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
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.