Buena Vista Pictures | Release Date: June 7, 1996
8.8
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 294 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
259
Mixed:
23
Negative:
12
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4
CooterPatooterMar 20, 2012
Probably Michael Bay's best film... and I did NOT mean that as a compliment!
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5
cameronmorewoodNov 7, 2012
One of the better films from Michael Bay. At least its not completely soulless.
0 of 4 users found this helpful04
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4
dyshpoJul 30, 2013
Awesome cool action film great fun watch this a lot on DVD. But over done use of overly dramatic close ups but still a very watchable movie Back when Nick Cage was stable and Sean Connery was capable,
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6
AbeMCJun 25, 2016
Great action movie that wears out its welcome a little. Sean Connery is awesome, Harris starts wooden but warms up, and while I'm not a fan of Nicholas Cage, he is good here. Michael Bay's directing is slick and keeps things moving, and theGreat action movie that wears out its welcome a little. Sean Connery is awesome, Harris starts wooden but warms up, and while I'm not a fan of Nicholas Cage, he is good here. Michael Bay's directing is slick and keeps things moving, and the music score, while maybe not quite as good as the soundtrack for the first Bad Boys, has some great tunes and impact. The story is maybe not the greatest, but all the actors commit (especially William Forsythe) and as long as you don't stop to think about it, it's fine.

All of the above starts to blur together after the fifth (or sixth, or seventh) big action set-piece, though. A great movie to watch for kicks, or to scratch the action movie itch.

Bonus points for The Rock not being filled with CGI garbage (CGI was only just getting started at the time it was made).
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6
SpangleDec 15, 2016
The Rock is one of Michael Bay's best works, though it does pale in comparison to his best film, Armageddon. Released two years prior to this peak, The Rock features a lot of positive elements. From spectacular action sequences, solid acting,The Rock is one of Michael Bay's best works, though it does pale in comparison to his best film, Armageddon. Released two years prior to this peak, The Rock features a lot of positive elements. From spectacular action sequences, solid acting, and being gloriously over-the-top, the film has a bad ending that too fully embraces lunacy to feel appropriate. Featuring a cast led by Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, and Ed Harris, The Rock is hardly restrained and is in danger of careening off the edge throughout, but it remains a wildly entertaining and bombastic experience that highlights some of the best elements that Bay has to offer the world of cinema.

With masterfully shot action scenes, Bay graces the film with a style all his own and, though he indulges a bit too much in explosions, the film is still a great action movie. Throughout, Bay laces the film terrific tension as Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) and John Mason (Sean Connery) race through Alcatraz to try and save San Francisco from assured death at the hands of General Hummel (Ed Harris). In the scenes in Alcatraz, The Rock really soars with great tension, fun set pieces, and incredibly well shot action scenes. Here, Cage and Connery feed off of one another with great chemistry as the duo ham it up in this insane action movie. As the villain, Harris is oddly sympathetic. Hardly a killer in the vein of many movie villains, Harris merely wants recognition for his fallen comrades, not to kill thousands of people. A true leader, Harris' Hummel is a man who instills fear, but is well-developed enough to make him an admirable foe. Compared to modern action movies, creating a villain that is incredibly worthwhile and not just after world dominance sets The Rock apart and makes it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Yet, aside from this, The Rock loses weight compared to a film such as Armageddon. Both show that Bay knows action, as all of his work honestly does. Armageddon, however, showed that he knew how to create pathos. Throughout, you root for the good guys for a variety of reasons and there are incredible stakes. The Rock does not boast this quality. It tries to create it with Dr. Goodspeed and his pregnant girlfriend or Mason and his adult daughter, but both fail. Neither woman is given enough screentime, Goodspeed's girlfriend is a moron and never in harm's way, and Mason's daughter comes and goes as quickly as a Michael Bay explosion. As such, The Rock has thrills and tension, but lacks an effective emotional edge to really given the film depth and punch. As a result, it is a largely hollow experience with very few lasting moments from the film.

More egregiously, the ending is nearly comical. Yes, the rest of the film is over-the-top and insane, but with the bombing of Alcatraz and the scene in the Church at the end, The Rock goes a little too crazy with the hilarity. In particular, the final line of the film and underlying element throughout regarding what Mason knew about top secret information hardly adds to the film and instead makes it an exercise in stupidity.

Fortunately though, The Rock remains action-packed with killer action sequences such as the one in the showers or the moment before with John Mason rolling through the flame throwers. Over-the-top and exaggerate, Bay shoots these moments with incredible style that leaves you wanting more and fully engaged in the sheer entertainment of the film. Throughout, Bay gets incredibly creative with a good backstory about the weapon. He also does add some depth story-wise with an appeal to recognize fallen soldiers and to step back from the ledge in regards to biochemical warfare. A worthy message, this film serves as a wake-up call as to what is possible if we lose our ethical mindsets.

Overall, The Rock is an entertaining film that stands amongst Michael Bay's best work. With campy performances, a great villain, and an interesting story with great action and tension, The Rock simply falls apart by lacking pathos and a suitable ending.
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