Critic Reviews

  • 75
    James Berardinelli ReelViews
    The script doesn't do a great job with either the spiritual or the physical trek, but the spectacular action sequences occur with enough regularity that strong writing isn't necessary to keep Waterworld afloat.
  • 75
    Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune
    Waterworld is often entertaining because it's screwy. Could even Ed Wood Jr. have come up with those cigarette-puffing villains, in a world with hardly enough dirt for a tobacco plant? [28 July 1995]
  • 70
    Desson Thomson Washington Post
    If the story seems a little waterlogged, it's still big, loud, and fun to watch.
  • 63
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times
    A decent futuristic action picture with some great sets, some intriguing ideas, and a few images that will stay with me.
  • 60
    Todd McCarthy Variety
    A not-bad futuristic actioner with three or four astounding sequences, an unusual hero, a nifty villain and less mythic and romantic resonance than might be desired.
  • 50
    TV Guide Magazine
    Its mediocrity guarantees this lavish, soggy retread of futuristic Australian action classic "The Road Warrior" a place in the ranks of forgotten extravaganzas.
  • 50
    Elvis Mitchell The New York Times
    It lacks the coherent fantasy of truly enveloping science fiction, preferring to concentrate on flashy, isolated stunts that say more about expense than expertise. [28 July 1995]
  • 50
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle
    It's really not bad... It's a genuine vault at greatness that misses the mark -- but survives.
  • 40
    Kenneth Turan Los Angeles Times
    Though Waterworld has some haunting underwater visual moments, the film's impact is weakened by flat dialogue, an overemphasis on jokeyness and a plot that, despite all those screenwriters, does not satisfactorily hold together at any number of points.
  • 30
    Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader
    This movie feels like it was made by a bank rather than a person.