The Core Reviews

Top Critic

Time Out
June 24, 2006
Top Critic

Newsday
May 28, 2003
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
April 22, 2003
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
April 22, 2003
Top Critic
Ed Park
Village Voice
April 1, 2003
Undigestible fusion of worst-case earth science and leaden pacing.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 31, 2003
[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.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 28, 2003
Jules Verne this isn't, but it makes for fairly diverting escapist fare.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
March 28, 2003
There's a marked absence of panic in The Core.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 28, 2003
Scientists may shudder, but at least some good actors are getting work.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 28, 2003
The Core works because the characters are idiosyncratic enough to seem authentic but not so zany that they seem contrived.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 28, 2003
Unblushingly tacky and derivative.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 28, 2003
This is one shelved project that should have stayed on the shelf.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
March 28, 2003
When taken as an old-fashioned adventure with a comic-book plot, The Core works well. But at 130 minutes it wears out its welcome, and like Earth's balky core, it sputters and stalls.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
March 28, 2003
The Core is formulaic Hollywood swill done on such an epic scale of incompetency, it must be seen.
| Original Score: F
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
March 28, 2003
The Core is such a feat of go-for-broke heroism and you-gotta-be -kiddin'-me ridiculousness that it almost qualifies as a feel-good diversion -- with just a quarter of the runaway jingoism of your average disaster extravaganza.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
March 28, 2003
A two-hour pleasure cruise.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 28, 2003
No one's going to confuse The Core with art -- or even a good film -- but it's 25 minutes longer than The Hours and I had at least 25 times as much fun.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kathy Cano Murillo
Arizona Republic
March 28, 2003
Despite its predictability, The Core offers a healthy serving of suspense and special effects.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
March 28, 2003
The Core follows such a familiar path that you can predict not only which crew members are going to be martyred, but in what order.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 28, 2003
I have such an unreasonable affection for this movie, indeed, that it is only by slapping myself alongside the head and drinking black coffee that I can restrain myself from recommending it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 28, 2003
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
March 28, 2003
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 28, 2003
The Core may not rock your world, but it has its moments.
| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
March 28, 2003
Sloppily made, poky, extra cheesy adventure.
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 28, 2003
The only pressing burden in this deep interior world is the question: What in or on Earth is a cast this good doing in a movie this ridiculous?
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
March 28, 2003
Never quite as much fun as it should be.
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
March 27, 2003
For all its predictability and cornball heroics, this adventure is as sleek and efficient as its inner-spacecraft.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
March 27, 2003
The brazen silliness of The Core is becalming and inauthentic, like taking a bath in nondairy coffee creamer. The Earth core's inability to turn is mirrored in the cast's inability to give the picture any spin.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 27, 2003
If The Core finally has to be classified as a mess, it is an enjoyable one if you're in a throwback mood. After all, a film that comes up with a rare metal called Unobtainium can't be dismissed out of hand.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
March 27, 2003
An enjoyable, forgettable film.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 27, 2003
The Core is unabashed Hollywood spectacle, but with a cast of up-from-indie actors that makes the cataclysmic kitsch all the more fun to behold.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Hazel-Dawn Dumpert
L.A. Weekly
March 27, 2003
The first half-hour of The Core is hip enough to its own moribund formula that for a brief, shining moment, there's hope the film will actually be a goofy gas instead of the effects-bound lump it becomes.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
March 27, 2003
Good science fiction awakens a sense of awe, and even mediocre sci-fi sometimes manages wonder. But The Core does neither.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Hap Erstein
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 27, 2003
Preposterous? Absolutely, but director Jon Amiel seems to be in on the joke, pausing at regular intervals to laugh at the disaster genre in which he is engaged, then resuming the suspense and reeling us back in again.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 26, 2003
It's a schlockier Armageddon crossed with Fantastic Voyage, minus the fun.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
March 26, 2003
More palatable than most pictures of its ilk due to its keen awareness of its own preposterousness, a self-knowledge exuberantly expressed by a mostly live-wire cast.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
March 26, 2003
It's a popcorn movie with brains.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 25, 2003
So howlingly awful that it has unwittingly found a place in that elite group of films that can claim to be 'so bad they're good.'
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4