Matthew McConaughey (Contact, Reign of Fire) takes his turn in Indiana Jones territory in Breck Eisner's Sahara, playing the part of adventurer Dirk Pitt, the hero of Clive Cussler's novel.

Cussler is not pleased by the film's departures from his original plot, but that didn't keep Sahara from leaping to the top of the box office. McConaughey is backed up by Penelope Cruz (After the Sunset, Frida) and Steve Zahn (Out of Sight, Riding in Cars With Boys) in a fast-paced adventure that has critics—mainstream and Christian press alike—pulling out their thesauruses to find synonyms for "dry," "barren," "wasteland," and "parched." In other words, they're not very impressed.

Russ Breimeier (Christianity Today Movies) says, "It's not that this is a bad movie. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if some embraced it like National Treasure as a wholesome adventure film that's family friendly. But unfortunately, Sahara isn't a good movie either, more likely to generate indifference than thrills. It's vapid, lengthy, and mostly lifeless … kind of like the desert it's named for."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) calls it a "lackluster and, at times, absurdly silly action adventure. Aside from some handsome David Lean-flavored photography, Sahara, like the desert itself, is, for the most part, arid."

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) says, "Eisner … doesn't seem to trust the material enough to keep a consistent tone throughout. Still, if you like your adventures to be of the mindless variety, you may find something to appreciate in Sahara. It's just that finding it may be a bit like coming across an oasis while wandering about in an arid wasteland."

Marcus Yoars (Plugged In) says, "Improbable. That's a word that ...

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