Ghosts of the Abyss

Lewis Abernathy, Dr. Lori Johnston, Don Lynch, Ken Marschall, Bill Paxton

Directed by James Cameron
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3.5
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
April 4, 2003

Despite over-ripe narration and an understandable urge to cram too much in, Ghosts of the Abyss is a thrilling documentary. Titanic director James Cameron goes 2.5 miles beneath the Atlantic to explore the sunken ship that took 1,500 lives, and emerges with something historic and eye-popping. How could it not be, since Cameron filmed the expedition in digital 3-D for IMAX screens.

earing 3-D glasses for the film's one-hour length is a small price to pay for the reach-out-and-touch experience. Cameron had used footage of the real ship in his Oscar-winning 1997 film, but the technology didn't exist at the time for cameras to go deep into the ship.

t does now. Once Cameron, along with scientists, historians and Titanic actor Bill Paxton, descended in subs, two small, mobile cameras — nicknamed Jake and Elwood — were sent out to explore. Designed by Mike Cameron, the director's brother, the cameras — operated by remote and connected to the subs by fiber-optic cable — pick up images that will take your breath away. Cameron uses photos, bios, even dramatic re-creations. Too much? Maybe. But the ghost of the great ship that went down in 1912 will haunt your dreams.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    • Child of God
      star rating
      Well Go USA Entertainment
    • lucy
      star rating
      Universal Pictures
    • star rating
      IFC Films
    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “San Francisco Mabel Joy”

    Mickey Newbury | 1969

    A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

    More Song Stories entries »