wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

There are way too many ways to trash Phantom. But, I'll go with just silly. Plain silly.

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Director: Kabir Khan
Running time: 150 minutes
More Movie Info

Phantom - Preview

Two Kabir Khan releases in the span of a month. Unsurprisingly, two movies about India-Pakistan relationship in the span of a month. This time though, the tone is, “GO, GET THEM!” rather than the usual more pacifying one.

The setting of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack instantly touches a raw nerve. I cannot shake off the feeling that the movie is made with the intent of “taking advantage” of the emotions attached to the 26/11 attacks. Sure, all movies take advantage in some way or the other, here it doesn't feel right.

The attitude towards the attacks is one that is likely to be very popular. Yet, the only thing that stayed with me from the trailer is return of KatrinaKaif's jarring accent. It sounds more like her early days compared to the improved diction in her more recent films.

You barely see Saif Ali Khan and anyway Phantom looks more like a Bond-usque thriller. It has an intense air about it but the look and feel screams, “not to be taken seriously.” In the struggle between angst about a touchy topic and dramatizing it into a thriller, Phantom looks like it will end up being neither. Here's hoping I am wrong, at least by a bit.

Music Reviews:
Bollyspice - "3/5"
Bollywood Hungama - "3/5"
glamsham - "4/5"
Milliblog - "a punchy 3 song soundtrack."
Music Aloud – "7.5/10"

- meeta, a part of the audience

Are the makers of Phantom trying to imply that if we bring enough style to our solution to world terror problems, someone with real authority will take notice? Then all they have to do is follow the film's plan. Oh but wait, except that the terrorists have seen the film. That shouldn't be a problem though, right? I am sure the writers can come up with simplistic plans like these in a jiffy.

In my mind a thriller engages you completely for every minute of the film. Certainly not one that makes you go, “Hey wait, why is London's local news playing on Indian televisions?” or “They have gone so out of the way to make Katrina Kaif's hair look disheveled.” The reason you don't want to blink your eyes shouldn't be that you don't want to miss her losing her doll-face expression, just in case.

Speaking of delight in disorder, our man, Saif Ali Khan, just doesn't lose or loosen his swag. Be it prison-wear or Pathani, every thing looks designer because of the way he carries it. But then again, so doesn't Bond, right? So, clearly we are going for the thriller angle more than the issue at hand – revenge for 26/11.

I found the issue belittled in more ways than one. I understand that having a very close attachment to the event would have been cliché for Nawaaz (Katrina Kaif). But her connection with the event seemed a little too much like a “first world problem”, like her favorite shopping place was bombed. How are you supposed to feel sorry for her? Her concern with Daniyal's (Saif Ali Khan) mission too seemed flippant, “oh you are killing Headley? Pretty neat!”

So, all I have to bank on to get myself involved with events is my personal angst at the real-life terror attacks. And anyone who isn't living in comic-book fantasy is not a matter of a few different passports with a gun in hand.

Sure, the “smart” ways to take down a couple of the terrorists were interesting. But, the concept is still of pure revenge - misguided too. “A story you wish were true” has to be more than a marketing tagline, right? The film, like many others, assumes that the terror will die with a few people. If only world peace were that easy. Terrorists, unfortunately, are smarter than the writers of the film. And there are more than a handful around.

Even if you let go of sanity of the bigger picture, the little things are a bother too. Facts are repeated to help you make the connect. The filmmakers must be confident that the audience is not going to pay attention because the fact was mentioned 5 minutes ago. All it does is add minutes to the film that the film doesn't need.

But hey, if you don't watch the film, the extra minutes won't bother you. So, here's an idea...

- meeta, a part of the audience

32 reviewers(?) - 11 yays 9 so-so 12 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...There is a sense of growing panic in the narrative, as though time was running out. The last 20 minutes are specially riveting. The ending where Katrina sits silhouetted against the Taj hotel in Mumbai sipping chai is the only time her beautiful face comes to terms with the enormity of the tragedy that was 26/11. By then, it’s too late. Eye for an eye, did someone say? Go for it.... full review

Thumbs up, by IST, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, PHANTOM is a good action film which runs high on patriotism and will appeal to every Indian worldover. Highly Recommended... full review

Thumbs up, by Rukmini Chopra, Bollywood Life : ...Do not miss this film. It will win you over, thanks to Kabir Khan’s vision and implementation of the same. I stand convinced that this truly is a story I wish were true. Kabir has simply highlighted what most of us feel and would want in reality. A brilliant plot, teamed with thrilling action, Phantom is a must watch. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Parampara Patil Hashmi, Desi Martini : ...Verdict - All said and done, Phantom triggers the patriotic rebel in you! ... full review

Thumbs up, by Sarita A Tanwar, DNA : ...What to do: In the month of Independence Day, Phantom is the perfect film to fuel up the patriotic spirit. Go for it. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...Watch this film. Flaws aside, it talks of a real concern facing all of us, even while taking a flight of fantasy.... full review

Thumbs up, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...The editing is crisp, the pace is fast and the screenplay is commendable while the cinematography is simply breath taking. From the snow-capped mountains of Jammu to the dusty streets of Beirut, Kabir presents every frame with honesty. Another point worth mentioning is that unlike other films, which tend to drag in the second half, Phantom moves at a frenzied phase and the escape sequence of the two agents from Pakistan will most definitely have you chewing on your fingernails. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Divya Solgama, MoviezADDA : ...Dum??? The movie might not be as hard-hitting as 'D-day' or highly patriotic and entertainer like 'Baby', but nevertheless has its own style and merits to cherish. The secret desire of a true Indian is captured in this film where India fights back with vengeance and deserves to be watched by everyone who were disturbed by the terror happenings in our country. ... full review

Thumbs up, Sulekha : ...‘Phantom’ is certainly an edge-of-the-seat thriller. It must have indeed been a difficult and a spooky task to shoot in a war-prone zone.Cinematography is brilliant. The film is fast paced and gripping.... full review

Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, Times of India : ...As cinema, this thriller is over-simplified, though the gloss adds to the large-screen appeal. Saif is adept; Kat is pretty appealing (pun on the pretty because her make-up is intact even in the battlefield). Zeeshan and his jingoism in the climax gives you that proud-India moment. And, if you're still licking the wounds of that senseless Mumbai massacre, then Phantom is the balm you should reach out for... full review

Thumbs up, by Gayatri Sankar, Zee News : ...The film is worth a watch primarily because it’s based on a subject, each Indian would be able to identify with. The film is intriguing in parts and makes you wonder what will unfold next. ... full review

So-So, by Anna MM Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Sure it lacks depth and is, therefore, not particularly memorable, a far cry from Kabir’s recent Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Phantom is what we Indians call “timepass”. Considering the subject matter, it should have been more, but as it is, it’s what we Indians additionally call a “one-time watch”. ... full review

So-So, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...In short, ‘Phantom’ is a revenge we wish was smarter, even if in fiction. One-time watch.... full review

So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...s for Saif, he’s playing a character drawn from the Lord Jim template, a man with a disgraced past who now tries to redeem himself. Recall how devastatingly Amitabh Bachchan played such a character in Kaala Paththar, filled with rage and self-loathing, and look at how superficial Saif is in comparison – the externalisation of all this inner roiling is manifest in a mildly furrowed forehead.... full review

So-So, by Ameet Bhuvan , Desi Martini : ...Yet. If one is able to put politics and sensibility aside, or belongs to the tribe of social media avengers of national al pride, Phantom will work as a decent action film. Nothing o e hasn't seen before though. So be warned. less ... full review

So-So, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...All said and done, Phantom is slightly lacking in cinematic intelligence and guile. Especially when you consider Kabir Khan's last offering Bajrangi Bhaijaan. The film's sense of patriotism is kiddish and it tries a little too hard to make a hero out of its protagonist. Even then, it does enough to entertain you and keep you hooked. It would make a decent Sunday watch if not taken too seriously. ... full review

So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ... The script lacks in-depth factual support while the dialogues seem a little too pedestrian. The real problem though is Zaidi’s book itself. There are so many gaps in the telling of this fictitious tale that one would be hard pressed to believe in it entirely. – even if one wants to desperately. After all Nationalism minus factual responsibility is just another word ..isn’t it!... full review

So-So, by Zehra Abbas , : ...Phantom skates along on the surface of your consciousness, but it lacks the soul to dive deep and take hold of you. If, like all Indians, you too were scarred by 26/11, and are seeking some form of cinematic catharsis, then this is probably not the ideal film for you. However, if you're looking for a regular action thriller to watch this weekend, then by all means, check it out. ... full review

So-So, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The better actors in the cast - Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Rajesh Tailang and Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub - are no more than mere passengers on this jerky ride. Phantom is a film that knows where it is going, but has no clue how to get there. ... full review

So-So, by VISHAL MENON, The Hindu : ...Kabir 2han’s films would be a fascinating exercise. They get me thinking about the different possibilities, and what could have come of them, had the director stuck to making exactly what he wanted... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...Still many might enjoy watching it, who can keep the logic home even while going for a political-spy thriller dealing with the dead-serious issue of global terrorism. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...Khan made the equally comic-bookish Bajrangi Bhaijaan work by simply casting Salman Khan; Phantom also needed an action hero with a better connect with the viewer. With all the resources at its disposal, it’s too bad that Phantom is not a first-rate, crackling thriller. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Suparna Sharma, Deccan Chronicle : ...Here he moves his head to convey tension amidst action like a hassled, worried rooster — jerky, sudden neck movements as if he’s posing for stills rather than acting in a motion picture. Not cool. Akshay Kumar in Baby did a much better job. Katrina has one real scene, one cool shot (landline ki toh aisi ki taisi…), but hangs around much longer to hyperventilate while being grungy chic. She’s very good at it. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Aneela Zeb Babar, Desi Martini : ...Verdict - Truth in advertising. The script and any grain of intelligence plays phantom. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Gayatri Gauri, FirstPost : ...In the process, the action takes us on a whirlwind tour of London, Chicago, Beirut, Syria and Pakistan. Cinematographer Aseem Mishra’s camera creates a picturesque drama out of smoke, dust and snow-covered locations. The focus is on showing action stunts in different landscapes. It might please some, but we’ve seen far better chases and more tense covert operations in films like D-Day and Baby. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Martin D'Souza, : ...PHANTOM lacks the finesse of BABY. It's just over-the-top fluff which fails to connect to the 26/11 plot. It also tries desperately to inject some patriotic pride.... full review

Thumbs down, Hindustan Times : ...Phantom is a fictionalised account of Indian agents avenging the ghastly 26/11 Mumbai attacks. For all the high-pitch drama that you'd expect from a story as charged, Phantom lacks the sheer thrill. Not that the script does not try. In fact, it tries a little too hard. Watch Phantom if you have to, just for the character actors. All of them - be it Sohaila Kapur, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub or Sabyasachi Chakrabarty - deliver power-packed performances, as if to compensate the lead pair's lack of acting skills. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...Phantom is a hotchpotch of many Hollywood films such as Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Mission Impossible series, Captain Phillips and towards the end even Titanic. The end result is a thriller sans thrills. That you care less for Daniyal's heroic feats is the film's biggest failing. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Surabhi Redkar, koimoi : ...Not a must watch! The film does not live up to its hype. This is like watching a different version of Baby just that the agenda is different now.... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, moviedatabase : ...Over in Pakistan’s ISI, equally fine actors stand around a computer waiting forever for a jpeg to download Shameful, really. All this talk of intelligence, but no smarts anywhere in sight.Stay away from Phantom. It gives audiences a raw deal.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Which is why, this monumental tragedy needed a throbbing, emotional film that could express the collective nation's angst. It's disappointing indeed to see a film with such a passionate story, turn out this bland and lackluster!... full review

Thumbs down, by Saumil Gandhi, Upper Stall : ...Had it been an intentional action romp in the league of a James Bond film, Phantom could have worked. Given the scale and the canvas of its plot – the writers throw in everything they have, from Syria to submarines – it could even have been entertaining. ... full review

62 tweeters(?) - 42 yays 1 so-so 19 nays

WWWPPL: “@itsnisar23: Emotional Scene Saif Ali Khan Dead in the End. #Phantom” best scene of the film.

WhyNotPr: Phantom review Fantastic direction and screenplay.. Performance of everyone is also good... Movie's story is...

whirlybirdguy: Watched Phantom. Liked the movie. Wish it was true.

vinzalwayz: Most of the reviews on #Phantom are wrong, the movie is quite decent

urs_afroz: A story every Indian wish were true. India INSAAF chahti hai.! (2/2) #Phantom #Mustwatch

sylviasengupta2: Phantom is a nice movie.

Supersengupta: Phantom is a nice movie.

shyaditi: rt gurjaranand: #Phantom movie just saw. Just awesome movie...#saif is awesome... #Katrina is great.. just enjoyed…

shourygupta: #Phantom makes you emotional and patriotic at the same time. A Must Watch!!

shadesofmind: #Phantom is amazing. Clear agenda, brisk execution & flawless depiction made it a worthwhile. Eminent hardwork from @kabirkhankk Saif & Kat.

salmankifann: iFaridoon kabirkhankk #phantom is a good movie, I can give you that but #BajrangiBhaijaan & #NewYork are CLASS APA…

RKsFarnaz: Katrina was just super duper awesome with those guns. "Nawaz Mistry" is made for only Katrina Kaif, perfect choice

realgaurav26: 1st half was lil slow .. But the second half was superb and thrilling too.. @kabirkhankk u made me cry once again.. #Phantom


prateek01051998: Waooooooo #PHANTOM greattttt nice job by @KatrinaKaifFB n @saif ....supabbbbbb....... $

paramwaraich11: #PHANTOM THE Way Of Excellence @saifalikhan @KatrinaKaif_

Nav_Lal: #Phantom film mast hai.katrina...uffff dill dhakada ta hai jab naam leta hoon

MaazFarooq: I may have difference of opinion with @HamzaAliAbbasi but on this phantom issue he got all my support. He surely is sailing in good winds.

LeoLittleFish: #phantom much better than #ekthetiger Well done #saifalikhan

laskarbabul007: Phantom movie ta dekhe khub valo laglo

KattuDevotee: best patriotic and realistic movie ever #Phantom .A big salute to #KatrinaKaif #SaifaliKhan and #KabirKhan

katrinakaty6: I watched #phantom last night wooow

Just_Ge0: I'm giving Phantom Pain at least 11/10 just for Mum comments.

IamHuzzi: Phantom One Of The Best Movie Of 2015 (y) No Words To Describe. All The Audience Gave Standing Ovation At The End In Theatre. :-D

iamaki_: Phantom - Awesome movie. Its must watch for every Indian. Thankyou Kabir, Saif, Kat and all the crew members of Phantom.

harshitrana: #Phantom nicely developed movie.

gurjaranand: #Phantom movie just saw. Just awesome movie...#saif is awesome... #Katrina is great.. just enjoyed the movie...

fluidicverna: Phantom movie is a wonderful tribute to the Silent Martyrs of India

f68b78fa818d405: #Phantom... an awsm movie... loved da end

DolaMohapatra: Watched #Phantom movie. Quite an edge-of-the-seat thriller it is. Loved Cinematography; Certain shots are truly of international standard

deep_nigam: Phantom Nice movie, keeps u engaged and feel patriotic. Saif and zeeshan have done tremendously well. Katrina too was good. @kabirkhankk

CR7Tigerr: #Phantom was beyond my expectations. From action to background music, everything is superb & #SaifAliKhan is back with a BANG

cinghh: The only thing which I didn't like in #Phantom is Katrina's dialogue delivery. Behan 15 saal ho gaye, ab toh hindi dhang se bol le.

BeingTeJan: Dear PAKISTANI Aam Janta, #Phantom is not an Anti-Pakistan Film, it is an Anti-Terrorist Film. Don't spread negativity unless you watch it.

BeingKhaled: They replicated a Titanic in the end. This time it was Daniyal & Nawaaz instead of Jack & Rose :P Liked it!!!!!! #Phantom

ashokkmrsingh: Phantom movie. salute u Kabir Khan .m sure Every true Pakistani will stand against terror which is our common enemy.

arpitpanday1431: Phantom is very nice movie. Logo ko reservation k bare m chhod is movie mai batayi hui soch ke bare mai reli mrni chaiye.

anurae: Omg half way through and loving it so much i don't get it why people are saying its bad #phantom#KatrinaKaif#saif they are slaying it

AmarPrem17: #Phantom superb movie lekin emotional ke chakkar me galat end.

AliQuliMirzaAQM: Phantom amazing movie one more home run by @kabirkhan @aliqulimirza

akshayk457: Saif did a great job.. his role was intense, powerpacked and he deserves lot of applause and apprecication! #phantom

Ajaykaul8: Today watched two movies @PicturesPVR cinemas #faraar and #phantom with friends both movies are #awesome #mindblowing

BHALHARO: #Phantom slow movie with good performances by saif and kat. action sequences look very sad.

TVbuff1: Can someone plz pay for acting classes for #KatrinaKaif? #RanbirKapoor are you listening? #Phantom

Syed_Zaidier: Bajrangi Bhaijaan dekh kar jitna Dosti ka Jazba paida hua tha... Phantom ne wo saara khatam kar diya

shilparathnam: "How bad can a Kabir Khan film be?" Famous last words! Except for Saif, Katrina and the plot, Phantom was not bad.

rdx_75: Phantom.. boring and a case of wrong casting.. and poor ending..cmon..Taj me chai aur pastry

purpleinkpatid1: Sala kon tha wo jisne phantom ko 4 stars diye the. Pata chale to uss Gadhey ka handle batana...

PatrioticNoodle: Even Indian audience rejected Phantom. I feel sorry fr Mawra. She took a stand fr a movie which ws alrdy flop, no need 2 create hype, srsly.

NazishSh: #Phantom movie is just a waste of time :/

mjamilmoughal: this movie should be blocked #anti_phantom

kingrajshekar: Watched #phantom, bad casting with lose screenplay. @akshaykumar wud hv done gud job as lead. 1 day 26/11 perpetrators will b killed

KaafAlif: My Review of PHANTOM: A supposed thriller that falls flat on it's own face. Plain boring! #Phantom…

gulovesrkajol: #Phantom movie creating this btw india&pak... not nice!!donno why movies show 1 side storys in movis

GagFire2015: RT: alfrdjsph: RT kingrajshekar: Watched #phantom, bad casting with lose screenplay. akshaykumar wud hv done gud j…

ChaudhryKamar: #Phantom is more of a chutspaa!

BURNEEHAMMAD: #Phantom is the worst movie made by Bollywood.

b60581fa56874f7: Fake movie phantom.... No meaning....extremely worst acting...what the f..k yr..

ArsalaHayat: Respect Salman Khan for Bajrangi Bhaijan. No respect for Saif Ali Khan for #Phantom.

Angel_sona12: I wasn't that happy with #Phantom movie seriously since when did india started thinking of revenge. .hmmph

adityakataria12: One of the things #phantom told us was that #katrina still can't act.

_skyeRocket_: I really had high expectations from Phantom and Katrina but I'm disappointed

3 readers - 0 yays 2 so-so 1 nays

Not Interested in Watching, by Kaustubh Bhonge

Not Interested in Watching, by TimELiebe : It Just Makes Me - Uncomfortable

So-So, by Anuj

So-So, by Bollywood Movie News

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Fan

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots of gun fights.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: India takes revenge for 26/11
  • General Look and Feel: Showy war-like atmosphere. Nothing earthy about it.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Phantom - Cast, crew, links

Background Score:
Action Choreography:
Music Director:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
150 minutes

Comments (8)

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Trailer gives an impression of a cross between D-Day, Baby and Agent Vinod. And of course as Meetu said, Bond-esque feeling.

Katrina's accent, the least said the better.

Kaustubh Bhonge

It is Agent Vinod again for sure.. Can be Ignored sa(i)fely :D


Kabir Khan can never be a Neeraj Pandey. And nor can Saif play an agent as well as Akshay! There is no novelty factor in Phantom after the superbly executed and hard hitting Baby that came out 8 months ago. Phantom will find it hard to bring the audiences to the ticket window.

Funny - I thought Anil Kapoor bought the Indian rights to 24 for himself, not to hand off to Saif Ali Khan....

If I'm reading your review right, this is a vengeance thriller about some well-tailored badass taking out terrorists after what The US Media called "The Thanksgiving Attacks" in 2008? (They coincided with the US's Thanksgiving holiday weekend, you see - because, really, it all is about US! ::groan::) We were visiting friends in NYC when the news started coming in, and spent most of the next day or so watching it on CNN.

I suppose that for some viewers it might be cathartic to see a direct solution to a very personal terrorist act...? Though watching American movies and television go all Rambo on undifferentiated Middle Easterners in the wake of 9/11 (we still lived in New York City when the World Trade Center was destroyed), especially since we'd had retaliation attacks on Middle Eastern (and Southern Asian!) people living here in the wake of events and for years afterward, may not provide any sense of closure for those closest to it - it sure didn't for us, or anybody we knew who lives in NYC.


I am trying hard to think of how to label the film. I think that I shall settle for the term "amateurish attempt". Despite having a strong content the execution of it is so shabby that the outcome is a highly mediocre product. Such production worked in the 1970s and 1980s, but no more in 2015. It lacked the technical finesse and polished finishing.

Plots and sub plots to get the enemies were too simplistic. The Headley episode being a case.

Katrina Kaif is a complete misfit in the role.

All character actors were horrible. Background music score was inexistent or not in line with the unfolding story. Dialogues were written by someone thinking it's a children's film.

And finally ... what was it with the Titanic copying? Couldn't believe my eyes!!!


Phantom is just another regular masala movie minus the songs. Good enough for a one time watch. Read my review at :


If u thought Bajrangi Bhaijaan is naive and simplistic, Phantom is miles ahead! This is what separates Neeraj Pandey from the rest of the clan when it comes to making staunch edge of the seat thrillers with good amount of suspense to keep you glued. A Wednesday and Baby were perfect examples of that. Plus, unlike Baby Phantom has based itself on a real life massacre which I'm not too comfortable with. However, what holds the movie together is its fast pace and good action sequences which makes it a good enough one time watch for the multiplex crowd. Phantom will be an AVERAGE grosser.


[comment deleted because it gives a sub-plot away]

Post blood bath in Syria cut to a scene in a UK cafeteria. I can understand stitches or bandages on the hero's face. But still having the left side of the face covered in blood. Nobody bothered to clean up the wounds?

List of several such gaffes can go on.

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