The Rock Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 92 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: All of San Francisco is taken hostage when a vengeful general (Harris) seizes control of Alcatraz Island, threatening to launch missiles loaded with deadly poison gas. With time running out, only a young FBI chemical weapons expert (Cage) and a notorious federal prisoner (Connery) have the skills to penetrate the island fortress and defuse the lethal situation. (Buena Vista Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. 88
    It's a popcorn-movie deluxe.
  2. 78
    The Guy Movie to end all Guy Movies, a ridiculously overblown summer testosterone blowout right down to the Wagnerian strains of the soundtrack and its stunningly high body count. It's also a hell of a lot of fun.
  3. Bay has two great assets in Connery and Cage. The special effects give The Rock a James Bondian feel so Connery's wry, world-weary devil-may-careishness looks right at home here.
  4. Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage inject tasty bits of personality into their roles.
  5. The Rock is just typical big American dumb fun.
  6. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    The presence of Connery is pure balm, purring those Celtic tones like smoky single-malt Scotch.
  7. Can a mild-mannered toxicologist and an eccentric Alcatraz veteran stop him before it's too late? Learning the answer means sitting through more than two hours of violence, vulgarity, and all-around excess, served up with high-tech trimmings by director Michael Bay.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Jan 19, 2011
    I have to disagree WilliamO. You have to understand that this movie was made in the 90's, back then the movies weren't as good as they are now. Also the movie shows what goes on in the marines mind, what they think should happen. Over all "The Rock" is and will always be my number one movie. This movie is Michael Bay's best movie besides transformers. Expand
  2. Sep 28, 2011
    Here's a shocker... one of my favorite films of all time is a **** Michael Bay movie! But ya know what, that doesn't matter, because Michael Bay managed to actually combine his great action sensibilities with superb storytelling. Everything here is outrageous and explosiony and exciting, but without going so far over the top that it becomes incredibly retarded and irritating, e.g. Armageddon, Bad Boys 2. This is, in my opinion, the perfect modern day action flick. Navy Seals, U.S. Marines, jet fighters, a deadly nerve toxin, Sean Connery being a bad ass, Nicholas Cage being crazy **** Nicholas Cage and allowing us to laugh at him... it has it all. I wouldn't even say that The Rock is all that smart. If you really think about it, Hummel's reason for turning traitor and holding an entire city hostage is just kinda weak. It's just that the moments in the film all work. When those Navy SEALs are ambushed in that shower room and hold their ground, you can feel the terror in their eyes, you can sense the tension and dread looming in the background. You know something tragic is about to happen, and then it does and there's tears in your eyes and your heart sinks. It's one of the most masterful and emotional scenes in any action film.

    And of course, the relationship between Cage and Connery just hits on all cylinders. Their back and forth banter and grudging friendship, it all comes together and elevates the entire film. And really, you can go outside of that. It's not just Cage and Connery, but Connery and anybody. Connery trading quips with Michael Biehn, Connery joking with the hair stylist, Connery in a verbal duel with John Spencer's character, it's all just really entertaining and fun to watch. It's sad that all of Bay's films after this have failed to live up to the promise that The Rock showed us. Perhaps he was just more hungry and determined back then, who knows. But even if Transformers 3 turns out to be a turd on the order of the Star Wars prequels, I'll still remember him as the director of this great action flick.
  3. Jul 20, 2013
    Never thought Michael Bay could make a movie like this, a classic!
    Watch this even if you are not a Michael Bay fan, it deserves your
    attention, there's nothing more I can say. Expand
  4. Jul 22, 2011
    Michael Bay's second and second best film. Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage work really good together, and Ed Harris is great as usual. Since it is a Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer film, it has it's share of big explosions and fast edited shots. Good story and acting all the way around. A much better effort for Michael Bay this time around then Bad Boys. Collapse
  5. Apr 22, 2014
    The Rock is a fun time at the movies. It's implausible as hell, no doubt, but it's still thrilling. Its scenes of action are tense and well-edited. It might not contribute anything new to cinema, but it's still worthy of a watch or two. Michael Bay directed this one, so expect many an explosion. Expand
  6. Nov 11, 2012
    Why did I watch it?
    This is one of those films that I should have seen but for no particular reason I haven't. Instead I've managed to see
    Con Air probably half a dozen times. What's it all about?
    Ed Harris plays disillusioned US general Frank Hummel, who leads his rogue team of Marines to seize control of Alcatraz, taking 81 hostages in the process. Armed with biological VX missiles aimed at San Francisco, Hummel demands funds for the families of those marines who have died in deniable operations. The US governments teams up FBI chemical specialist Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) with former SAS operative and Alcatraz inmate John Mason (Sean Connery) to save the day.

    Should you watch it?
    The Rock is a straight forward action film with no regrets. Bang for your buck director Michael Bay's second film delivers gun fights, car chases, explosions a plenty, all tethered to a pretty zany plot. He finds time to squeeze in some instantly recognisable shots, namely the slow motion shots of Cage getting to his feet a la Will Smith in Bad Boys.

    The three leads play there characters well. Harris plays Hummel dead straight and manages to give him several dimensions. Cage is his fairly usual character, the goofy, funny, out of place hero. Connery brings some extra class to the film although he does have a few cheesy lines that would make a Bond script look Shakespearian. Producers Bruckheimer and Simpson gave soundtrack duties to Hans Zimmer, who delivers another fantastic Zimmer special.

    As 1990's action films go, The Rock is up with the best of them.
  7. WilliamO.
    Jan 18, 2009
    On of the worst movies ever. Unrealistic in almost all aspects , it screams Hollywood cliche at every corner. The Bad Guys are sophisticated and an deadly at the start, while the recue team is shown to be reminiscant of the Keystone cops, with the exception of the 2 men least suited for the Job. But when thesesame to go against the rest of the Island weare suddenly led to believe that the Bad guys are bumbling fools. Only an idiot would find this movie entertaining, Definetly one of Micheal Bay's worst. Expand

See all 18 User Reviews