The Core Movie Poster Image

The Core



This is a big, dumb, explosion movie.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 136 minutes

What parents need to know


Many characters killed. Intense peril.




Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has sustained and intense peril. There's widespread destruction, and many characters are killed. There's some strong language, including the obligatory single use of "f--k" permitted in PG-13 movies. There are female and African-American characters who are exceptionally talented but who have had to face obstacles to their professional advancement. Diverse characters work together well.

What's the story?

In THE CORE, Aaron Eckhart plays rumpled University of Chicago professor Josh Keyes, who is called on when dozens of people just drop dead all at once. It turns out that for some reason the core of the earth has been slowed down (possibly by something we did), throwing off the electromagnetic charges that govern everything from navigation by birds and aircraft to pacemakers. The first part of the movie is smart people figuring out what is wrong and how to fix it, and then they all climb in a sort of rocket ship that can melt thousands of miles of solid rock and dive down to the center of the planet to essentially reboot it.

Is it any good?


The Core is a big, dumb, explosion movie. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- often big, dumb, explosion movies are fun to watch and do very well at the box office. But this one suffers from very bad timing. At a time when the world feels a little fragile, watching CGI versions of Rome and San Francisco be all but destroyed and a (successful) crash landing of the space shuttle, no matter how impressive the technology, is not fun at all. And without a, well, core of substance, wit, or energy, this movie cannot recover.

It's basically Journey to the Center of the Earth without the dinosaurs crossed with Armageddon without Bruce Willis. The script isn't bad. Co-writer John Rogers has a degree in physics and is a former stand-up comic, and both are evident. If it is formulaic, at least it understands the formula reasonably well. There is something of a Ten Little Indians feeling, as members of the crew start getting picked off in various dramatic ways. Stanley Tucci wildly overacts as a fame-seeking scientist with a book deal. Everyone else in the cast does their professional best, but the only standout is D.J. Qualls as a super hacker who lives on Xena tapes and hot pockets.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether they think that future generations will have the technology to access the Earth's core.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 28, 2003
DVD/Streaming release date:September 9, 2003
Cast:Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci
Director:Jon Amiel
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:136 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sci-fi life/death situations and brief strong language

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byJegodby April 9, 2008
Adult Written byzelda dude April 9, 2008


unnessisary and sad sad special effects
Teen, 13 years old Written byabbs May 9, 2011


Okay. so this movie starts off as this: 35 people drop dead at once. All. Then, it spreads to birds. And there is a scene where hundreds of brids die and a little boy is traumatized at what he has just scene. Then, smart people all come together. They go meet a man who has basically comitted his life to a huge... worm like rocket ship. Its pretty spiffy I'm not gonna lie, but the goal of this movie was to bring more real science into sci-fi movies. They make up a element, and use random big words to sound smart. So, they are in the worm ship, and its going smoothly... and this is where it gets deeply disturbing. Bob, the commander, is helping to check on the outside of the ship. He gets hit by a huge rock in his back, and you watch as he dissentigrates in the lava. Next, you watch as Aaron Eckhart's brother Serge, goes back for papers when part of the ship is ejecting, and he gets crushed. You see his neck break as the cell he is gets smaller, and smaller. Then, you see the sweet black man who made the ship, sacrafice himself and go outside in the million degrees to save it. His cries of agony are worse than any horror move you might ever see. Then, you basically watch him melt. It goes on and on. I'm in 8th grade and we saw this in SCIENCE calss! And my teacher is NOT a wack job! This movie is awfull. Save money, dont see it. Save yourself.
What other families should know
Too much violence