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Demolition Man (1993)


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 36
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 13

Critics Consensus: A better-than-average sci-fi shoot-em-up with a satirical undercurrent, Demolition Man is bolstered by strong performances by Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock.

Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: A better-than-average sci-fi shoot-em-up with a satirical undercurrent, Demolition Man is bolstered by strong performances by Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock.


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 269,002



Movie Info

The plot of this action film begins in 1996, with Los Angeles in a violence-crazed conflagration. One of the LAPD's most notorious cops, John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone), known as "the demolition man," is in hot pursuit of blonde-haired psychopath Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes), who is so nasty he even kills sometimes just because he feels cranky. John captures Simon, but not before Simon kills innocent hostages. John is blamed for the deaths of the hostages, and both he and Simon are … More

R (for non-stop action violence, and for strong language)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Peter M. Lenkov , Robert Scott Reneau , Daniel Waters
In Theaters:
Sep 30, 1997
Warner Home Video



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Critic Reviews for Demolition Man

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (13) | DVD (4)

Ultimately the script's often sharp social satire is drowned out by the noise and confusion. It is also undercut by casting virtually all the psychopathically murderous criminals as minority-group members.

Full Review… | July 25, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Nearly all the SF premises are accorded the status of Andrew Dice Clay one-liners -- which means that they, along with the characters, keep changing from one scene to the next.

Full Review… | April 30, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A noisy, soulless, self-conscious pastiche that mixes elements of sci-fi, action-adventure and romance, then pours on a layer of comedy replete with Hollywood in-jokes.

Full Review… | April 30, 2008
Top Critic

Forget your preconceptions, but not your brain cells and sense of irony.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Demolition Man is a significant artifact of our time or, at least, of this week.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Demolition Man is sleek and empty as well as brutal and pointless. It feels computer engineered, untouched by human hands. A real pod movie.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Not for nothing does the film open on a screen-filling image of the Hollywood sign in flames, for it torches almost every supposition that a film made to showcase Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes whomping on each other can only be brain-dead.

Full Review… | August 1, 2013

Doesn't quite go far enough, instead settling for cheap gags and cheap thrills, but it tickles fairly well for a couple of hours of crashes and fireballs. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | September 5, 2011
Groucho Reviews

...a sporadically amusing yet pervasively underwhelming bit of early '90s cheese...

Full Review… | August 13, 2011
Reel Film Reviews

The pleasant surprise about Demolition Man is that both the script, and Stallone, are funny; the film blends big-budget action and tongue-in-cheek humor in the way that Last Action Hero tried, and failed, to do.

Full Review… | July 25, 2010
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This futuristic comedy depends on your opinion of Stallone and his unapologetic popcorn-pleasing action no-brainers. To be fair, this one is one of his better ones.

Full Review… | April 30, 2008
Empire Magazine

An inspired mix of high-octane action and futuristic satire.

Full Review… | April 30, 2008

cool as ice

April 24, 2008

Not a bad mid-90s sci fi flick - and with a young Sandra Bullock in spandex to boot!

August 12, 2005
7M Pictures

Stallone and Snipes are a great double-act

March 10, 2005

Featuring intense action, exceptional special effects, and a healthy sense of humor, it is the film Last Action Hero wanted--and failed--to be.

Full Review… | January 2, 2004

Enjoyable pop-culture junk actioner.

April 2, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A great villain goes a long way toward making an action movie successful and Snipes certainly does more than his share to make this an enjoyable film.

Full Review… | March 23, 2003
Laramie Movie Scope

Chock-full of obnoxious dialogue, terrible acting, and oh-so-clever product placement.

July 31, 2002

Stallone is surprisingly good in this fast, funny and violent futuristic action film.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Audience Reviews for Demolition Man

07/07/2012 (MP4, PS3)

EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

really fun if not silly action flick.

danny d

Super Reviewer

Zachary Lamb: Simon Phoenix is an old fashioned criminal. We need an old fashioned cop. 

"The future isn't big enough for the both of them."

Demolition Man is one of those weird movies that I can't decide whether I like or not. Parts at me shaking my head in disgust, mostly when the characters talked, but in the end I wasn't angry with it at all. I, for the most part, enjoyed myself. The film is highly entertaining and has some cool ideas. It also has some extremely stupid and silly ideas too. Like the three seashells; I know it is supposed to be humorous, but really?  The action stars, Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes are a lot of fun to watch. When they are in their action sequences, they are at their best. When they talk, they are at their worst, but it is still somewhat fun because of how ridiculous they sound.

Stallone plays a cop named Spartan, who has the nickname Demolition Man. The nickname comes from the cliche idea that he doesn't play by the rules. He destroys whatever he needs to. He has been trying to catch a ruthless killer, Phoenix, for some time now. When he finally does catch him, things still end up going wrong and he lands himself in prison too. Now prison isn't what we know it to be. Him and Phoenix are frozen in order to serve their sentence. While they are frozen, they are also give rehab. Not really sure how that works, but we'll go with it. Phoenix escapes custody during a parole hearing and starts going nuts on a now crime-less country thirty some years later. In this new country you can't curse or eat junk food. Anything unhealthy is illegal. In order to catch the madman, they unfreeze Spartan also. So from there it is a cat and mouse game.

As much as I would like to describe just how bad this movie is, I can't. It was just too entertaining to talk badly about. Another saving grace for the film is a young Sandra Bullock. Damn was she hot back in the 90's. When she was asking Spartan if he wanted to have sex, I was yelling at the screen, "Yes!" She does give a pretty fun, if at times hard to watch, performance also. She plays a bored cop that loves old action movies and really wants to see some action. 

I recommend watching Demolition Man if you can tolerate stupidness in the midst of great action. It doesn't reach the stupidity level of a movie like Cobra, which is a plus. 

Melvin White

Super Reviewer


A bit of a guilty pleasure film from the time when Stallone was still a convincing action hero. The premise is actually quite fun: in the future villains are frozen for their crimes. And once crime is eradicated and one of the baddies wakes up, you need an old-fashioned cop. Of course that's a role for Stallone, who doesn't take himself or the world he is "born into" too seriously. Snipes also had obviously a lot of fun playing the bad guy. The humor works wonders for the film, while the action is more or less standards. It's the little details of this future world and the many references that make this film quite fun, after all.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Demolition Man Quotes

Simon Phoenix: Blast from the past! Sergeant John Spartan: You should have stayed there Phoenix!
– Submitted by Adam P (14 months ago)
Simon Phoenix: Greetings, whats your bogle?
– Submitted by Adam P (14 months ago)
Edgar Friendly: God, I love to hate this place! Simon Phoenix: Play ball! Sergeant John Spartan: Somebody put me back in the fridge.
– Submitted by William C (24 months ago)
Lenina Huxley: Let's go blow this guy!
– Submitted by Andrew K (2 years ago)
Simon Phoenix: This is the best day of my life!
– Submitted by Baurushan J (2 years ago)
Simon Phoenix: You're dead Spartan. Sergeant John Spartan: Speak for yourself!
– Submitted by Baurushan J (2 years ago)

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