The Rock - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Rock Reviews

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Super Reviewer
December 28, 2010
A thrilling and explosive film led by a trio of fantastic actors (especially Cage) 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 later on in the story.
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2011
The pace is too fast to stop and think about the ridiculousness of this film and this summer blockbuster extraordinaire pulls you in.
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
October 3, 2010
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!
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2009
Michael Bay's follow up to Bad Boys is a lot different, but extremely fun and delivers incredibly well on action. It's actually extremely well-written and paced better than most movies with a 2hr+ running time. This is obviously a stylish looking movie; nearly everything we see is beautiful. This has all the nicely planned out explosions, big sets and pulse pounding action necessary for this type of movie. The hummer-Ferrari chase will be forever etched into my mind since I first witnessed it at age eleven. While I'm sure a lot of people find this ridiculous plot-wise, I've definitely grown to love it and it's really not far-fetched. A bonkers Nicolas Cage with a special degree in biochemical warfare certainly makes this movie enjoyable on top of everything else, as does the ex-Alcatraz inmate Sean Connery. This is by no means a movie that's so bad it's good, it's just plain good. I like the idea of retired marines going crazy and holding Alcatraz hostage, but them threatening San Fransisco with green marble bombs is even more interesting. If you're looking for an action extravaganza that also delivers on a cool story and interesting characters, it's hard to beat The Rock.
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2009
Get ready to rock!

Saw it again! Great action film and ton's of great scenes! The movie really is thrilling and entertaining, of course it's a Michael Bay film! The story is quite good and well made, great cast for a great action movie.

A group of rogue Force Recon Marines led by the heroic but disenchanted Brigadier General Francis Hummel (Ed Harris) seizes a stockpile of rockets armed with VX gas, a highly toxic chemical weapon, from a Naval Weapons Depot. They lose one of their men in the process, a horrific death caused by an accidental release of the chemical caused when one of the chemical containers accidentally ruptured.

Hummel and his men then seize Alcatraz Island and take 81 tourists hostage, placing them in the prison cells, then threatening the FBI and Pentagon with launching the VX rockets against the population of San Francisco, unless the government pays ransom and reparations to the families of Marines who died on illegal, clandestine Marine Force Recon missions that were commanded by General Hummel. The Pentagon and FBI develop a plan to retake the island with an elite Navy SEAL team, enlisting chemical weapons expert Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) to help remove the VX and disarm the rockets.

In need of reliable first-hand knowledge of the physical layout of Alcatraz, FBI Director Womack (John Spencer) is forced to turn to long-time federal prisoner John Mason (Sean Connery), the only former inmate of Alcatraz to ever successfully escape. Mason isn't given the complete story about why his help is needed, so, being a proven escape artist, he escapes from the FBI and leads them on a high-speed chase through the streets of San Francisco. Because he decides to make contact with his estranged daughter, Goodspeed and the FBI catch up with him and force him to cooperate on the mission.

With Mason's guidance, the team successfully infiltrates Alcatraz undetected, but as they work their way through the tunnels of Alcatraz and enter the shower room, their presence is detected by sophisticated equipment set up by Hummel's men. To the dismay of General Hummel, the SEAL team is ambushed by the marines, leaving only Mason and Goodspeed alive. With Mason deciding to leave the island, Goodspeed must reveal the true purpose of the mission. Realizing his daughter's life is at risk, Mason agrees to stay and help.

They begin the process of seeking out and disabling the rockets one-by-one, but Hummel and the marines make it very difficult for them. They disable the first rocket after a fight with two marines. Then, with Hummel threatening to execute a civilian, Mason decides to provide a diversion for Goodspeed by giving himself up. Goodspeed is able to disable the second rocket just before he is captured. Meanwhile, realizing that the SEAL team is lost, the Pentagon readies a backup plan, an attack by armed F-18s that will neutralize the poison gas by releasing thermite plasma bombs, which would also kill everyone on the island.

As Mason is fashioning a rope of bedding to make use of in effecting his and Goodspeed's escape from their cells, he tells Goodspeed why he has been a prisoner of the United States for the past 33 years. During his service for the British as an SAS agent, he stole a microfilm containing serious secrets about U.S. and other world leaders and events. The information came from the personal files of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Mason was captured and refused to divulge the location of the microfilm. He was kept locked up, without benefit of trial, and told he would not be released until he gave up the microfilm. Realizing he would be "suicided" if he ever did that, he refused.

After they escape from the cells, Mason again decides to leave the island, leaving Goodspeed to go it alone. Goodspeed is captured before he can find another rocket, but he's rescued by Mason, who decided to come back.

The deadline Hummel gave the FBI/Pentagon arrives, and when there is no ransom paid and more time requested, Hummel's officers demand he take action. Hummel orders a rocket fired. It's headed for a full stadium at Candlestick Park, but Hummel secretly enters revised coordinates on his computer keyboard and redirects the rocket so that if falls into the ocean. His men are furious. They consider themselves mercenaries working for pay, and they want their pay, or to make good on the threats. Hummel tells them that it was a bluff that the government didn't fall for it, and since he's a professional soldier, not a murderer, that it's all over. He tells his men to take some hostages and leave, that he'd take the heat for it all.

The men refuse. They intend to follow through. Guns are pulled and pointed all around. As shots are fired, General Hummel and Major Baxter are fatally wounded. With his last breath, Hummel tells Goodspeed that the last rocket is in the lower lighthouse.

Mason and Goodspeed must fight off other marines as Goodspeed works to disable that last rocket. As Goodspeed is handling that final string of green VX "marbles", one of them drops on the deck. He retrieves it, but doesn't have time to stash it away with the rest before Captain Frye (Gregory Sporleder) is on him. With the termite plasma-armed jets approaching, Goodspeed is losing his hand-to-hand fight with Frye and must use that VX to defend himself. He shoves it in the captain's mouth and forces his jaw shut, crushing it and releasing the contents. Captain Frye dies almost instantly. The liquid also gets on Goodspeed and he immediately stumbles away and pulls the atropine antidote from his boot and injects himself in the heart with it. He is then able to grab and light off two green flares, the prearranged signal that the threat is over. The flares are spotted from land, but only after one of the jet pilots has released his bombs, exploding on the rear of the island and sending Goodspeed's body flying into the sea.

Mason reappears to pull the unconscious Goodspeed to shore. Special Agent Ernest Paxton (William Forsythe) calls on the radio and learns from Goodspeed that the hostages were all alive, but that Mason had been killed. That provides Mason time to escape before the FBI arrives. Goodspeed tells Paxton and Womack that Mason was "vaporized."

The film ends with Goodspeed running from a church in Ft. Walton, Kansas, as Carla, his pregnant bride, urges him to hurry and get in the car so they can get away. Goodspeed has in his hand a cannister containing microfilm. Mason had told him where to find it. He looks at the microfilm and asks Carla if she'd like to know who really shot JFK.
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2007
loved this action thriller! This movie has everything, humour, action, and an intelligent plot,and i think the acting by all the characters is brilliant,and definitely a must see!!!!
this is the third time i have watched it and still love it!!!
Super Reviewer
½ September 18, 2010
the only Michael Bay movie that i'm gonna let pass. The one scene that really bothered me was how Sean Connery seemed to destroy half of San Francisco just because he was running away from the cops.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
I know it's fun and cliched to rag on Michael Bay, but he does bring it on himself. This is still a good movie though, and it basically set the standard for mid-late 90s action movies (and the rest of Bay's film's from that point onward).

The story is a little shakey, but it's not terrible though. The actions scenes are exciting, well done, and the performances are also rather enjoyable, especially Connery. He and Cage have a decent rapport with one another.

I like this movie, but in a way it kind of represents both the best and the worst of 90s action films, kind of like how "Commando" is for the 80s. I do like the location shooting, though. Alcatraz is awesome.
Super Reviewer
July 23, 2010
Super Reviewer
½ July 19, 2010
This film has a lot to answer for, mainly because Hollywood decided to give more jobs to director Michael Bay following this pretty good action film. Unfortunately, what he produced after this makes my eyes bleed but he has to be given credit for keeping up the thrills in this one.
The story is (as ever) basic! A disgruntled veteran (Ed Harris) feels the government has done him wrong despite his service to the country and decides to hold the city of San Francisco to ransom by taking over Alcatraz and using it as a base to launch a chemical attack on it's innocent citizens. The Government feels he's a loon-ball and decides to enlist the help of F.B.I chemical weapons expert (Cage) and a team of marines to put a stop to the lunacy. None of them have have a clue how to infiltrate Alcatraz so persuade a former British agent (Connery) - the only person to ever escape Alcatraz and currently being held by the Americans - to help out and earn his freedom in return. What then ensues guessed it...big guns, big explosions and mucho machismo.
This is all done under the guidance of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, so I suppose you can't really complain when things get silly and over the top. I'm not a great action fan but I can recognise it for what it is and this isn't too bad, considering. The three leads involved, Connery, Cage & Harris are what make this film. They are all fine actors and deliver worthy performances. Connery is one of very few actors that can cut being old and still able to be convincing as an action hero (Clint Eastwood being a recognisable other). Cage shows his early action man credentials, while still retaining his wacky humorous side and Harris, as always, is intensely commanding. They all seem to have their tongues stuck firmly in their cheeks and in it for the healthy paychecks. They know and we know, that this is complete nonsense but hey, there's fun to be had anyway.
If you ever get the sudden notion to bang your head against a big Rock, don't bother. Bang your head against this one instead. It almost has the same effect but this one's slightly more gentle. Just slightly, mind you.
Super Reviewer
June 21, 2010
Along with 2007's Transformers, 1996's The Rock is Michael Bay's finest film. Unlike his later work (Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, Bad Boys II) The Rock is a well acted, directed and thrilling action film. Michael has definitely crafted the second best film of his career with Thew Rock. Bad Boys wasn't too bad, but wasn't memorable. But with this film, he truly crafted an awesome action film that is one of my favorite films ever. It took nearly a decade to top this awesome film, and Michael Bay did that with Transformer. Overall, The Rock is a terrific action packed film and is guaranteed to give you a good time.
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2006
Okays... back in the 1990's, the action film was really the king at the box office until Titanic made its mark.... during this time, we had Bad Boys, Broken Arrow, Face Off and all that jazz.

I loved it. All those wonderful action films set the trend and lots of great stars made their marks, or made their comebacks, and of course, directors like Michael Bay got their feet into the big leagues.

The Rock is a really unique piece, because it had Nicholas Cage in his action heyday, a re-energised Sean Connery still showing he's got all the moves and charisma, and an all star supporting cast led by the dominant Ed Harris in one of his best roles.

This one also had some of the best action scenes, plus its moving momements, a la' Michael Bay style. This includes the never-will-be-done-again Humvee and Ferrari chase destroying San Francisco, the centrepiece of the whole movie, alongside the Marine's mexican standoff / mutiny.

I think it has stood the test time along with the others... it just that with the new millenium, we, as an audience have moved into the more intelligent action thriller genre, which has no problems drawing in the crowd. Bad Boys II was the last of its kind, a rollercoaster ride into the warzone where ever it may be.

Sighs*..... the 90's action masterpieces.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2006
A classic Die Hard situation: a very special place, hostages, villains and heroes to the rescue. Connery and Cage are excellent as unlikely pair, especially in the more humorous scenes, so is Harris as one of the more-dimensional bad guys of the genre. The rest is 2 hours of non stop action, well filmed, beautifully shot and excellently executed, no matter what people say about Michael Bay movies. Especially the setting of Alcatraz adds a special ingredient to the mix. The result is one of the highlights of the action genre and deeply satisfying. Especially the very last sequence leaves you with a broad grin on your face.
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2009
This has to be one of the greatest Movies with great Cast and Plot.
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2007
I watched it many times, and I was always as entertained as the last time I watched it.
Super Reviewer
April 10, 2007
Michael Bay has a winner on his hands with The Rock.The story is pretty simple, however it is good enough for an action thriller. Besides, it is the characters that make this a great film. The movie wastes no time at setting things up for what is to come, before shying away for some main character buildup. A lot of time does past before the film returns to the meat of the story, which is probably why the film is 10 minutes past 2 hours. However, during this time, Bay actually gives some meaning to his characters. He even finds the time to throw in a decent car chase through the streets of San Francisco.There is a large quantity of action. Nothing special. It is just typical Hollywood style explosions and shootouts to entertain the eyes.It may be difficult to picture Sean Connery carrying this high octane action movie, but that is exactly what he does. He, Nicolas Cage, and Ed Harris work together to make this a fun watch. Cage's character seems a little corny at times, but his dialogue, along with the others', can be memorable.In the end, good characters and a creative setting make The Rock a must see for fans of action adventures.
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2009
good if you don't want to think about what you're watching.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2008
Great action film with good effects and a reasonable plot. Connery is cool for once and the gunfights rock hehe but Nic Cage sucks ass as usual. Probably Bays best film to date on his own, its explosive fun with many many great sequences. The yellow sports car gunning down the hilly streets of San Francisco dodging trams is a great setup, the gun fight in the rocks shower room between elite cops and the terrorists, the deadly gas and sweaty finale, all popcorntastic hehe
The ending with Harris turning right at the end was decent and original, you thought he would go out guns blazing.
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2007
Great from beginning to end, which is a bit unusual for something with Jerry Bruckheimer's name on it. Everything about it is top notch. Even the music score, which features one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard in an action movie. And you can't go wrong with the ever-brilliant Sean Connery in one of the lead roles. So if you haven't seen it yet, make sure you do, because this is one the most exciting and well-directed action films you'll ever see. Personally, I've watched it like ten times now, and sure wouldn't mind seeing it ten times more. That's how awesome this movie is.
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