Watch Phenomenon

"Some things in life just can't be explained."
  • PG
  • 1996
  • 2 hr 3 min
  • 6.4  (83,380)
  • 41

Phenomenon is a heartwarming drama film from 1996, directed by Jon Turteltaub and starring John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, and Forest Whitaker. The film tells the story of George Malley, a thoughtful mechanic from a small town in California who suddenly and inexplicably gains extraordinary intelligence and psychic abilities. The movie opens as George, a beloved member of his community, throws a big, elaborate birthday party for himself. During the party, he notices a strange light in the sky, and the next day he wakes up feeling different. At first, he brushes it off as a strange headache and goes about his day. But soon, he realizes that he can do things that he couldn't before: he reads incredibly fast, has a photographic memory, and even learns Portuguese in a single night.

As George's intelligence and abilities grow, his relationships with those around him start to change. His best friend Nate discovers he has developed telekinetic powers, able to move objects with his thoughts. He also falls in love with a single mother named Lace, played by Kyra Sedgwick, who is initially skeptical of George's abilities but eventually becomes a believer. The two share a heartwarming bond and help each other through some of the toughest moments in the movie.

However, as George's abilities become more powerful, the town becomes increasingly suspicious of him. They start to spread rumors about him and his powers, and the local doctor even tries to convince him to undergo brain surgery to cure his condition. George goes to the city to get a second opinion and while there, his abilities are tested and it is revealed that he has a brain tumor that could kill him.

Throughout the film, George's relationships with those around him change, and he struggles to deal with the newfound attention his abilities bring. He is also aware that his powers will only last so long, and he has to figure out how to use them wisely, for the benefit of others.

Phenomenon is a lovely, captivating movie that explores themes of growth, love, and the meaning of life. John Travolta, who delivers a strong and emotive performance, plays the lead role convincingly, with a convincible vulnerability that makes him relatable to the audience. Kyra Sedgwick also shines as Lace, a character able to connect with George in a unique way. Forest Whitaker’s portrayal of Nate is similarly rich as he grapples with his own fears and insecurities in the face of George's transformation.

Despite being a drama, the movie has a lightheartedness to it, that makes it entertaining and enjoyable throughout. The score by Thomas Newman is a melancholic and ethereal delight that adds to the film's overall emotional range.

In conclusion, Phenomenon is an engaging movie with an inspiring plot, and its execution is top notch. The film's tagline, "Some things in life just can't be explained," perfectly captures the enigmatic and magical nature of the narrative. With its thoughtful exploration of the possibilities inherent in human potential and the value of love, Phenomenon is a film that will touch your heart and leave you thinking for days.

Phenomenon is a 1996 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 3 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 41.

Where to Watch Phenomenon
Phenomenon is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Phenomenon for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 3 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (83,380)
  • Metascore