Outbreak (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Outbreak (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A handful of scientists struggle to prevent the destruction of a small town -- and possibly the entire country -- in this suspense drama. In the mid-1960s, a deadly virus is discovered in Zaire that wipes out an entire village in 24 hours. Government researchers are brought in to investigate, but the military opts to destroy the village rather than risk further infection. Thirty years later, Sam Daniels (Dustin Hoffman), an expert on contagious diseases, is called in when the virus re-emerges in Africa. A monkey carrying the bug is smuggled into the U.S., and a suburban California town soon begins to succumb to the illness. Sam scrambles to find an antidote with the help of his ex-wife Robby (Rene Russo), a Center for Disease Control researcher, and their colleague Casey (Kevin Spacey), while Gen. McClintock (Donald Sutherland) has his own reasons for wanting to use bombs to contain the epidemic, and Army surgeon Gen. Ford (Morgan Freeman) is caught in the middle. Outbreak was produced in the hopes of beating the film version of Richard Preston's bestseller The Hot Zone (about a real-life epidemic) into theaters; script problems shelved The Hot Zone, and Outbreak had the infectious disease market to itself. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (for language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Laurence Dworet, Robert Roy Pool
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 27, 1997
Warner Home Video


Rene Russo
as Robby Keough
Dustin Hoffman
as Sam Daniels
Morgan Freeman
as General Billy Ford
Kevin Spacey
as Casey Schuler
Donald Sutherland
as General Donald McCli...
Cuba Gooding Jr.
as Major Salt
Patrick Dempsey
as Jimbo Scott
Daniel Chodos
as Rudy Alvarez
Leland Hayward III
as Henry Seward
Susan Lee Hoffman
as Dr. Lisa Aronson
Benito Martinez
as Dr. Julio Ruiz
Bruce Jarchow
as Dr. Mascelli
Daniel Chodes
as Rudy Alvarez
Zakes Mokae
as Dr. Benjamin Iwabi
Malick Bowens
as Dr. Raswani
Dale Dye
as Colonel Briggs
Kara Keough
as Sarah Jeffries
Gina Menza
as Mrs. Jeffries
Mathew Saks
as Sergeant Wolf
Per Didrik Fasmer
as Mr. Jeffries
Michelle Joyner
as Sherry Mauldin
Donald Forrest
as Mack Mauldin
Julie Pierce
as Erica Mauldin
Tim Ransom
as Tommy Hull
Patricia Place
as Mrs Foote
Maury Sterling
as Sandman One Pilot
Michael Emanuel
as Sandman One Co-Pilot
Lucas Dudley
as Viper One Pilot
Roberto Font
as Viper Two Pilot
Joseph Latimore
as Viper Two Co-Pilot
Michael Sottile
as Gunner Pilot
Matthew Saks
as Sergeant Wolf
Diana Bellamy
as Mrs. Pananides
Lance Kerwin
as American Mercenary
Brett Oliver
as Belgian Mercenary
Eric Mungai Nguku
as African Nurse
Jim Antonio
as Dr. Drew Reynolds
Larry Hine
as Young McClintock
Douglas Hebron
as Ju-Ju Man
Jae Woo Lee
as Korean Captain
Derek Kim
as Seaman Chulso Lee
Bill Stevenson
as Biotest Guard
Patrica Place
as Mrs. Foote
Nicholas Pappone
as Little Boy on Plane
Traci Odom
as Little Boy's Mother
Thomas Crawford
as Boston Doctor
Buzz Barbee
as Boston Doctor
Brian Reddy
as Tracy's Father
Ina Romeo
as Mrs. Logan
Teresa Velarde
as Nurse Emma
Jane Jenkins
as Nurse Jane
Carmela Rappazzo
as Hospital Receptionis...
Kurt A. Boesen
as Mayor Gaddis
Jack Rader
as Police Chief Fowler
Robert Rigamonte
as County Health Offici...
Mimi Doyka
as Frightened Mother
C. Jack Robinson
as Biotest Manager
Robert Alan Beuth
as George Armistead
Gordon Michaels
as Man in LIne
Peter Looney
as White House Counsel
Conrad Bachmann
as California Governor
Cary J. Pitts
as Anchorman
Marcus Hennessy
as Station Manager
Albert Owens
as Broadcast Director
David Silverbrand
as TV Reporter
Julie Araskog
as Janet Adams
Frank Rositani
as Senator Rosales
Marilyn Brandt
as Ford's Secretary
Philip Handy
as Sergeant Meyer
J.T. Walsh
as White House Chief of...
J.J. Chaback
as Nurse Jane
Mark Brown
as Officer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Outbreak

Critic Reviews for Outbreak

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (17)

Displays all the initial symptoms of a promising thriller, it soon degenerates into a low-fever whodunit.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

A big, bustling, intermittently dippy melodrama.

January 1, 2000
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

A clunky thriller.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Comes off as a shrill, self-important bore.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Hoffman doesn't get the chance, or need, to act: he just does things, like Ford.

January 1, 2000
The New Republic
Top Critic

This is a picture good enough to make you want to go to the movies and frightening enough to make you wonder if you should avoid the crowds.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Outbreak

Haunting, exciting and so much better than you'd first believe. What's even more astounding though, is the impressive number of crème de la crème actors found within the cast. With huge stars like Morgan Freeman, Dustin Hoffman, Donald Sutherland and Kevin Spacey, it certainly takes the trophy for one of the best ensembles ever assembled in Hollywood history. Script-wise it may not offer anything special, but it's got such perfect pacing and amazing suspense, that any blemishes in the dialogue are easily forgiven. It also helps that I'm a big fan of these type of "disaster movies", which were so wonderfully frequent during the 90's. This is actually the fourth time I've watched this film, but the first time I've written a review on it. And it wouldn't surprise me if I see it again in a couple of years or so. Because there's an excess of movie magic in here that is always worth coming back to.

Mike S

Super Reviewer

Sam Daniels: If one of them have it then ten of them will have it and if one of them leave Cedar Creek then we're in deep fucking shit... we're already in deep fucking shit! 

"Try to remain calm."

In Outbreak, a phenomenal cast brings to life a horrific situation. There is a airborne virus that has made its way into the United States. As of now, it remains in one city, but if anybody who has it gets out, the whole country could be at jeopardy. Now it is the job of agencies, doctors and the military to keep it all under control at any cost. 

Like a lot of these movies, there's a bad guy that is on America's side. So now everyone who has to fight off the disease, also has to stop him from carrying out his plan. This gives the movie some extra intrigue, but also some really predictable situations. As suspenseful as the movie is, it could have been much more. Good thing the situation is actually realistic and highly terrifying, so no matter what there is always going to be a sense of suspense. 

There are a lot of these types of movies out there. Just this year Black Death and Contagion were released. This is one of the more entertaining ones I have seen and it is actually quite well done. Sure it has its problems; predictability being number 1, but it ridiculously entertaining. A lot of the entertainment comes from a huge and big names cast. The cast features Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey and Donald Sutherland. Yeah, that's pretty damn good.

It isn't as awesome is it could have been. It could have been scarier and it could have been much better. But for its genre, it is a definite standout. Now I need to see Contagion.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

This exciting epidemic thriller has quite a lot to offer: an outstanding cast of great names, great cinematography by Ballhaus and direction by Petersen and a thrilling plot that doesn't leave you much space to catch your breath, even has quite a few decent action scenes to offer. There may be logic flaws and plot holes, but it all flows so perfectly and entertains so well, that you don't really notice until later viewings. Especially the showdown makes you squirm in your seat and sends shivers down your spine. Great entertainment.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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