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Director Jon Turteltaub followed up the hit While You Were Sleeping (1995) with this fantasy similar to Charly (1968) and a film from the previous year, Powder (1994). John Travolta stars as George Malley, a humble mechanic in a rural California town. On his 37th birthday, George celebrates at a pub with friends Nate (Forest Whitaker) and Doc (Robert Duvall), the local physician. When he steps outside, George observes a bright light in the sky that knocks him briefly unconscious. When he awakens, George has incredible intellectual powers. He checks books out of the library in armfuls, becomes… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Works best if you can switch off your brain. Those who can will reach weepy nirvana. Those who can't will find this sticky-sweet wallow a bit, well, dumb."
‑ Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today
"Flawed story, but compelling story does hook one."
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"Touching supernatural thriller that works thanks to compelling performances from its stars."
‑ Forrest Hartman, Reno Gazette-Journal
"The part of the movie where Malley awakens to the possibilities around him is interesting, but then it loses its way."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"For a movie that's ostensibly about intelligence, Phenomenon proves to be rather simple-minded."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Pretty lame Scientology type stuff."
‑ Alex Sandell, Juicy Cerebellum
"New Age crap"
‑ Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat
"Diabetics beware!"
‑ David N. Butterworth,
"Gentle tearjerker about sudden mental superpowers."
‑ Charles Cassady, Common Sense Media
‑ Nell Minow, Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
"A deeply satisfying movie directed by Jon Turteltaub that celebrates the bounties and the mystery of the human spirit."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A slight but agreeable blend of comedy, drama, and whimsy."
‑ Michael Dequina,
More reviews for Phenomenon on Rotten Tomatoes

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