Volcano

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20th Century Fox Released 1997

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7.6
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Movie Summary

Director:
Mick Jackson
Released:
1997
Rating:
PG-13

Volcano is a suspenseful 1997 thriller that explores the threat of natural disaster in an urban area. Mike Roark (Tommy Lee Jones) heads the Office of Emergency Management in the humid, busy city of Los Angeles. His job suddenly becomes much more difficult after an earthquake strikes the city, causing only minor damage but apparently connected to the fiery deaths of seven utility workers. Working with a geologist (Anne Heche) and his associate (Don Cheadle), Roark realizes that a volcano is building beneath the surface of Los Angeles. When he attempts to warn city officials, his fears are dismissed. Soon after the first earthquake strikes, however, Roark's worst suspicions are validated. As he drives along the city streets near the La Brea Tar Pits, Roark witnesses a sudden explosion of steam and lava bombs and watches helplessly as a subway car derails. As the erupting volcano spreads and threatens to tear apart the entire city, Roark and his colleagues must figure out a way to divert the tragedy in the face of nearly impossible odds.

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    But a great sense of pace is a wonderful thing, and director Jackson and his crew (who made good use of hand-held and Steadicam shots and reportedly averaged an impressive 30 to 40...

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    A furiously paced popcorn picture whose outrageous implausibility is somewhat amusing, Volcano delivers enough spectacular action to get it off to a hot B.O. start, although like t...

  • 60

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    In Volcano, the thrills are so well wrought that they eventually lose their novelty and become numbing.

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    Themes

    Disaster, Thrillers