Demolition Man (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

Demolition Man (1993)



Critic 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.

Demolition Man Trailers & Photos

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 cryogenically frozen to remove their brand of ultra-violence from a society that is simply just too violent. The film shifts to the future world of 2032, where Los Angeles has become a megalopolis called San Angeles. There is no poverty, Arnold Schwarzenegger was (at one time) president of the United States, and Taco Bell is the sole survivor of the Franchise Wars. Into this peaceful and bland society, Simon is summarily defrosted by reigning benevolent dictator Dr. Cocteau (Nigel Hawthorne) to have Simon murder Edgar Friendly (Denis Leary), the leader of a group of underground rebels. But Cocteau bites off more than he can chew when the melted-down Simon proceeds to go on a murder-and-looting spree. Reluctantly, Cocteau defrosts John to hunt down his old adversary. As John adjusts to self-driving cars and having sex wearing helmets, he pairs up with Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock), a bored cop with a nostalgic fascination for 20th-century culture. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovimore
Rating: R (for non-stop action violence, and for strong language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Peter M. Lenkov, Robert Scott Reneau, Daniel Waters
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 30, 1997
Warner Home Video


Sylvester Stallone
as Sergeant John Sparta...
Wesley Snipes
as Simon Phoenix
Sandra Bullock
as Lenina Huxley
Nigel Hawthorne
as Dr. Raymond Cocteau
Benjamin Bratt
as Alfredo Garcia
Bob Gunton
as Chief George Earle
Glenn Shadix
as Associate Bob
Denis Leary
as Edgar Friendly
Grand L. Bush
as Zachary Lamb "Young"
Paul Bollen
as TRF Officer
Andre Gregory
as Warden William Smith...
John Enos III
as Prisoner
Troy Evans
as Tough Cop
Bill Cobbs
as Zachary Lamb "Aged"
Stephen Kahan
as Captain Healy
Kristopher Logan
as Troubled Guy
Paul Perri
as Squad Leader
Susan Lentini
as TV Reporter
Brett Jones
as Museum Guard
Dan Cortese
as Taco Bell Entertaine...
Pat Skipper
as Helicopter Pilot
Lara Harris
as Taco Bell Patron
Alex Chapman
as Taco Bell Scrap
Ken Baldwin
as Wasteland Scrap
Jack Black
as Wasteland Scrap
Carlton Wilborn
as Wasteland Scrap
Brandy Sanders
as Fiber Op Girl
Billy Lucas
as CryoCon
Vanna Bonta
as Computers
Rob Schneider
as Erwin (uncredited)
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Demolition Man

Critic Reviews for Demolition Man

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (10)

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

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

Demolition Man Quotes

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– Submitted by Adam P (2 years ago)
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– Submitted by Andrew K (3 years ago)

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