MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 158 this week

Demolition Man (1993)

 -  Action | Crime | Sci-Fi  -  8 October 1993 (USA)
6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 101,310 users   Metascore: 34/100
Reviews: 194 user | 74 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

A police officer is brought out of suspended animation in prison to pursue an old ultra-violent nemesis who is loose in a non-violent future society.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story), 3 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 07 Mar 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 12 Feb 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 25 Jul 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 05 May 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Demolition Man" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Demolition Man (1993)

Demolition Man (1993) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Demolition Man.

User Polls

1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Judge Dredd (1995)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

In a dystopian future, Joseph Dredd, the most famous Judge (a police officer with instant field judiciary powers) is convicted for a crime he did not commit while his murderous counterpart escapes.

Director: Danny Cannon
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Rob Schneider
Assassins (1995)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Robert Rath is a seasoned hitman who just wants out of the business with no back talk. But, as things go, it ain't so easy. A younger, peppier assassin named Bain is having a field day ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Julianne Moore
Tango & Cash (1989)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two cops are framed and must clear their names.

Directors: Andrey Konchalovskiy, Albert Magnoli
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Teri Hatcher
Cobra (1986)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A tough-on-crime street cop must protect the only surviving witness to a strange murderous cult with far reaching plans.

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A woman entices a bomb expert she's involved with into destroying the mafia that killed her family.

Director: Luis Llosa
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, James Woods
Cliffhanger (1993)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A botched mid-air heist results in suitcases full of cash being searched for by various groups throughout the Rocky Mountains.

Director: Renny Harlin
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker
Lock Up (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Frank Leone is nearing the end of his prison term for a relatively minor crime. Just before he is paroled, however, Warden Drumgoole takes charge. Drumgoole was assigned to a hell-hole ... See full summary »

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, John Amos
Daylight (1996)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Disaster in a New York tunnel as explosions collapse both ends of it. One hero tries to help the people inside find their way to safety.

Director: Rob Cohen
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Amy Brenneman, Viggo Mortensen
Rambo III (1988)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Rambo's Vietnam commanding officer Colonel Trautman is held hostage in Afghanistan, and it's up to Rambo to rescue him.

Director: Peter MacDonald
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

John Rambo is released from prison by the government for a top-secret covert mission to the last place on Earth he'd want to return - the jungles of Vietnam.

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier
First Blood (1982)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Vietnam Veteran uses his combat skills against the lawman of a small town when they arrest and abuse him.

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna
Rambo (2008)
Action | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In Thailand, John Rambo joins a group of mercenaries to venture into war-torn Burma, and rescue a group of Christian aid workers who were kidnapped by the ruthless local infantry unit.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Steve Kahan ...
Paul Bollen ...
...
Andre Gregory ...
...
Prisoner (as John Enos)
Edit

Storyline

Frozen in 1996, Simon Phoenix, a convicted crime lord, is revived for a parole hearing well into the 21st century. Revived into a society free from crime, Phoenix resumes his murderous rampage, and no one can stop him. John Spartan, the police officer who captured Phoenix in 1996, has also been cryogenically frozen, this time for a crime he did not commit. In 2032, the former cities of Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Barbara have merged into peaceful, utopian San Angeles. Unable to stop him with their non-violent solutions, the police release Spartan to help recapture Phoenix. Now after 36 years, Spartan has to adapt himself to the future society he has no knowledge about. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The future isn't big enough for the both of them. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for non-stop action violence, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El demoledor  »

Box Office

Budget:

$57,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,432,191 (UK) (12 November 1993)

Gross:

£6,182,820 (UK) (14 January 1994)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though Jonathan Lemkin was the last writer working on the movie and drafted its shooting script, he lost the Writers Guild arbitration and his name does not appear in the credits. However, the movie's novelization lists him as one of the authors of the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

Even for a trained professional working flat out, it would seem ludicrous for them to begin knitting a sweater late at night and finish it by the start f the following day. See more »

Quotes

Erwin: We're police officers! We're not trained to handle this kind of violence!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Expendables (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Demolition Man
Written and Performed by Sting
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent cultural satire
3 May 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) is a reckless Los Angeles policeman, known as the "demolition man" for the destruction he routinely engenders while apprehending big baddies. After a particularly ruthless criminal, Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes), sets him up by making it appear that Spartan wantonly caused the deaths of a bus load of hostages, Spartan is sentenced to 60 years or so in prison. The film begins in a not-too-distant future (relative to its 1992/1993 production date) of 1996. Prisons are quite a bit different, and there's a new policy of cryogenically freezing inmates. We cut forward to 2032. Phoenix is up for an obligatory parole hearing when he escapes. The film's 21st Century society is extremely different (worsening cultural chaos, exacerbated by a huge earthquake, precipitated the change), and the "San Angeles" police cannot capture Phoenix or keep him in check. Chief Earle makes a decision to revive Spartan, reasoning that an out of control but effective cop mired in the ways of the late 20th Century may be the only one who can capture the out of control criminal, but he, and the future society, may be in for a lot more than they bargained for by reawakening the Demolition Man.

Demolition Man is one of the funniest, most action-packed and most poignant social satires of at least the last 30 years. It's not necessarily the easiest film to appreciate, as it makes its points through extremely over-the-top "mindless" action and tongue-in-cheek, purposefully cheesy plot and dialogue, but it's well worth trying to acclimate oneself to the style if you're not an action or sci-fi fan, as the satire cuts deep. There are other films with somewhat similar aims, such as Total Recall (1990) and Starship Troopers (1997), which are perhaps just as good as Demolition Man, but they certainly can't top it, and they have aims other than the purely satirical.

The opening scene feels like a typical late 1980s/early 1990s action sequence. At least until we realize that there's not going to be a happy ending for the hostages that Spartan is trying to save. Once we arrive at the future, a lot of viewers might misjudge the performances of the principal cast besides Stallone and Snipes. Sandra Bullock, as Lieutenant Lenina Huxley (a reference to Aldous Huxley's book Brave New World), and Benjamin Bratt, as Alfredo Garcia (a reference to Sam Peckinpah's 1974 film, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia), at first seem to be turning in bizarrely incompetent performances. It's only later that we realize they are spot on for the film's "brave new world", which is basically an instantiation of a staunchly moralist cult run by Dr. Raymond Cocteau (a reference to famed director Jean Cocteau combined with Cocteau's friend, novelist Raymond Radiguet).

Technically, the film is quite impressive. The production design, cinematography, effects, staging of the action sequences, score and soundtrack are excellent. But what sets Demolition Man a cut above the rest are the script and the performances--yes, even from Stallone and Snipes, although Bullock, and especially Denis Leary, in a relatively minor part where he gets to do his motor-mouthed, ranting comedy schtick that made him famous, both threaten to steal the show.

Director Marco Brambilla (who has remained oddly inactive since Demolition Man, which was his first film) and his writing "team" skewer a lot of cultural norms as relatively arbitrary conventions. Radio and television commercial jingles are considered the pinnacle of musical art in the film's world. Strict morality is enforced through constant computer monitoring of behavior combined with fines--a running joke throughout the film is that profanity results in fines. Meat and alcohol have been outlawed. So has physical contact, including sex. All restaurants are now Taco Bells (in some cuts of the film intended for foreign markets, this was changed to Pizza Hut instead). There is an underground, outside of the cultic mainstream society, but they're literally underground, living relatively lawless (well, at least they eat meat and drink beers) in tunnels strewn with utility pipes.

As a result, serious crime is a thing of the past, swept under the rug (or into the sewers) and labeled with Orwellian newspeak. Phoenix and Spartan's reintroduction of violence and mayhem, including "murder/death/kill", results in a reawakening of cultural freedom, analogous to their own thawing out. The anti-utopian, anti-utilitarian political message, like that of Orwell's 1984 and later films influenced by the same, such as Equilibrium (2002), couldn't be clearer. And the message can be extended to situations that are not political. I didn't use "cult" above carelessly. The idea is that the society's warts are necessary for individual authenticity. Yes, things can run smoother under a dictatorship, but who wants to live under a dictatorship, even a supposedly "benevolent" one?


142 of 158 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Saw it twenty years ago today at the cinema, anyone else... FlashCallahan
Anyone else think... fievelb
Funniest Lines Zach126
Taco Bell/Pizza Hut nikolaimusic
three seashells? citystoporange
Was the whole world suppose to be 'perfect'? onefatmess
Discuss Demolition Man (1993) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page