performance as George, and ordinary guy who gains extraordinary powers after being struck on the eve of his thirty-seventh birthday by a mysterious blinding light, out of the blue. George then gains superior mental abilities, which, ironically, meet with many negative consequences in the small town where he lives. This movie is very haunting; it definitely stays with you. It is also DEFINITELY worth seeing, and makes a beautifully unique addition to any movie collection....more info
  • Heart rendering
    This is a film which will both melt your heart and stimulate your mind, it is very well acted out, and the plot is rich with thought and provocation, altogether, this film is a Masterpiece. The relationships acted out in the film are beautific and will enthrall the viewer, albeit, one must be prepared for the melancholy and the sanguin, as the film ends with both beauty and sadness....more info
  • Great movie
    This s one of the best moves ever! It moves you like no other movie can ( well, maybe expect Michael also with Travolta) This is a must see film which tells an importent story of how rasictial people can become. Other then that it is a wonderful love story. If you do not cry in the end of this movie then you must have a heart of stone....more info
  • Highly entertaining !!
    Phenomenon may not be John Travolta best movie but he certainly gave his best performance as an actor and it is a shame that he was not even nominated for this movie. The story about a mechanic (Travolta) from a small town in California who witnessed a bright light from the sky and the next day he woke up as incredibly smart man. Robert Duvall gave excellent performance as the town doctor and Kyra Sedwick is the love interest. The story is moving and quite a few funny moments.

    The DVD is OK as this is an early release. The picture is bright and sharp and the 5.1 sound is about average. Higly recommended DVD....more info

  • A good message film about our connections with each other
    Phenomenon is a touching film which will reward the viewer with some real tears. It plays on the concept of "connection" on many levels - from partnerships lost (Kyra Sedgwick perfect as a woman who has left the city after being left herself), to the connections that are born between mother and child, connections between the subatomic particles that make up all life, sunlight and growth, and many more lesser examples - even some tragic ones. This is a message film, but the message is a good one.

    Though not quite as artistic as, say, a Bill Forsyth (Local Here, Housekeeping, etc.) film - this is aimed at a more commercial audience, and has the soundtrack to prove it - but Forsyth would appreciate how the writer and director of Phenomenon are most interested in showing how a person can too easily become an outsider even in a small town. That, and the romantic element of the story is the meat of the film. Unlike many commercial films, all the characters appear well thought-out -- even the FBI agent who has perhaps three minutes of screen time delivers the humanity of the role. And I must mention there is another wonderful cameo by Brent Spiner, as good as his cameo in ID4.

    It is sad that the original DVD edition does not have any of the extra scenes that were added to the NBC television screening of the film (including the scene from which the cover art was derived!). I don't think a film like this needs a commentary track - it is a fable about human potential, after all, and as a fable it speaks clearly on its own - but extra scenes would have been welcomed. The soundtrack also needs to be remastered to be more spacious. Absolutely worth getting now, but twice as reccomended if Buena Vista comes out with the Special Edition this film deserves....more info

  • Absolutely fantastic
    I saw this in the theater, and it was one of the most fantastic movies. I agree with the reviewer that John Travolta should've gotten an Oscar, but he wasn't even nominated. But that's how it goes with the Oscars...anyway, he is outstanding, and also some great performances by Robert Duvall and Kyra Sedgewick. If you want to see a movie about love, vision, spiritual growth--a movie without violence, this is one to see. It also says something about our society in general, how when people change, or are different, they incite fear. Rather than try to understand, we choose to reject....more info
  • Wow, I was completely surprised
    This movie caught me by surprise. I never expected quality acting from John Travolta. Teamed with a top-notch story, Travolta shines in his role as an every-day-man, transformed in to a man with special intelligence, insight and talents.

    As Travolta mind grows, the towns-folk minds begin to narrow. Had the movie been set a few centuries ago, Travolta surely would have been burned at the stake.

    Best of all, this movie lends itself to multiple viewing....more info

  • Underrated, moving film
    Phenomeonon was advertised as a sci-fi movie, and whilke it has a sci-fi sort of theme at its core, anyone going to see the movie based on that was sorely disappointed.

    What this movie is, actually, is a story about a man learning to cope with something that he can't understand, and how it brings him closer to his friends and his community, and how it allows him to understand and deal with his own fate.

    Yes, it's a bit sappy at times, but it also contains some really excellent performances. Travolta delivers what it certainly his most authentic and touching portrayal of a real human being yet seen in his post-Tarantino career. Forrest Whittaker and Robert Duvall likewise contribute first-rate performances. A wonderful contemporary soundtrack ties it all together....more info

  • Phenomenon
    Another outstanding movie with John Travolta. Such a romance. John stretched for this role and pulled it off with flying colors. His costars were perfect too....more info
  • Ultimate crying movie!
    I have seen this movie at least 20 times and I still bawl at the end. In my personal top five of all time greatest movies. If you are an intellectual person you will appreciate the complexities in the premise. Don't want to say too much and give away the ending, but it's difinitely not what you think!!!...more info
  • .
    Alright, listen. John Travolta was cool in Pulp Fiction because he was a sort of campy, out-of-context, but very well-used surprise. But the "comeback" of Travolta since then is just silly. Like Tom Hanks, he's now just a big, money-drawing name being cast in roles that would've been far better suited to other actors. Phenomenon is a good example of a silly "that never should've been Travolta" flick. I'll admit that, this considered, he doesn't do all THAT bad a job with the role, but the movie suffers from its obligatory Hollywood trappings, some poorly used music, and a lukewarm, familiar premise. Not as bad of a movie as I would've expected, but not great either. Get over Travolta -- he worked in PF, but now he's just gumpy, over-used, and over-praised....more info
  • A Movie That Makes You Look At Your Life And Think
    I watched this 3 times and each time, it makes me reflect about what life is all about. It's a very moving story. All the issues are very real: how your "friends" reacted due to their own unresolved fears, how one gets really scared when you can't handle the truth. It's also about love and friendship.

    I aboslutely love John Travolta's acting in this movie. You can actually feel how contented he was at the beginning of the show when he was with his beer buddies celebrating his birthday and how that transformed into confusion and fear when things were happening to him. I could feel his fear like a child who does not understand how the world operates. And kudos to Kyra S. and her wonderful acting as a loving mother and hurt woman who only want peace in her new life.

    This is a GREAT movie that makes you reflect about what life is all about and it makes you cry, so get those hankies out!...more info

  • travolta and no one else
    i think travolta is the best and in the whole of my entire life travolta means to me paradise, i love him. ...more info
  • Good intentions, good follow through, bad ending
    This retelling of "Stranger in a Strange Land" explores the possibility that, in a crazy society such as our own, someone might discover sanity/genius and thus become completely alienated. It does a great job of that; unfortunately, the story is paced incorrectly and thus has a long introduction, a crammed development and a schmaltzy, lengthy, sickening ending. Like most tales in which a character is suddenly a genius, such as "Flowers For Algernon," there's a conflict between love for a woman and the alienation of someone feared by others for his ability. To his credit, John "I was in Disco movies" Travolta does a great job of portraying a man overwhelmed by his own intellect, looking every bit like someone who gets struck by revelation every few minutes. He's also every bit as childish and handsomely unintentionally aloof as a genius would be, and is enigmatic in that role; Kyra Sedgewick does a great job with her 1.5-dimensional character. This movie ultimately would do best if the rock/folk music interludes were cut and replaced with some silent scenes, and if the last 30 minutes were reduced from hanky-sopping drama to a few insights and then a slightly more ambiguous, less Christ-like ending. Overall however this is an exceptional movie for a broken society in a broken time....more info
  • One of Travolta's best
    Phenomenon is a great movie in every sense. It's about a mechanic (John Travolta) that sees a bright light in the sky one night and wakes up the next morning to find out he's a genius. He knows things such as when and where an earthquake is about to strike, national defense secrets, and he learns a new language in a matter of minutes. All the while he's interested in a good looking woman (Kyra Sedgwick), and like the other people she is scared of Travolta's new power of knowing just about everything. Watch Phenomenon and you'll see how a man struggles with his friends and the media even though he knows just about everything and could do any job on earth since this light hit him.

    John Travolta gives a phenomenal performance in Phenomenon and this is one of the most underrated movies of all time. Travolta and Phenomenon should've won a few oscars, but it wasn't even nominated for any. Kyra Sedgwick, Robert Duvall, Forest Whitaker, and the kids also give good performances throughout the film. Phenomenon is without a doubt John Travolta's best drama film so far and one of my favorite movies of all time. If you're a Travolta fan or you like drama movies, I recommend getting Phenomenon because it's phenomenal to say the least....more info

  • Tear Jerking
    All I can say is "wow". I loved this film from the start through to the end. I am a big John T fan and this was one of his best films, by far, apart from Saturday Night Fever (I loved his dancing!!). I couldn't get over his great powers and I always wanted to be like him. I was 15 when I saw this film but still have respect for his great film making. I shed a tear or 2....more info
  • beautiful peformance from John Travolta
    John Travolta stars as a man who one day is struck by a bright light and then the next thing you know he is s super genius in which he knows everything about anything and he spits it out in a split second. Effective drama with John Travolta giving out a beautiful and charming performance. Also starring Forest Whitaker and Robert DuVall in wonderful supporting roles. The end of the movie is the most emotional and sparks the most waterworks, though I didnt cry I really thought it was devastating to see Travolta's character die. This is a sure winner....more info
  • Phenomenon: A Moving, Under-rated movie
    I took me awhile to catch on to the John Travolta "comeback." Always a good actor, he is trancendent in "Phenomenon." Taking his character of George, struck by a mysterious light, and turning him from an average man to a genius, could have been an actor's trap. Travolta makes it his triumph. He gives George such a humanity that even with the genius powers we are aware that George of old is still there, trying to desparately to just be his old self, and only the girl he longs for, played excellently by Kyra Segwick seems to understand his wanting to remain the same, no matter how many "miracles" he performs. So many films like this are too serious, use too many special effects, or are just plain ridiculous. Travolta great performance seems to lift the entire genre and wins us over like he does Segwick and her two children. The supporting cast is excellent, especially Robert Duvall, who does miraculous things with the town doctor. Forrest Whittiker is also good as George's best friend. The town accepts the miracles like no other movie town does. Yes, they are in awe, but they still doubt, as George doubts, that he was given a gift as a mistake, but when all is said and done, we know the "bright light" made the right choice, that he was able to even handle his own mortality. There is a scene near the end of the movie, when George is sharing his last moments and an apple with the two young children, that is as moving as any I've seen in recent memory. Some may see "Phenomenon" as too far-fetched or mauldlin, and if so they are as jaded as many movie goers are getting. What does an audience want? Here is a movie without much violence, blood, or spectacular special effects and does have a message but does not force it on you, how all of us have the possibility to be more than we think, that there is genius on a small scale, in the feelings for love, simple pleasures, sharing an apple with children, or facing one's own mortality without fear. A great Movie....more info
  • Phenomenon
    Until this Movie, I did not like John Travolta. This movie is top notch, it's a "girl" movie in general, however I would recommend it to anyone. John will never top this movie - a powerful performance !...more info
  • Surprisingly good!
    I came to this film with low expectations, seeing as how it only has a 53% positive rating and a lot of critics panned it as being corny and sentimental.

    Actually this is a very good film, largely carried by the strong cast of John Travolta, Kyra Sedgewick, Forest Whitaker and Robert Duvall. Yes there are a few corny moments especially towards the end but they were forgivably brief not tediously drawn out, compared to your typical Hollywood tearjerker which this is not. I won't give away the ending except to say that it is not one of your dime a dozen and-they-lived-happily-ever-after things.

    "Phenomenon" actually has a lot of Eastern philosophy behind it---the idea that we are all connected at a deep cosmic and psychical level which most of us never imagine nor dare to access, as well as the New Ageish belief that we only use about 10% of our brains' full capabilities.

    Travolta is known to be a Scientologist, which made me wonder a little how much that might have influenced this film which is nowhere near as kooky as your standard Scientology doctrine which you can get from L. Ron Hubbard's infamous (science fiction) book, "Dianetics."...more info
  • Great movie & fast transaction!
    I ordered the movie for a school project and they arrived in perfect condition with just enough time for me to do a movie psychology review on it. I got an A, so it was worth it!...more info
  • Guaranteed to shed a tear!
    An extraordinary drama, Phenomenon, brings to the screen the story of a man who suddenly undergoes a major mental transformation allowing him to make use of abilities he never thought he had.
    It is a film about human relations, hope and second chances, but most importantly about trust, love, and inner strength.
    John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Robert Duval, Forest Whitaker, Brent Spiner (!) and the rest of the cast, have outdone themselves with their performances, which are outstanding to say the least. All the actors, without exceptions, give it their 100% and it really shows (the chemistry is AMAZING)!
    The setting, the plot, the dialogues, and the music are all wonderful!
    In short, Phenomenon is a movie definitely worth watching and one to seriously consider adding to your movie collection! 4 1/2 Stars
    ...more info
  • Suprisingly Good
    When i bought this movie, I really did not know what to expect. I had been told it was a good movie, and that is all i had to go on. In the simplest terms, it is a great movie, although just shy of the five out of five mark. I consider this one of John Travolta's best performances. There was enough humour to keep me satisfied but it did not draw away from the drama of the movie. I urge you to watch this movie... you want regret it....more info
  • The candle that burns twice as bright.
    I desperately wanted to see Phenomenon after I had seen its preview. The story of a man who mysteriously starts to change into a genius but retains his humanity, sounded too good to miss. It's nice to find a film with a bit of soul in this day and age.

    There seemed to be a little controversy concerning the fact that Travolta played the lead. Apparently by belonging to the Church of Scientology some people mistakenly believed that his character was a portrayal of that organization's ideal human. Even if it were true I would have thought this would bring more people to their doors rather than less.

    George Malley, (Travolta), is a small town motor mechanic, a likable man who is struggling to learn Spanish whilst trying to work up the courage to ask Lace, a reclusive single mother, (Kyra Sedgwick), out on a date. But his sedate life changes dramatically when on the evening of his birthday he sees lights in the sky and blacks out. From then on he finds it almost impossible to sleep and his friends start to notice differences in him.

    His intelligence is amazing enough but when he shows talents in less conventional areas, many of the town's folks become nervous and even afraid. Despite the fact that he is doing nothing but good, they begin to draw away from him. All that is, except Nate, (Forest Witaker), his best friend, the town doctor, (Robert Duval), and Lace. The three of them manage to see the beauty within the man. That constant part of him that has not changed and is even more remarkable than his new abilities.

    The film takes a darker turn when the government steps in and takes George away for testing. As the mood is plunged into chilled water and his future begins to look bleaker, we are warmed by the support of Doc and the love of his, by now, girlfriend Lace. This movie has the power to reaffirm a positive life and maybe even reverse a negative one. See it as soon as you can....more info
  • phenominal
    I really enjoyed the movie even though some of my friends did not. It was very different and enjoyable...more info
  • A Bittersweet Story
    George Malley, played by John Travolta, is a nice enough guy but he is not exactly the brightest crayon in the box. He is a well liked auto mechanic who tries hard but is not too good at anything except fixing cars. Then one day, when leaving his birthday party, he sees a light in the sky and then passes out.

    When he comes to, everything is different but it takes a while for him to put his finger on it. His concentration is better. He is able to retain what he reads. He has lots of bright ideas. Along with all of this, though, he cannot sleep. He spends all night reading and coming up with gadgets and theories. Most of them work.

    His friends notice things are different but they cannot shake the ideal of a dull George Malley. His intelligence makes them a bit jealous and then even frightens them. This is especially true when he manages to learn Portuguese in half and hour in order to save a lost child with food poisoning. They are sure they are afraid when he exhibits some telekinesis. Rumors abound.

    Most of the rumors center around the UFO George saw on the night of his change. That makes things scarier.

    George falls in love with a single mom and has a hard time winning her over. Eventually, though, he does because she can see his good heart. This is about the time that he comes under scrutiny from academic and government types. The academics want to study him and the government is frightened because they cannot control him. Things come to a head when it turns out that there is a very mundane explanation for the phenomenon and some medical types want to cut him up.

    This story has its happy moments and its share of sad ones as well. It a story of acceptance and character. In some case it is the story of the lack of those attributes.
    ...more info
  • A long way from Vinny Barbarino
    This is a film that I enjoy very much, but I can't say exactly why. John Travolta is very good in this role as a simple man with good friends who is touched by an unknown power that provides a extraordinary gift, along with an unfortunate curse. There are a few messages in the film, but that's not what drives it. It's good acting, good entertainment and a pleasure to watch. If I were to ever meet John Travolta, I'd hope he'd be like George Malley (his character). It's hard to believe this is the same JT from "Welcome Back Kotter". Give this film a chance ... you'll like it....more info
  • Fantastic and inspiring
    This is an exceptional film that was very well acted and well written. John Travolta did a magnificent job along with his supporting cast. It lets us see an example of how easy it is for us to fear what we do not understand and how we deny ourselves the chance to live with passion because of that fear.It's emotionally powerful and very moving. Other reviews tell you the story line, so I'll not be redundant. This film along with the film Powder, are feel great movies that make you think about what you can achieve and question the discrimination that even the most open minded folks have inside themselves. It's a keeper, buy it for you're collection....more info
  • Christmas Gift - Phenomenon
    The movie does not have English subtitles and that is an element that is necessary for my family as we have hearing impaired members. I am not sure whether this movie is available with subtitles at all though....more info
  • Very Good
    I think this is a very well plot for the movie. It is very creative, and that's what i love to see in a movie. Also, I love John Travolta. He is a very good actor. This movie actually made me cry. It is very good....more info
  • Phenomenon is phenomenal
    A: 5/5 Stars

    John Travolta is phenomenal in the phenomenal movie "Phenomenon".
    The movie is about George Malley, a simple guy of average intelligence who works in a garage in his small California town. During his birthday party, he walks outside and looks up at the sky. He sees a flash of light, and is knocked down to the ground.
    Gradually, he discovers he can do supernatural things, like move objects without touching them, sensing ultrasonic waves to predict earthquakes, and learning a foriegn language in 20 minutes.
    This movie provides solemn moments and funny moments. After a sneaky and totally unpredictable little twist in the story (regarding the mysterious flash of light and what causes Malley's powers), we find what the movie's message really is.
    I'll shut up now so you can go watch it and be amazed. The title says it all.

    J: 4/5 Stars

    phenomenon is a screen gem. it might not be perfect but it sure hits close to home in our hearts. it is about a man, played by john travolta, who on his birthday sees a flash of light in the sky and is knocked off his feet. when he arises he is different or feels different at least. what did he see in the night sky? a UFO? a hallucination? part of the magic of phenomenon is finding out at the end what the light really was.but phenomenon is much more than that.
    it takes place in a quaint little town where everyone knows eachother and no secrets can be kept without your neighbor knowing. everyone meets in the conventional bar where they find out things from others. George Malley is a humble mechanic who is your average straight guy. he is is in love with the town recluse and is a close aquaintance with her kids. after the encounter on his birthday, everything changes. his intelligence seems to have been ameliorated. now, he reads five books a day, can remember nearly everything, and has the ability to move things with his mind. the townspeople first react in shock, then in awe, and then in fear of the ordinary man with now extraordinary abilities. they feel that george has been doesn't help when he gets in trouble with the government(the scene where he is interrogated is priceless).
    Then after all this...i will leave you to see the rest. the end of the movie should come as a surprise to you as it was to the characters in the movie and me. john travolta is a good choice for george malley, and his performance carries an insight into his thoughts and feelings. this movie really inspires you to walk out on it, and it remains in your heart for a long time after....more info

  • Highly Recommended
    This is easily John Travolta's best work, an all out preformance. He finally got away from the action and got into a drama and an extremely good one at that. its all based nn Travolta's Birthday and how he see's a flash of light and a sound from the skies. NO one else see's this or hears it, afterwards he becomes very intelligent and has the NSA on him and Berkely University is very interested in his theories. But as time passes in his little town people start to fear him and his abilities. Only a hand full of people who r still the same around him, that aren't afraid of him. This movie will put a smile on your face throughout most the movie but it does have depressing parts that could make u cry out loud. A great movie and very down to earth....more info
  • *Not a thriller!* Quiet, touching, thought-provoking.
    Who would have imagined that John Travolta could do a Jimmy Stewart impression? At times though, I felt a strong resemblance - especially with the gentle, bemused Stewart of "Mr Smith goes to Washington" or "The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance". Even the name "George Malley" fits, and the two birthday parties held under very different circumstances.

    The challenge of imagining what it would be like to be hyper-intelligent has defeated a lot of writers. How could we know, after all? How could a chimp grasp the thoughts that go through the average human mind? This movie does quite a good job of handling this problem, but it really zooms in on the difficulty of finding a role in life when all your friends look at you in awe (or downright fear) and even the government sees you as a security risk.

    It's not very exciting, but it is emotional and thought-provoking. And surprisingly funny, in an unassuming way. A great way to spend a quiet, reflective evening that will give you plenty of food for thought. Probably best avoided by Quentin Tarantino fans, though....more info
  • Phenomenon Review
    Phenomenon is a pleasant film with fine acting (particularly John Travolta and Robert Duvall), beautiful setting and photography, and nice score by Thomas Newman. Unfortunately, the 2.35:1 widescreen DVD is not enhanced for 16:9 TVs, which makes it a real shame....more info
  • Really inteligent
    This was romantic and funny with drama in it to. And it dosent have a lot of kissing so that means younger kids can watch it to. Not like todlers or 3 or 4 year olds because it dose have some swearing in it. But other then that this movie is really inteligent and the person who wrote this knows what they where doing. I want to bye this movie know....more info
  • phenomenon by josh
    In the movie phenomenon George (John Travolta) see a light in the sky in which knocks him off of his feet. As days and months go by he becomes smarter. He starts reading up to five books a day of all of his interest's languages, cars, love, nature etc. As more time goes on George then develops telekinesis. He starts moving objects with his mind in which he like to call it a "partnership" The whole town is chocked amazed, worried and scared for George because he is a well known respected man in town and everything he does is odd. George the ends up having a tumor in his brain and it is only a matter of time before he is deceased.

    I think this movie is one my favorites because it's very interesting. It has a great attention getter and it's just fascinating. I highly recommend people either rent or buy this movie!!
    ...more info
  • Best Movie Ever
    This is probably one of the best films I have ever seen, definetely my favourite. It helps that Travolta's my favourite actor though. He delivered a better than fine performance and deserved at least one academy for the movie. A story of a ordinary man who became the smartest man on earth overnight on his 37th birthday after witnessing a beam of light which knocked him to the ground. A great story with a very moving ending. I've never liked Travolta as much as I did in that movie, two thumbs up! I by far reccomend this movie!...more info
  • Much, much more than a simple vehicle for Travolta's 15th comeback
    George Malley (John Travolta) is an affable, easy-going auto mechanic in a sleepy American town. He has become smitten by Lace (Kyra Sedgwick), a ferociously-independent and emotionally guarded single mother who manufacturers chairs in an even more remote location than the town itself. George's bumbling attempts at piquing her interest continually fail, yet he remains optimistic, even after she rebuffs him for his 37th birthday party.

    Remonstrated by his long-time friend Nate (Forest Whitaker) that he shouldn't be purchasing his own drinks at his own birthday party, George wanders outside, where he has a most unusual encounter--perhaps even of the "first" and "close" variety. Rendered senseless by the experience, he soon recovers and heads back inside the bar, where his pals continue their celebrations and chuckle as he tells his story. Later that night, George lies awake, pressured thoughts consuming his mind. Suddenly, he bolts out of his useless bed as a surprising illumination enters his brain: he now knows exactly how the darned rabbit keeps getting in his fenced-off garden!

    There are so many undercurrent messages socked away in this movie, it is a wonder the director, Jon Turteltaub ("Instinct," "National Treasure"), remembered to film the thing. It is a testament to this director's subtlety that these messages come across as gentle and graceful reminders of life's beauty, rather than as annoying platitudes meant to placate the unwashed masses. A few examples, and I have doubtless missed many: "sometimes remarkable things happen to unremarkable people," "every person's life belongs to a greater whole," "judge not with haste," "information is power," "humans possess near-unlimited potential," and "love can be everything." I tend to view the cramming of acceptable moral precepts down an audience's collective throat--during something meant as entertainment--to be a particularly sad method by which Hollywood demonstrates its humanity; however, this tactic is not being employed here.

    *minor spoilers/plot points below*

    We are witness to George coming to grips with his new-found powers. His rise in the community from country gentleman to powerful entity is shown clearly through the eyes of the audience, who exhibit very believable reactions: fear, humility, puzzlement, and, that most cursed of double-edged swords, worship. He witnesses friends drifting away, metamorphing into disciples, or being shamed into silence because of their perceived intellectual inadequacy. George becomes slave to these myriad new ideas filling his brain, preventing sleep, self-care, and respite. He involves himself in a cipher "game" on the short-wave radio belonging to Nate, and ultimately provokes very highly-placed unwanted attention, indeed. George wonders why all his newfound abilities help him not at all in his quest to pierce Lace's heart. He invents many rude implements, which yet work spectacularly well in their functions. A seismologist from Berkley, visiting Mr. Malley to verify his ability to "sense" ULF (ultra-low frequency) emissions--which herald the arrival of an earthquake--is swept along on a scavenger hunt of sorts for an extremely sick local boy.

    *end minor spoilers/plot points*

    There are far, far too many ideas explored in this movie, but it succeeds anyway. Travolta is not fantastically convincing in the beginning; yet he, like George, becomes more and more remarkable (and thus, believable) as the movie progresses. The gentle way he informs Lace that "it's happening," made me want to switch the movie off, so real it seemed. Kyra is absolutely convincing, as always. I fell in love with her character at least five separate times in the movie. Robert Duvall and Forest Whitaker also steal many scenes with their requisite skill. Mr. Duvall's outburst in the pub towards movie's end stunned me into silence. Forest's performance as socially-stunted introvert, incapable of expressing his feelings towards women, was totally on the money. I'm sorry I waited nearly eleven years to see this movie. It touched my mind and my heart by the end--just as Malley's experience touched his, and those of the people he loved. This was a beautiful and worthwhile movie. Sometimes "star-studded" yields something truly memorable: here is that movie....more info
  • A Speeding Thud
    It was exciting to see John Travolta acting so well again in a small-town setting.As far as the story went, I felt the wind-up was strong, but the actual throw went limp, landing short of the target. Somewhere in the middle of the story I felt the tampering of several hands, giving other parties more film time. Perhaps there were too many actors to fully satisfy here. Someone lost the nerve to go with the gut feeling and deliver a guy who could make serious changes and handle his super-powers. It was as if a Republican hand stepped in and decided "they couldn't afford it." Travolta's character could have been better than "Charly" here and copped out. Rewrite the last third of the movie and you could get this off the ground where it lies....more info
  • Travolta did it again!
    This is a very deep movie and worth viewing for people wanting to understand the elector- magnatism of this plant and the people therin. A must for questers!!...more info
  • Introductory Video to the Greatest [Plan] in all History
    This video is packed dense with material. No wonder it failed to make it to the TV sets across the US. It was produced masterfully but the subject was too heavy and someone killed it.

    If you want content and if you are not yet familiar with the number one [plan] of all times, and if you don't know where to start, then this video will lay it all out for you. Beginning with the hatching of the Federal Reserve, our fiat currency, our puppet party systems, all funded by the very same globalists behind the CFR,, UN and the tax exempt foundations.... then this video is for you.

    On the other hand, if you have been trying to wake that special person up to reality but all of your hammering has worked against you, then pop in this video....

    The only reason I gave this video 4 stars and not 5 is because some of the filming techniques, for example a shot of a spinning nickel with a raspy blues song in the background singing "Just when you thought you were ahead of the game, someone changes the rules." Well once or twice would be OK, but I must have seen that spinning nickel 5-6 times.......more info

  • Travolta Rules
    This movie made me laugh and cry. What a "phenomenal" actor John Travolta is and always has been. This particular movie really touches the heart; because here is a such a gentle soul who wishes to do good for people; only to be turned against. Robert Duvall is also great in this film. I recommend this movie highly....more info
  • Same phenomenon in WWII, Fascist Black-Propaganda
    Motion picture messages are so smoothly constructed and mass produced today, audiences would hardly bat and eye if they were seeing anti-intellectualism presented to them in a form that also imputes witchcraft, telekinesis for example. Big ideas must mean something from outer space has infected the brain; or anything intelligent, resourceful or efficient. Also foreign language acquisition is held suspect by this piece of government propaganda, we're better off being mono-lingual and ignorant of others around the world. While not as mudslinging and rife with judicial malpractice as the Salem Witchcraft Trials, movies still libel segments of the population the state has deemed unwanted or suspect for reasons of their beliefs, attitudes and intellectual pursuits. Then the mudsling is that intelligence must be unnatural and under alien control, that it means something is organically wrong with the brain; of late it has been more popular for the exercise of state oppression to simply label people as mentally ill (without all the cosmic conspiracy angle). What it really means is that the tireless efforts the government has put in place to destroy the public education system, and to weaponize the culinary water supplies everywhere with a vectored chemical incapacitant wmd, fluoridation, must now jealously and suspiciously interdict any signs of its ineffectiveness at rendering the population functionally illiterate, subaverage in memory, language, logic and mathematics skills.

    There is no big important secret cipher system at risk, that the government needs to keep a secret in order to subjugate unwanted populations of chemically inundated citizens; it is plain to see and requires no algorithm to decode. The pattern is obvious: exploit, lie, poison and insult the residual intelligence of the population they haven't yet completely wiped out. This movie is a highly revealing sick statement of an insular, autocratic technological empire crumbling under its own inconsistencies and open acts of war, mob violence and vigilantism on America; a foreign policy of isolationism attempting to disguise corporate colonialism as our outreach, when the overstatements of xenophobia for international languages couldn't be more apparent or reflection of the decline in the U.S. education system. Demonization of intellectuals is old fascist whining and scare tactic. It is making more movies than sense because its only card to play is hypnosis in order to evade fairly simple identification of its ideology and modus operandi.

    Other than the large dimensions of psychological film project objectives for mass populations the psycorps or planning and budgeting of the Pentagon designs, this film also has latent suggestible side effects that could be harmful to young people prior to the age of disillusionment with the establishment. The film could instill phobias in young people that academic achievement or the strengthening of their intellect is somehow a demonic or alien compromise, that smart is bad and that dumb is preferred. Use this film if anything to make a fool of the corruption that thinks we take it seriously. Who is the more alien-invasion insidiousness anyway?

    There are these people out there who think they have big ideas, something to contribute. They believe in direct democracy, energy conservation, environmentalism, alternative forms of power extraction and won't learn from the coy ridicules of cinematic revisionism not to see others equally, or not bother to learn to speak some of their language. What's to be done with them? Perhaps they'll die naturally from the progression of their disease, as they so should. It seems that would be in keeping with this film's sick prescription.

    Oh, and in case you're writing in the newspaper oped style that can't make an argument without telling people what to think verbatim, remember to begin with the polemic: "That's what's going on here!..."

    ...more info
  • Really good acting and a very (VERY) stupid story
    This movie works at all only because of the quality of the acting of Travolta, Duvall, Sedgwick, Whitaker, and the others who really do commit to this incredibly dumb plot. It is easy to get caught up in the love story, and in the wonderfully nice George Malley (as all his friends do), but every piece of "knowledge" in this film is as whacked out as Lace Pennamin's stupid chairs.

    At first, when the light hits George, we buy into something unearthly has given him these powers, but when the truth is revealed late into the movie, well, let me say that what happened to George does not and cannot happen from what the story has happen to him. If you have ever had that in your family, as I have, you know what really happens and it is not, EVER, an increase in mental ability, let alone something as impossibly fanciful as telekinesis.

    Then there is the whole sinister government thing. Why do this? Why is it necessary that the government is out to enslave us by keeping us ignorant and stupid and yet if we dare rise above the enforced mediocrity, they want to take us away? This is even dumber than the asserted reason for George's abilities.

    Even so, I like every character in George's town, especially Duvall's Doc Brunder and Whitaker's Nate Pope. It is the quality of their acting and commitment to this story that makes the film work at all. When I first saw it, I suspended belief and common sense all the way until the George finds out about the source of his powers. Then I got annoyed and the feeling kept increasing all the way to the end. Still, Travolta and Duvall do have a great scene together at the hospital that would have worked in any movie without all this other nonsense.

    Oh, well....more info
    PHENOMENON could have been one of those syrupy, maudlin-filled stories we've been handed, but thanks to an intelligent script, astute direction by Jon Turteltaub and a stunning cast, this movie is poignant, touching and an affirmative nod to the human spirit. John Travolta in one of his best performances plays George, an auto mechanic who one night "sees a bright light", is stunned by it and wakes up changed. He is now obsessed with knowledge, of learning, and he's a little telekinetic to boot. How this affects him and the people in his small town overrides the obligatory governmental intervention subplot. Travolta is marvelous and so is the rest of the cast: Kyra Sedgwick as the relation-phobic young mother who is the object of Travolta's affections; Robert Duvall is superb as the doctor/friend who tries to get Travolta through this change; Forest Whitaker as his farmer buddy. In fact, the whole cast is right on target in support of this remarkable leading performance. PHENOMENON is touching, and offers a look at how Travolta's friends find themselves both in awe and in fear of his newfound powers....more info
    This movie is a special piece all the way. Travolta shines - and the chemistry is perfect in all other characters. If you read about spiritual light and sound in Paul Twitchell's The Flute of God (!!!), you have an even better handle on the depth of this movie! Movie and book can expand what you are . . . if it's your time. ...more info
  • One of my top 10!
    Fantastic! I loved the story, and Travolta was absolutely brilliant playing George! I think that this movie teaches us a lot about life and relationships with people around us. It went straight to my heart! Some of my friends didn't like it, but as far as i'm concerned, BUY IT! It's a must!...more info
  • A movie about our own possibilities
    John Travolta plays a small town Mechanic that sees a light in the sky one night. After which he has trouble sleeping and his mind works out all sorts of problems. He is capable of learning so much in so little time. This often scares others around him that are not used to this side of him. He is challenged with dealing with his abilities, his love interest, and how others perceive him, not to mention a few alphabet agencies that want him as well.

    In the end, he only has a short time to do what he wants. Great movie, bit of a tear jerker, one for the library....more info
  • john travoltas best
    i loved it. it made me think about the entire world and minused out all the bullies that didnt have a heart. its just my all time favorite flick. it made me cry....more info
  • it's a wonderful life?
    Watch Phenomenon with Frank Capra's christmas classic and see how each life touches another. even the characters names are similar. the perfect date movie....more info
  • Travolta's Best
    I love this movie. It will always be part of my permanent collection for its timeless brilliance and beauty. I know that at times it can be a bit sappy or outdated as some have mentioned, but I have watched this movie dozens of times and have yet to be disappointed. It is interesting, thought provoking, romantic and emotional. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have....more info
  • Graceful, warm, funny, and genuine.
    I thoroughly enjoyed Phenomenon, which I found to be an unusually graceful, warm, and genuine movie. Sure, it had flaws, and one could take issue with a variety of departures from reality. But the characters genuinely care for each other and the dialoge and behavior carefully reflect that. I didn't try to take it too seriously, as I fell in love with George, the Dr., and Lace. George genuinely cares about his friends. The Dr., played wonderfully by the great Robert Duvall, understands people, and Lace is over the top sexy ( like some jewish women I have known...can Sedgwick be a jewish name?) I thought the writing was great. How about George teaching Nate the portuguese language? Marvelous! The little details and cinematography were very well done in this picture. Kudos to the writer, director, and the guys behind the cameras.

    An added bonus is the soundtrack, which throughly enhances the movie at every turn. Well done. My final comment is absolutly true - I could watch this movie a hundred times. I'm remodeling a house, and I play it in the background some days, so I've already seen it at least a dozen times.

    Many thanks....more info
  • Phenomenal!
    "Phenomenon" has to be John Travolta's best role ever! His role as "George" almost seems to nice to rate this a 5-star movie. However, the role was played like it should have been. To me, the movie is all about relationships we have with each other and how we effect others through those relationships. The movie has you speculating why he now has a "special gift" as evidenced on the assumptions of the townsfolks. He's betrayed often in the name of fear and ignorance. Yet, he never gives up his friendship. The emotional swings that fly through the movie seem very genuine in the characters. I felt that the casting was excellent and highly recommend this movie to everyone. It's one I'm glad to have as part of my DVD Collection!...more info
    This movie is a special piece all the way. Travolta shines - and the chemistry is perfect in all other characters. If you read about spiritual light and sound in Paul Twitchell's The Flute of God (!!!), you have an even better handle on the depth of this movie! Movie and book can expand what you are . . . if it's your time. ...more info
  • Excellent!
    This is a fun film about a country "bumpkin" who appears to be zapped in the head by something from the sky. All of a sudden he becomes super smart and has telekenetic powers. The more he tries to help the townspeople with his new wisdom and powers, the more they fear him and are also jealous of him.

    Throughout the film the two people who stand by him are his best friend and the girl who makes wicker chairs (Kara Sedgewick) that he continually buys even though he doesn't need them.

    When the truth to his condition is learned the government wants to exploit him and Travolta has to decide to either be a part of what they want or do what he wants.

    Great film from beginning to end....more info

  • good but not great
    i think this is a pretty good movie i actually went to see it two weeks in a row when it was out at the i own the tape.travolta gives a good does everyone else.i disaggre with the other viewres who said that this is one of the best movies of all time its not that great.Intersting factoid. david gallgher who plays sedwicks son. also start with travolta in look whos talking now....more info
  • One of Travoltas best
    Phenomenon like Michael were both made in 1996 and this is a great example of the genius of John Travolta picking great projects and taking risks to make the movies that test our spiritual senses. After all was this a spiritual movie or a science movie? Romance or on about how we treat people whom we call "different" or even gifted. The way the people around him were see saw in how they saw him. Both skeptic but also wanting to test him and get something from him themselves.

    Then there were the underlying and I think well written "big government" questions when the main character is basically treated as an enemy of the government when it is discovered in his trying to help he is labeled a subversive of some sort.

    John Travolta plays such gentle and wise souls so well. This an MICHAEL are favorites....more info

  • If you love someone, buy their chairs
    I watched this again for about the fourth time and it always gets me. The plot requires some forceful suspension of disbelief, but the characters, the acting, and the emotional territory explored by the film are believable and affecting. I love the gentleness, humor and forgiveness of human foibles; at times it almost feels informed by the work of Steinbeck. The love story is sweet, but the friendships John Travolta has with Robert Duvall and Forest Whitaker are perfect. Viewing is enhanced by lovely sets, scenery and cinematography and a pleasant soundtrack. Corny for sure, but in this case I don't mind a bit. ...more info
  • Stranger Than Fiction
    Travolta is everywhere, and he just keeps getting better and better. Here, as a man transformed by fate, he gives one of his most subtle and electrifying performances ever.

    One evening, at a party to celebrate his 37th birthday, George stumbles outside, mug o' beer in hand, and is bowled over by a strange light in the sky. Is it a U.F.O. or is this country bumpkin seeing things? George's (and the whole town's) true astonishment comes when he discovers that now he's able to break secret government codes, predict earthquakes, and read four or five books a day. And in his free time he's designing cars that run on fertilizer. Now that's what I call getting the most out of your education.

    Eventually the yokels turn against and reject what they can't understand. George becomes an oddity, some even believe a prophet. He's rounded up the feds, studied like a lab rat, and then left to deal with the consequences of his miraculous metamorphosis.

    Phenomenon attacks its subject in an unpreachy, down-to-earth way that makes believability a given. Always engaging and life-affirming, it forgoes most of the mumbo-jumbo these kinds of tales often ply us with and takes on a simple, unassuming, and utterly affecting tone. And that's no hocus pocus....more info

  • Travolta's Best
    I love this movie. It will always be part of my permanent collection for its timeless brilliance and beauty. I know that at times it can be a bit sappy or outdated as some have mentioned, but I have watched this movie dozens of times and have yet to be disappointed. It is interesting, thought provoking, romantic and emotional. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have....more info
  • Very good movie
    After trashing several of John's movies I thought I would review one that I really liked. It is a good story about a man who suddenly finds that his ability to reason has been kicked up by a factor of ten. He manages to design a super fertilizer, court a lonely widow and become an icon for his small community less then a year. It is a great movie to rent with your date.

    Overall-If you like K-Pax you will like this.
    ....more info

    The temptation with Phenomenon is to read into it all sorts of rubbish about new age issues. For me the movie was a marvelous exploration about the possibilities of the human spirit and mind. How many of us read as much as we should? How many of us seek to truly understand our interests and curiosities? Phenomenon invites us to begin where we are, regardless of education and experience, and take steps to actively continue the learning process.

    The movie also speaks volumes about how society accepts or, in most cases, rejects a phenomenon that defies understanding.

    John Travolta shines in one of his very best roles as George Malley, a common farmer who, because of experiences beyond his control, learns just how deep the mind of a common man can be. His sensitive performance, frankly, was just too moral and good, to warrant any attention by the Academy. Travolta's performance is very aptly supported by Kyra Sedgwick (Mr. & Mrs. Bridge), Forest Whitaker (Good Morning Vietnam), and Robert Duvall (Lonesome Dove)....more info

  • Has no one noticed ???????????
    This is a parable of Jesus, if you think about it, in a humanistic setting. From the 'holy' spirit visiting him to the last supper, Mary Magdelan, etc.
    This is the interest in the film, with people objectifying him, expecting miracles, harrassing him, turning on him etc etc, ( without giving away too much of the plot)
    Look at this and think about Jesus in a different way, perhaps his real message has been missed amongst the mystical mumbo jumbo and political infighting amongst his 'followers'....more info
  • A must see!!!!
    This is Travolta's best movie by far, but keep the tissue box near by. I have seen it many times and still cry. It is a movie that everyone must see!...more info
  • One of the few great Travolta movies
    While not usually caring for a Travolta Movie, I found this one to be different.. A good movie with a powerful message.. This is the only Travolta movie that I own.....more info
  • "Forest Gump" and "Powder" shake hands. A tender movie, despite a rather unsatisfying ending.
    "Forest Gump" and "Powder" greet each other very warmly in a movie that stars John Travolta as a man who plays a combination of the two other mentioned fictional characters. This was a very tender and moving film that is well acted and is not the usual role that we are used to seeing Travolta star in. Although I really enjoyed this film, I have always found the ending in wanting, and, quite frankly, disappointing. With all the genius that Travolta developed, you would think that he would have been able to build a device that could heal his condition.

    Despite the disappointing ending, this is a film that can still be enjoyed due to the marvelous performances of Travolta, Duvall, and Sedgewick, as well as the peaceful setting of the sleepy small town in
    which the film takes place. ...more info
    There are some occasional moments, but basicially this is borrow from last year's Powder, which is basically on the same plot. Silly....more info
  • Non-anamorphic DVD's are bad investments...Great movie
    Great movie, a 5.
    Since July of 2001 there is no reason to release a non-anamorphic (or "Enhanced for 16X9 TV'S) DVD. It does not cost any more to encode the extra video information. You only have to click on a check-box in the software. "Anamorphic" DVD's contain about 30% more video information on them. Non-anamorphic DVD's are blurry when viewed on a 16X9 (widescreen) TV. This will require us to buy another DVD when we upgrade...hmm, maybe there is a reason to still release non-anamorphic DVD's......more info