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The Rock

The Rock (1996)



Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 64
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 22

For visceral thrills, it can't be beat. Just don't expect The Rock to engage your brain.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 9

For visceral thrills, it can't be beat. Just don't expect The Rock to engage your brain.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 303,297

My Rating

Movie Info

The sophomore film from former music video and commercial director Michael Bay, this fast-paced action yarn featured rapid-fire editing, a cutting-edge rock soundtrack and liberal use of shots awash in a haze of burnished hues, all trademarks of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. Nicolas Cage stars as Stanley Goodspeed, an FBI chemical weapons expert handed a unique assignment. Francis X. Hummel (Ed Harris), an insane Marine Corps general, has taken 81 tourists hostage on the abandoned


Action & Adventure

David Weisberg, Douglas S. Cook, Mark Rosner

Dec 2, 1997


Watch It Now


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All Critics (64) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (22) | DVD (28)

There isn't a shot, scene or sequence in The Rock that doesn't move furiously, typically with colored lights flashing into our faces or onto those of the actors.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You might need to take Dramamine before entering a Michael Bay movie. The one-time music-video director has an annoying habit of finding the tightest shots, editing the heck out of them and scoring the works to loud music.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For action-adventure fans, it just doesn't get any better than The Rock.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Since the plot is ridiculous, The Rock works best when it's most light-hearted.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If it's not the most awful thing I've ever seen, it's close enough to make me wince.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Rock is far from the worst movie that Bay's made, but given its roster of impressive performers and promising opening hour, it might just the ADD-afflicted filmmaker's most disappointing.

July 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

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).

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

The movie's best asset is the old-fashioned, buddy-movie interplay between Cage and Connery - Cage as the frantic, white-collar lab technician who doesn't like guns, Connery as the weathered, resourceful old pro.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Neither as cartoonish as Con Air, nor as sentimental as Armageddon, this most satisfying of blockbuster movies deserves further kudos for establishing Nicolas Cage as one of Hollywood's unlikeliest action heroes.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

As relentlessly dumb and implausible as the Die Hard movies but even more entertaining, this loud and violent action film profits greatly from the galvanizing presence of Connery.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

The filmmakers got suckered by their own high-tech effects, turning a potentially clever entertainment into yet another barrage of violence, vulgarity, and excess.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Makes up in one-liners for what it lacks in logic.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

San Francisco is awesomely beautiful, Connery is his traditionally comforting self and Cage is typically eccentric -- especially for an action hero.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Spokesman-Review (Washington)
Spokesman-Review (Washington)

The camera is always too close, and the editing extremely choppy, dizzyingly so.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

An explosive, violent, mile-a-minute actioner.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Michael Bay's saga about terrorists on Alcatraz Island doesn't have the technical wizardry of Twister or the overly complex plot of Mission: Impossible, but it does have explosive energy to burn.

October 18, 2008
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

It's an action junkie's angry fix -- 130 minutes of sound and fury, signifying nothing but big bucks and boundless contempt for viewer intelligence.

September 19, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for The Rock

The pace is too fast to stop and think about the ridiculousness of this film and this summer blockbuster extraordinaire pulls you in.
May 2, 2014
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

A thrilling and explosive great film led by a trio of fantastic actors and surprisingly well directed for a Michael Bay movie, and it also impresses for how the smart script introduces many narrative elements which turn out to play an important role further in the story.
October 24, 2013

Super Reviewer

Michael Bay's second feature film and his best. The film demonstrates everything that was exhilarating about 90's action flicks. The film is full of exciting gun fights, a great car chase in the middle of San Francisco, and explosions. When Michael Bay blows things up, he blows them up good. Despite the film's overall silly premise, the actors make it believable. The three main leads give fantastic performances. Nicolas Cage is funny, and Ed Harris gives a surprising amount of depth to his character. The guy that steals the show however, is Sean Connery. Every line that comes out of his mouth, is priceless. Michael Bay sets out to make fun popcorn flicks and in this instance, he succeeds with flying colors.
October 29, 2011
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

Michael Bay is in top form, as he directs a clever blend of storytelling and action and finally finds a great balance between the two. "The Rock" is a hard hitting action flick, that also serves as being very meaningful with it's subtle moments with Sean Connery, for being the only man to ever escape Alcatraz. He works with Stanley (Nicholas Cage) to bring down a man who is holding a group of tourists hostage in Alcatraz. This film does try a little too hard to be smart, which leaves it still having the cheesiness of any other bay flick; However, the tone is gorgeous, the soundtrack it riveting, the acting is decent but sometimes over-the-top, and the action is awesome. Overall, the film is not Bay's best flick, but it ranks very high in his best attempts. The Rock is a very solid film!
July 27, 2011
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Stanley Goodspeed: If the rocket renders it aerosol, it could take out an entire city of people.
    2. John Patrick Mason: Really? And what happens if you drop one?
    3. Stanley Goodspeed: Well, happily, it will just wipe just you and me
    4. John Patrick Mason: How?
    5. Stanley Goodspeed: It's a cholinesterase inhibitor. It stops the brain from sending messages down the spinal cord within 30 seconds. Any epidermal exposure or inhalation and you'll a twinge at the small of your back as the poison seizes your nervous system... DO NOT MOVE THAT! Your muscles freezes, you can't breathe, you spasm so hard you break your back and spit your guts out. But that's after your skin melts off.
    6. John Patrick Mason: My God.
    7. Stanley Goodspeed: Well, I think we'd like God on our side at the moment, don't you?
    – Submitted by Aaron K (2 years ago)
    1. Stanley Goodspeed: I love pressure, I eat it for breakfast!
    – Submitted by Aaron K (2 years ago)
    1. John Patrick Mason: The Rock has become a tourist attraction?
    – Submitted by Pepper W (2 years ago)
    1. Stanley Goodspeed: Look, I'm just a biochemist. Most of the time, I work in a little glass jar and lead a very uneventful life. I drive a Volvo, a beige one. But what I'm dealing with here is one of the most deadly substances the earth has ever known, so what say you cut me some FRIGGIN' SLACK?
    – Submitted by Pepper W (2 years ago)
    1. John Patrick Mason: Are you sure you're ready for this?
    2. Stanley Goodspeed: I'll do my best.
    3. John Patrick Mason: Your 'best'! Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f**k the prom queen.
    4. Stanley Goodspeed: Carla was the prom queen.
    5. John Patrick Mason: Really?
    6. Stanley Goodspeed: [cocks his gun] Yeah.
    – Submitted by Pepper W (2 years ago)
    1. Stanley Goodspeed: Well, I'm one of those fortunate people who like my job, sir. Got my first chemistry set when I was seven, blew my eyebrows off, we never saw the cat again, been into it ever since.
    – Submitted by Pepper W (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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