The Rock

The Rock Image
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 285 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: All of San Francisco is taken hostage when a vengeful general (Ed 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 (Nicolas Cage) and a notorious federal prisoner (SeanAll of San Francisco is taken hostage when a vengeful general (Ed 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 (Nicolas Cage) and a notorious federal prisoner (Sean Connery) have the skills to penetrate the island fortress and defuse the lethal situation. [Buena Vista Entertainment] Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24
  1. 88
    A first-rate, slam-bang action thriller with a lot of style and no little humor.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Desmond Ryan
    Jan 13, 2016
    75
    The borrowings from other movies, going all the way back to the car chase in 1968's Bullitt, are heavy. But Bay has three leads to lend weight and dimension to characters who are hardly original and flatly written.
  4. Reviewed by: Chris Kridler
    Jan 13, 2016
    63
    Connery and Cage are a compelling team and redeem the film from ruin despite the mechanical plot, an excessive body count and a miraculous recovery (you'll know it when you see it).
  5. Slick and forceful, largely unconcerned with character, eager for any opportunity to pump up the volume both literally and metaphorically, The Rock is the kind of efficient entertainment that is hard to take pleasure in.
  6. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    Buried under an avalanche of action. (1996 June 7, pg. D1)
  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 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Jan 19, 2011
    10
    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 areI 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. Jul 27, 2011
    10
    This is one of my favorite films. It has everything you could possibly want in an action movie: action, drama, humor, a car chase, a loveThis is one of my favorite films. It has everything you could possibly want in an action movie: action, drama, humor, a car chase, a love story, suspense and the voice of Sean Connery. And the music is also great. Watch it, rent it or buy it, you won't be disappointed Expand
  3. Sep 28, 2011
    10
    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 MichaelHere'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.
    Expand
  4. Jul 14, 2015
    8
    The Rock is Michael Bay's best film without a doubt. The action is great and the plot doesn't get too out of hand. The movie is fun as hellThe Rock is Michael Bay's best film without a doubt. The action is great and the plot doesn't get too out of hand. The movie is fun as hell and the cast is excellent. Nick Cage was becoming one of the biggest action stars of the 90's and Sean Connery was well established, even legendary. After watching this film it makes me miss Connery a bit, I thought he was amazing. There are also a few laughs to be had throughout the film. If you are a action fan please check out The Rock even if you aren't a fan of Michael Bay's other movies. Expand
  5. [Anonymous]
    Oct 7, 2005
    8
    Believe it or not, Michael Bay did make a strong, GOOD action movie, and here it is.
  6. Apr 3, 2016
    7
    A tense tale of rebel military officers who take over Alcatraz Island and threaten to unleash rockets on San Francisco unless their demandsA tense tale of rebel military officers who take over Alcatraz Island and threaten to unleash rockets on San Francisco unless their demands are met, this is a pure popcorn picture that benefits heavily from its trio of highly skilled, charismatic leading thesps, an unusual setting that provides plenty of visual stimulation, and a confrontational standoff that actually stems from a legitimately provocative premise.

    The yarn has its share of gaping holes and jaw-dropping improbabilities, but director Michael Bay sweeps them all aside with his never-take-a-breath pacing that refuses to allow more than a few minutes to go by without some new dilemma that only action, not talk, can resolve.

    Opening stretch is given over to the perpetrator of the dastardly scheme, Brig. Gen. Hummel (Ed Harris), a veteran of every U.S. military engagement since Vietnam. Considered a legend and a super-patriot, Hummel has overseen dozens of covert operations in which men were lost and has reached his limit with the government’s refusal to acknowledge these soldiers’ contributions or to provide their families with the benefits received by those of other combat victims. He is, without question, a rebel with a cause, and a plausible one at that.

    But his scheme is off the wall. With an elite unit of like-minded mutineers, Hummel absconds with a bunch of rockets loaded with deadly V.X. liquid gas, takes 81 hostages from a tour group on Alcatraz and promises to launch the missiles on the Bay area unless Washington forks over $ 100 million from a secret slush fund within 40 hours.

    Furthering the conspiratorial air of illegal activities and under-the-radar government shenanigans is the emergence of the only man who can save the day, John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery), a former SAS operative who was secretly imprisoned for making off with J. Edgar Hoover’s most closely held secrets.

    He also happens to know Alcatraz better than anyone, having successfully escaped from “the Rock” before being put away forever.

    Officially, Mason doesn’t exist, but he is nonetheless compelled to lead a team of Navy SEALs underwater to Alcatraz. His job is to guide them up through the bowels of the old fort, and FBI biochemical weapons expert Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) will disarm the rockets.

    Hummel has other ideas, however, and his men ambush all the commandos except for Mason and Goodspeed, who must then try to finish the job by themselves before the Air Force is obliged to attack and kill all the hostages along with Hummel and his outfit.

    If you can’t tell it’s a Simpson-Bruckheimer picture within the first reel or two, the tip-off comes soon enough, when Mason, looking like John the Baptist and about as old, demands a suite at the Fairmont Hotel and a complete makeover (from an incredibly caricatured gay hairdresser) before cooperating with the authorities.

    Once he looks sufficiently dashing, he dangles the FBI chief, his old nemesis , over the edge of the hotel and leads Goodspeed on a gratuitously and disagreeably destructive car chase.

    He follows that with a brief chat with the daughter he never met, then dons his wetsuit in what is, for Connery, a little homage to the aquatic interlude of “Thunderball.”

    Bay, who debuted with the same producers’ “Bad Boys” last year, seems right at home with the macho posturing, tough talk and military logistics, as he delivers a hard-hitting, fast-moving thriller that, if anything, works overtime to make sure the audience will hang on every incident and maneuver.

    Script seems tailor-made to extract the particular charms of each of the three leading men. With occasional sly references to his British intelligence background and other Bondian traits, Connery trades winningly on his sophisticated, elegant sense of cool, and callowness of many of the youngsters around him is nicely shown up by his older-but-wiser finesse.

    Cage, in his first appearance since his Oscar win, proves equally engaging as a sort of goofy chemical-set geek who must rise to the occasion of proving he’s a man among the he-men elite.

    He makes Goodspeed’s early, bumbling attempts to act tough genuinely amusing and provides a necessary human connection in a world otherwise populated by ultra-pumped military types.

    Technically, pic is the most well-oiled of machines, with loads of rockets, heavy artillery, planes, choppers, cars, a Humvee and underwater gear providing plenty of toys for big boys to drool over. Lensing by John Schwartzman bathes certain key scenes in blues and blacks so that the blood doesn’t show too much. Richard Francis-Bruce’s editing never lets up, nor does the synthesizer-dominated score by Nick Glennie-Smith and Hans Zimmer.
    Expand
  7. WilliamO.
    Jan 18, 2009
    0
    On of the worst movies ever. Unrealistic in almost all aspects , it screams Hollywood cliche at every corner. The Bad Guys are sophisticated 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 28 User Reviews

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