The Core (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Core (2003)



Critic Consensus: A B-movie with its tongue planted firmly in cheek, The Core is so unintentionally (intentionally?) bad that it's a hoot.

Movie Info

An unlikely band of scientists and soldiers join forces to save the world from certain destruction in this action-drama. As the world is struck with a variety of inexplicable phenomena -- attacks by enormous swarms of birds in London, the explosion of the Colosseum in Rome, a potentially deadly malfunction which forces the Space Shuttle into a Los Angeles riverbed, and the simultaneous deaths of 32 people with pacemakers in Boston -- a team of top scientific minds from around the globe is assembled to determine what has thrown the world into such a frenzy. Dr. John Keyes (Aaron Eckhart) makes the startling discovery that the Earth's electromagnetic forces have begun to collapse, thanks to a sudden lack of movement of the molten ore at the center of the Earth. If the planet is to be saved, the core of the Earth needs a jump start, and Keyes assembles a team to burrow to the center of the planet and bomb the insides back into action. Joining Keyes on this dangerous, last-chance mission are the brilliant but arrogant Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci), French arms expert Dr. Serge Levesque (Tchéky Karyo, maverick researcher "Brazz" Brazzleton (Delroy Lindo), geeky computer genius Rat (DJ Qualls), and two no-nonsense military types, Commander Richard Iverson (Bruce Greenwood) and Major Rebecca Childs (Hilary Swank). However, as the crew digs deeper into the Earth, the more they discover what they haven't been told about their mission and what's really been causing the worldwide chaos. The Core was originally scheduled for release in the fall of 2002, but the movie didn't reach theaters until the spring of 2003 as special-effects experts perfected the film's more spectacular scenes.more
Rating: PG-13 (for sci-fi life/death situations and brief strong language)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Cooper Layne, John Rogers, Eric Bernt, Sean Bailey
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 9, 2003
Box Office: $31.0M
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


Aaron Eckhart
as Dr. Joshua Keyes
Hilary Swank
as Maj. Rebecca Childs
Stanley Tucci
as Dr. Conrad Zimsky
Delroy Lindo
as Brazzelton
Bruce Greenwood
as Cdr. Richard Iverson
Alfre Woodard
as Stickley
Richard Jenkins
as General Thomas Purce...
Dion Johnstone
as Flight Engineer Timm...
Glenn Morshower
as FBI Agent
Justin Callan
as Little Boy
Chris Humphreys
as Trafalgar Square GBT...
Fred Ewanuick
as Endeavor Flight Engi...
Fred Ewanvick
as Endeaver Flight Engi...
Hrothgar Matthews
as Chief Engineer, Mis...
Hrothgar Mathews
as Chief Engineer Missi...
Shawn Green
as Himself
Hong Ming-Tzong
as Scientist
Jennifer Spence
as Zimsky's Assistant
Michael St. John Smi...
as Pentagon General
John Shaw
as FBI Agent in Rat's A...
Nickolas Baric
as Tribunal Security Po...
Fred Keating
as Court Marshall Presi...
Rosa DiBrigida
as Rome Café Patron
Rosa Di Brigida
as Rome Cafe Patron
Roberto Roberto
as Rome Café Patron
Ermanno De Biagi
as Rome Café Patron
Marcello Laurentis
as Rome Café Patron
Gregg Bennett
as Technician, Virgil ...
Greg Bennett
as Virgil Base Technici...
Matt Winston
as Luke Barry
Claire Riley
as News Anchor
Marke Driesschen
as News Anchor
Laurie Murdoch
as Project Destiny Engi...
Costa Spanos
as Project Destiny Engi...
Monique Martel
as Paris Café Lady
Lenie Scoffie
as Paris Café Lady
Nathaniel De Veaux
as U.S.S. Constellation...
Nathaniel DeVeaux
as U.S.S. Constellation...
Robert Mantiopyes
as U.S.S. Constellation...
Robert Manitopyes
as U.S.S. Constellation...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Core

Critic Reviews for The Core

All Critics (175) | Top Critics (38)

...pervasive mediocrity...

Full Review… | May 5, 2015
Reel Film Reviews

A magical film: it never runs out of new and delightful ways to be completely inane.

Full Review… | December 23, 2012
Antagony & Ecstasy

This is a big, dumb, explosion movie.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

'The only truly interesting aspect found in "The Core" is Jon Amiel's thoughts as to what the inner parts of Earth might look like.'

Full Review… | March 31, 2005
Film Threat

If something isn't done soon, the earth as we know it (love that cliché) will destroy itself. Who do you call? Core busters!

Full Review… | October 15, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Should be a sci-fi screenwriter's dream; but this dream is more like one that Michael Crichton would have than Jules Verne, and there's not a breath of imagination on display

Full Review… | July 6, 2004
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Audience Reviews for The Core


This is a guilty pleasure kind of movie. I love disaster films and although this one is nowhere near excellent, I have still watched it and enjoyed it a few times.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer


I dunno why but I do like this disaster film, yes its totally stupid, totally unrealistic and completely along the lines of 'Armageddon' under the earth but to hell with it! its a fun ride.

Part of this is down to the likeable cast of science bods for me. Eckhart has always kinda been the bigger version of Scott Bakula in my humble view, a nice guy with floppy hair, Karyon and Lindo are both solid as always and Tucci is fully enjoyable as the whiny scrawny egghead who will obviously kick the bucket. Only downside is the Justin Bieber lookalike Swank who is just too damn wholesome and American to stand for so long.

The film is simply fun from the get go really, your typical disaster scenes across the world, the cool ideas the film makers came up with for the earth's interior, it really does feel like an updated 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' when the crew break into a huge geode which then begins to leak lava. I think the creative team did well with whats shown as the crew progress deeper, I'm sure its scientifically wrong but it looks cool.

As you near the climax the plot does get a little more emotional as members fall by the wayside one by one much like all disaster flicks do. This does keep you glued to the screen somewhat, its very predictable but you wanna see it through. In the back of your mind you know who's gonna die and who's gonna survive, but like I said its highly predictable.

I think the plot is well worked in this film, it seems like an impossible task but the theories of how you could actually jump start the center of the earth are clever I guess. You know its not real but it looks and sounds like it could be. I also liked the craft design they use, the spacesuit-esque designs and all the science guff they babble when the heat is on (no pun intended). A shame the ending is so flat but it beats the over blown all American showboating you got in 'Armageddon'.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

The Core is one perfect example of a terrible film that should've never been made. What's stunning about this film is that it has a good cast of talented actor, aside from D.J. Qualis, who was always a terrible actor. I can't believe the amount of really good actors who acted in this pile of junk. The film is yet another "save the world" type of film and is focused on reigniting the earth's core. However, the films plot is so poorly conceived that you lose interest in watching the film, and wonder why you even bothered with the film in the first place. This cast cannot save the world or this film for that matter, and when you have a seventeen year old as the head of the operation, you know you have a really bad film in the can. This film fails as a disaster film and as an action movie. When I originally saw this at the time of its release, this was the worst that I had seen. The Core has a great cast of talented actors, but even that doesn't save this lacking, and mediocre story. This is one of the worst action films that has come out of Hollywood, and really makes the disaster genre an irrelevant bad joke. This is a film that should be avoided. The great cast is wasted here, and they shouldn't have ever made this stupid, ridiculous.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

The Core Quotes

– Submitted by Matthew D (2 months ago)
– Submitted by Michael S (21 months ago)

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