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Outbreak (1995)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 104,188

My Rating

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

Aug 27, 1997

Warner Home Video

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May 11, 2006:
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All Critics (50) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (18) | DVD (5)

Comes off as a shrill, self-important bore.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the great scare stories of our time.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A clunky thriller.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Much too enamored by its Hollywood trappings to deliver a genuine story about humanity...

November 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

It's easier to take this movieish virus thriller once you accept Dustin Hoffman as a legit action hero.

August 24, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Involving, fast moving epidemic-actioner with frantic Hoffman in lead.

August 14, 2007

Commercial, but lots of fun

March 11, 2006

Click to read the article.

January 4, 2005 Full Review Source:

Bland plague thriller

September 20, 2004
Film Journal International

There's not a name here that should have stooped to such feckless material.

May 22, 2004
Flipside Movie Emporium

Contemporary paranoias always make for interesting film studies, even when the movie is as stolid and unremarkable as this one.

January 23, 2004
Nick's Flick Picks

Scary, convincing and thought-provoking.

January 22, 2004
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Wolfgang Petersen keeps things at a brisk pace.

January 13, 2004 Full Review Source:

Fortunately, there is a cure. Just turn it off.

July 30, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Scary movie with realistic portrayal of disease. Hollywood happy ending, but very well done action chases, so it works.

July 14, 2003

Provides food for thought on the ethical conundrums surrounding the idea of sacrificial violence.

August 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

An overly long medical thriller with no thrill.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Sometimes this movie feels like a horror picture directed by John Waters.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

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.
February 10, 2012
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.
December 8, 2011
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.
February 17, 2010

Super Reviewer

An average but entertaining action/adventure thriller.
September 18, 2009

Super Reviewer

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  • Outbreak (1995) (UK)
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