Waterworld (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes


Waterworld (1995)



Critic Consensus: Though it suffered from toxic buzz at the time of its release, Waterworld is ultimately an ambitious misfire: an extravagant sci-fi flick with some decent moments and a lot of silly ones.

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Movie Info

This epic sci-fi actioner is set 200 years in the future. The polar ice caps have melted, flooding the continents and creating a giant ocean. People are few and far between, living as sailors or on rickety atolls made from scrap metal; in this time, dry land is considered a myth and dirt and water have become the most valuable currency. The film begins as a mysterious Mariner aboard his ingenious trimaran urinates carefully into a small jar. He then pours the golden liquid into a filtration device that purifies it and makes it drinkable. The Mariner is self sufficient and eschews humanity, except for occasional stops for supplies. He is different from other humans in that he has developed functional gills and has webbed feet. Such a mutation makes him a pariah. He cruises into a rusty atoll and tries to exchange dirt for supplies. The half-crazy people within the fortress end up putting him in a cage and planning to recycle him in a bubbling vat of green effluvium. Just before he is to die, the fortress is attacked by a flotilla of Smokers (tobacco addicted sea bikers) led by the bald, one-eyed and crazy Deacon who has come to search for a little girl with a strange tattoo on her back that is said to be a map leading to dry land. The girl and her mother escape with the reluctant Mariner. Eventually Deacon and the Smokers capture the girl and it is up to the fishy stranger to save her from their hulking lair (which turns out to be the notorious wreck of the Exxon Valdez).

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R.D. Call
as Enforcer
Kim Coates
as Drifter No. 2
Chaim Jeraffi
as Drifter No. 1
John Fleck
as Doctor
Robert Joy
as Ledger Guy
John Toles-Bey
as Plane Gunner
Sab Shimono
as Elder No. 1
Leonardo Cimino
as Elder No. 2
Zitto Kazann
as Elder No. 3/Survivor No. 1
Ric Aviles
as Gatesman
Rita Zohar
as Atoller
August Neves
as Old Atoller
Neil Giuntoli
as Hellfire Gunner
Gregory B. Goossen
as Sawzall Smoker
Ari Barak
as Atoll Man
Alexa Jago
as Atoll Woman
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Critic Reviews for Waterworld

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (12)

That Costner's antihero should be so fundamentally dislikable is entirely acceptable - after all, the Mariner's arc makes him an eternal outsider... - but that he should also be deadly dull is less so

January 21, 2019 | Full Review…

Costner... is totally humorless and as dreary as the landscape he travels. And the uninspired and often inane dialogue in Peter Rader and David Twohy's script doesn't help.

June 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Waterworld is a pretty damn good summer movie. There, I've said it...it's a breezy, clever entertainment with stirring effects.

February 15, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's a genuine vault at greatness that misses the mark -- but survives.

June 18, 2002 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A moderately successful guy's movie with both weak and strong elements where lots of things are brilliantly blown up and few things make any kind of sense.

February 13, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Has the makings of a cult movie.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Waterworld


To me this is a underrated film. Sure it had a lot of hate with the critics and people at the time, and it was the biggest budget film made at the time, and it didnt come close to making its money back, which is a shame, because I honestly thought it was a entertaining film. The acting was decent, though it was over the top a few times, it still did its job at telling a entertaining and interesting story. Sure it has a few plot holes and some pretty stupid characters, but that doesn't mean its a horrible film. Also the musical score for the film was fantastic, especially the beginning song which sounded like an african kind of song. Its also interesting in the film how in the film you see how everything works in this world, like how a boat works, or how a plane works, which I honestly thought was pretty cool to watch and see how this world worked.

Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

Excellent! Only took me 17 years to get around to it...

Flutie Archibald
Flutie Archibald

Super Reviewer


Waterworld is famous for being one of the biggest flops in cinematic history. At the time of its release, it was the most expensive motion picture ever produced. So is the question is, "is Waterworld the worst film ever made?" Definitely not. In fact Waterworld is an awesome action adventure epic. Sure the film has its numerous flaws, but it's really entertaining, and deserves more credit than it deserves. This film is loads of fun to watch, and despite the fact that it doesn't really boast likeable characters, it more than makes up for it with exciting action. Waterworld is visually appealing and is reminiscent of The Road Warrior, albeit not as well acted or awesome as The Road Warrior. I really think that Wterworld is underrated. Sure the film is at times silly, and is not perfect, but for the most part this is still an entertaining film that delivers on the action. Dennis Hopper plays the villain and he brings a certain morbid comic relief to the role, much like his role in Speed. Waterworld is very much underrated and it's not as bad as what everyone has said it was. The plot is weak at times, but the action makes up for it. The film is silly too, but overall it's simply a very entertaining action adventure. The cast are good, and if you enjoy some mindless action film, Waterworld delivers the thrills that you'd expect. A very underrated film that doesn't deserve the flack it has received. The film is not perfect, but it's constantly exciting, and fun, epic with a great cast. Don't believe the negative reviews, this is one impressive adventure.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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