Must See: The Abyss Must-see movies are futuristic classics that shouldn't be missed. Of course, not every must-see is perfect. That's why we've rated them 1-5 on the patented "crunchy goodness" scale. Written by James Rocchi.

Title: The Abyss
Date: 1989

Vitals: The crew of an experimental deep-sea drilling station is drafted to investigate the disappearance of a U.S. nuclear sub ... and discover that the vast and dark depths of the sea hold secrets. James Cameron pushed the envelope of computer-generated special effects, but it's the ticking-clock suspense that'll have you on the edge of your seat.

Famous Names: James Cameron (Director/Writer); Ed Harris, Michael Biehn, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Cast).

Crunchy Goodness: 4

Design Breakthrough: The 'water tentacle' effect was a dry run for the morphing villain in Terminator 2.

Stunt Casting: Michael Biehn as the all-American Special Forces man who goes a little crazy under pressure.

Bang for Your Buck: Cameron's decision to shoot the diving sequences with the actual actors in custom-designed diving rigs and full-scale sets made The Abyss one of the most expensive — and arduous — shoots in moviemaking history.

Abyss Fan Page