Down 380 this week

The Core (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  28 March 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 74,050 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 462 user | 149 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

The only way to save Earth from catastrophe is to drill down to the core and set it spinning again.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dave Perry
Eileen Pedde ...
Danni (as Rékha Sharma)
Tom Scholte ...
FBI Agent
FBI Agent
Serge (as Tcheky Karyo)
Bart Anderson ...
Justin Callan ...
Little Boy
Chris Humphreys ...
GBTV Reporter - Trafalgar Square


The Earth's core has stopped spinning. Disasters are appearing all over the world: Birds acting crazy, powerful thunderstorms, 32 people die within seconds of each other when their pacemakers quit working. Dr. Josh Keyes and his crew of five (total members: 6) go down to the center of the Earth to set off a nuclear device to make the Earth's core start spinning again or Mankind will perish. Written by Inhotenjoys

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This Spring, Mankind's Greatest Threat Is Earth Itself. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi life/death situations and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |


Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Core  »

Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£583,238 (UK) (28 March 2003)


$3,592,088 (Japan) (4 July 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the scientific experts consulted for the making of the movie was Dr. David Stevenson of Cal-Tech. After talking to the producers, he thought of a scientifically possible way to send an unmanned probe to the core. His idea was published in the prestigious science journal Nature on 15 May 2003. See more »


When Rat offers to help Josh stop Project Destiny, he tells Josh "here is the information you're primed for". Josh understands the code and enters "prime numbers" into his computer: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, etc. But 1 is not a prime number. (Note: 1 used to be considered prime number, but modern number theory doesn't think so - Josh ought to be up to date with these things.) See more »


[first lines]
Dave Perry: [referring to his watch] It stopped.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning when the Paramount pictures logo is shown there is a transition between the Paramount pictures logo and the film - the camera zooms in on the mountain then starts to move down through the mountain to the core of the earth. See more »


Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #29.14 (2003) See more »


Weren't You the One
by Roger Kellaway & K. Lawrence Dunham
Performed by Sherry Williams
Courtesy of WilliamSound West
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Core has chewy center, cheesy surface
23 September 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Hollywood's gone to the outer reaches of our galaxy (not to mention others), it's plumbed the depths of the ocean, mapped dank swamps and arid deserts, but one place it hasn't gone to with any sort of regularity is the inner core itself.

The Core is certainly one of those movies for which one must suspend disbelief. It's a science-fiction movie that emphasizes fiction over all; that is, the physics of the film don't hold up to snuff. If you're an engineer or physicist, you should be smart enough not to watch it - you'll just spend most of your time second-guessing the inane psuedoscience.

It seems the inner core of the Earth has stopped spinning, for some reason, and this has caused the electromagnetic field that surrounds and protects the planet to begin to decompose. This is evidenced by, among other things, pigeons in Tralfagar Square in London suddenly veering at plate-glass windows and sundry people who wish they were extras in a less-violent movie, like Daddy Daycare or maybe Finding Nemo. At any rate, the world's leading scientists, commissioned by the military (it wouldn't be a Save the Planet from Imminent Destruction without our pals in the movie military), figure out that the core's stopped rotating, and that Something Must Be Done to get it going again.

Ah, but what? We've only drilled down about 8 miles, and according to my calculations the distance from the surface to the core is .... a bit further. We must drill down, sayeth the sage scientists, and lo and behold, through the magic of movies, there's this guy in the desert who's been working on a laser rocket thingy that'll help them blast all the way down. This handy little thing is just the cure, so a crew is hastily assembled: Commander Iverson (Bruce Greenwood), Major Beck Childs (Hilary Swank), Dr. Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart), Dr. Serge Leveque (Tcheky Karyo), Dr. Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci), and Dr. Ed Brazzelton.

Like such doomsday movies as Armageddon, what The Core has going for it are likeable characters and a lot of nifty FX. It also has the unknown working for it; we don't know what lies beneath the thin crust of the Earth, because we haven't drilled beyond it. That allows filmmakers a lot of free reign to depict whatever the heck they want in terms of What's Down There.

What The Core has going against it, however, is a predictable plot and some howlingly awful dialog. Now, it's not giving anything away to mention that at least one person doesn't make it back from this mission. It's also not giving anything away to note that there's at least one knockdown, drag-out hissy fit of a scene in which Keyes admonishes Childs for something she didn't do. It's hysterical to watch, although I suspect the emotion the director was attempting to convey was more like empathy, not euphoria. Or ennui, which is unfortunately how some of the movie felt.

The Core is cheesy. No, not the actual inner core - although, come to think of it, maybe it is, since we don't know for sure what it's made of. And wouldn't that be fitting? A cheesy core for a cheesy film made by cheesy people in a cheesy society? Who's up for some Muenster?

105 of 145 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Are movies like The Core just anti-science propoganda? paul-1362
Why cant anyone but the Americans save the planet?! Achnot
What I learned from The Core TalkingPie666
low rating, for such an obvious gem! omegaman7769-1
Cell phone service is crap but their comms work in the mantle of Earth? vivace1
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