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The Core (2003)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 154
Fresh: 63 | Rotten: 91

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


Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 18

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



liked it
Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 100,098

My Rating

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

Sep 9, 2003


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All Critics (174) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (91) | DVD (28)

Undigestible fusion of worst-case earth science and leaden pacing.

April 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[I]t's not campy enough to be consistently entertaining, and it's certainly not exciting or smart enough to be a first-rate sci-fi epic like a Deep Impact.

March 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jules Verne this isn't, but it makes for fairly diverting escapist fare.

March 28, 2003 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a marked absence of panic in The Core.

March 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scientists may shudder, but at least some good actors are getting work.

March 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Core works because the characters are idiosyncratic enough to seem authentic but not so zany that they seem contrived.

March 28, 2003 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

December 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

This is a big, dumb, explosion movie.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
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.'

March 31, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
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!

October 15, 2004 Full Review
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

July 6, 2004 Full Review Source: F5 (Wichita, KS)
F5 (Wichita, KS)

'Look out! It's diamonds big as Cape Cod!' No, they're large black blobs that the CGI guys clearly didn't have time to fill in with vector graphics. No need for alarm.

March 8, 2004 Full Review Source:

The Core ain’t your grandma’s journey to the center of the earth.

February 12, 2004 Full Review | Comments (2)
Atlantic City Weekly

The Core is really nothing more than a special effects show, but for the most part, they aren't exactly special.

January 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

A disaster film with a high calibre cast, atrocious, inane dialogue, unspectacular special effects and questionable science. But fun nonetheless.

October 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Hillary Swank and Aaron Eckhart lead the latest adventure to save the world from natural forces... YAWN.

October 7, 2003 Full Review Source: EDGE Boston
EDGE Boston

A mostly static excursion with a weak premise when it comes to explaining what went wrong with the planet, and an even weaker remedy offered for making it right again.

September 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Long Island Press
Long Island Press

Something almost gleeful in the way it recounts disasters such as the San Francisco Bridge being roasted by cosmic rays . . .

September 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Any glutton for big screen mayhem will agree that beholding the Golden Gate Bridge fry like an ant underneath a magnifying glass is alone well worth top theatre dollar

July 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Peterborough This Week

The Core has a crackerjack ticking-clock momentum that builds with a what-could-possibly-go-wrong-next vibe.

June 27, 2003 Full Review

Switch off, space out, and go where no self-respecting film lover has gone before.

June 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Sunday Times (Australia)
Sunday Times (Australia)

What the film suffers from is a lack of direction, a lackadaisical pace and effects that don't get the blood pumping.

June 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Amiel's film is a messy, speculative chamber piece augmented by indistinct visual effects and performances that seem to be playing directly to the blue-screen backgrounds instead of to the actors who were hired to make the highfalutin conceit plausible.

June 4, 2003 Full Review Source:

Call it Armageddon inside out.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

'Simple película palomera de la cual no se van a acordar nada a los cinco minutos de haber abandonado la sala de proyección'

May 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Moviola

The big letdown are the stultifying visuals that look more like 80's theme park motion-ride effects. Now boarding Core Tours!

May 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Audience Reviews for The Core

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 haha Karyon and Lindo are both solid as always and Tucci is fully enjoyable as the whiney scrawny egghead who will obviously kick the bucket hehe. 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 to 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 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 and this does keep you glued to the screen somewhat, its very predictable but you wanna see it through.

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 'space' suits 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'.
March 17, 2012

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.
August 25, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Action/adventure sci-fi about an intrepid team of scientists who must journey to the center of the earth in order to save the world. I wonder what can happen? Summer movie fun.
June 26, 2011

Super Reviewer

i was just waiting for Alan Jacksons "where were you when the world stopped turning" to play over the end-credits.
November 22, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Dr. Josh Keyes: I need you to confirm my results, sir.
    2. Dr. Conrad Zimsky: Young man, do you have any idea who I am?
    3. Dr. Josh Keyes: Yes I do, sir. Please read this.
    4. Dr. Conrad Zimsky: What's it about?
    5. Dr. Josh Keyes: The end of the world.
    – Submitted by Michael S (6 months ago)
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