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Joe Versus the Volcano
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Joe Versus the Volcano

1990
Romance
Comedy
1h 42m
When a hypochondriac learns that he is dying, he accepts an offer to throw himself in a volcano at a tropical island, and along the way there, learns to truly live. (imdb)
Your probable score
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Joe Versus the Volcano

1990
Romance
Comedy
1h 42m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 37.2% from 1062 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1062)
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Rated 09 Jan 2017
90
93rd
Very underrated classic. Because it doesn't take itself seriously and goes for a campy sort of allegory, people think the film is bad. In fact, for me, it has messages that have stuck with me through the years, and it's very re-watchable. And it's left me with a very keen appreciation for luggage.
Rated 31 Jan 2012
100
99th
Tom Hanks responding to 2nd Meg Ryan's suicidal thoughts: "If it's between...that or doing the thing you're scared of, why not do it? Take the leap!" He says this knowing full well that he is being paid to leap to his own death. This message is positive and incredibly insightful. Her response is that it's bullshit because it doesn't cost him anything, again, not knowing that he's being paid to kill himself. They wrote in the right thing then said, "Screw the easy route, let's be real." Awesome.
Rated 24 Sep 2017
80
90th
Social satire full of clues, nods and symbolism? I would never have expected a 90s amblin production to go these places, but here it is. Sure, it doesn't go all the way with its sugarcoated ending, but it still offers a somewhat satisfying conclusion. The meg ryan thing is genius, as are the subtle hints at the true nature of joe's journey and his sickness. Don't mind the idiots who don't get the simplest analogies, give this a go!
Rated 08 Mar 2014
72
47th
After considering it at great length, I think if I were Tom Hanks and stuck on an island, I'd rather talk to a soccer ball with a painted face than a Meg Ryan with a painted face.
Rated 07 Jan 2018
89
94th
Straddling whimsy and fairy-tale-like, Joe Versus the Volcano seems to be a forgotten gem. Hanks and Ryan are adorable, as always, but it the playfulness of this film that sends it higher than most late 80s and early 90s romantic comedies. From the Coen-esque beginning to the outrageously funny island conclusion, the film has such a confidence in its tone.
Rated 21 Dec 2020
80
75th
Doesn't feel that different from a Coen Brothers film, honestly. Also, this has made me re-evaluate Moonstruck, as now I feel like I understand that film more.
Rated 13 Jan 2011
75
67th
Don't really know why people dislike it so much. It's pretty funny and incredibly unique. Not all the scenes are done well and the ending/wrap-up is ridiculously quick, but everything up to that point is pure fun.
Rated 23 Apr 2012
93
88th
Utterly charming and original fable, with plenty of Gilliam-esque touches. Hanks makes a perfect Everyman, and Ryan gives arguably the performance(s) of her career as three very different women. Highighted by perfectly written, vicious satire on the workaday life, and a wonderful soundtrack of vintage songs, some performed in unexpected ways. Supporting cast, including Bridges, Stack and Davis enhance the oddball mood.
Rated 11 Oct 2021
63
15th
Watching this for the first time in 2021 was an odd experience. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this felt so much more removed from modern expectations for tone, characters or storytelling than many films that are twice as old.
Rated 17 Sep 2012
73
69th
Very original and distinct mix of drama, romance and comedy. And, how good is Meg Ryan in this? :o Best performance of hers I've seen so far... Great Tom Hanks, too, obviously.
Rated 31 May 2008
85
72nd
I do NOT get why more people don't love this movie. I truly don't.
Rated 20 Sep 2020
25
3rd
A mostly terrible mishmash of David Lynch, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam and Mel Brooks. But Hanks and Ryan are always likeable when they appear together on screen, so at least there is that.
Rated 04 Aug 2007
93
76th
Modern-day fairy tale about sacrifice, existentialism, and how cool it would be if Meg Ryan were no longer plastic and crazy. Not a perfect movie, but original and visionary. Manages to be just plain weird, in an enjoyable way.
Rated 23 Sep 2011
100
96th
I think this is the only sentimental love movie that I am sentimental about... but there's always something with you Joe isn't there.
Rated 23 Sep 2012
3
32nd
Sterile & half-assed version of Brazil. I love that flick way too much to see it lamed up - even though [small] bits of this can be good.
Rated 28 Nov 2008
19
94th
My vote for the single-most underrated film of all-time.
Rated 17 Sep 2007
75
79th
very original and charming
Rated 26 Jan 2008
88
69th
Under rated - to me an inspiring movie.
Rated 03 Aug 2009
19
17th
Totally bad for me
Rated 17 Jun 2024
74
74th
The set design is fantastic, Meg Ryan is having a blast, and there's a whole slew of enjoyable moments along the way.
Rated 05 Mar 2009
30
10th
Aw, how cute. :/
Rated 10 Apr 2009
0
15th
Weak whimsy, directed without flair.
Rated 02 Aug 2014
50
28th
The Vegas odds on the volcano were 10:1. You'd be a sucker to turn down that action.
Rated 30 Mar 2008
77
45th
Well before Sleepless in Seattle, Hanks and Ryan were golden.
Rated 08 Jan 2011
52
17th
52.125
Rated 19 Sep 2021
60
17th
Joe Versus the Volcano is a strange movie. I liked parts of the story. I've seen this movie in bits and pieces but this is the first time I ever sat down and watched it all. Hanks plays a spineless guy working for a prosthetics company. Dan Hedaya plays his awful boss. Hedaya is great in this role. Meg Ryan plays three roles in this film which I think pulled her a little thin. None of the roles are great. The last of which is the most naturally Meg Ryan role of the three. Enjoyable but not great
Rated 16 Jan 2024
40
38th
I have a childhood memory enjoying this movie in the theatre with my family. Seeing it now, over 30 years later, it's really not very good. There's only so far the charms of Hanks and Meg can take you.
Rated 14 Nov 2018
80
77th
rvw. end island part almost had it down a few points til the ending hit home the fantasy+metaphor. this might be their best one with their dynamic, mainly cuz of her, mainly as the blonde. i rarely notice myself liking directing but i did here. and that limo driver was profound. RIP the mullet
Rated 28 Sep 2019
5
45th
Pretty good set up,but second half fell flat
Rated 23 Nov 2019
53
32nd
More ambitious than your average rom com, especially with Hanks and Ryan, JVTV at least tries to ground its fairy tale conceit in the drudgery of Joe's life, a dying everyman running desperately short on luck. Its loosely constructed narrative is structured around his colourful encounters with curious oddballs, and the lack of narrative momentum is pleasing until it becomes clear that Shanley doesn't have the talent to totally pull it off, but the production design is good and so is Hanks.
Rated 15 Oct 2020
20
7th
the incredible opening sequence devolves into a bunch of pap and ham that straight up just makes me feral. someone tried to pass this sh*t off as deep. also it's incredibly, unbelievably racist
Rated 27 Apr 2021
85
33rd
https://esperwatchesfilms.tumblr.com/post/649580439711924225/joe-versus-the-volcano-1990
Rated 03 Jul 2022
9
3rd
My boyfriend described it as “the plot of a late Simpsons episode spread over 90 minutes”
Rated 04 Jan 2023
80
68th
Some stuff really doesn't work. The jokes about the island tribe kind of fall flat, even with Abe Vigoda as the chief, but there's so much inventive nonsense that I just let that stuff slide by.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
5
1st
Man, Tom Hanks was really in a ton of shitty movies.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
53
41st
Pretty okay for a cutesy romantic comedy.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
55
18th
Dumb, but for some reason you find yourself watching it.
Rated 16 Aug 2010
20
2nd
I hated this movie--really was disappointed with the execution and the script. I didn't care for the characters which made it hard to enjoy the film.
Rated 23 Sep 2010
63
34th
This is one of those films you may recognize as being poor, but get some enjoyment out of it due the charm of Hanks.
Rated 16 Feb 2008
2
33rd
I can see what's going on here, but it really misses the mark.
Rated 01 Aug 2009
62
56th
Like this... quite a bit actually!
Rated 28 Jan 2015
80
55th
I saw this in theaters. I was 6 and I don't remember a drop of it other than Tom Hanks which makes perfect sense because nobody remembers Meg Ryan being in this or real life for that matter, so pending a re-watch I assume it was brilliant based on the title.
Rated 15 Jul 2009
85
72nd
A movie that is completely sui generis - it is like nothing before or since in its insistent weirdness. It doesn't always work, but my respect for it over the years has grown and grown.
Rated 09 Nov 2012
66
39th
There are some groan-inducing bad moments in this film that make it hard to like, but it has enough momentum to keep you somewhat engaged.
Rated 28 May 2020
56
17th
The best performance of Meg Ryan's career.
Rated 15 Nov 2014
10
3rd
Wow, this was god-awful. And as others have said, it actually started out really promising. But the moment he accepts the job, it starts to go downhill in one hell of a hurry, and hits rock bottom when you get to an island full of natives. I think I can say everything that needs to be said about the portrayal of said natives when I tell you that two of the natives are (over)played by Abe Vigoda and Nathan Lane. And why is Meg Ryan 3 different people, 2 of them unbearably obnoxious?
Rated 14 Aug 2007
72
39th
Meg Ryan shines in three different roles in this light comedy. Her chemistry with Tom Hanks is always incredible. Sadly this is my least favorite of their pairings. Abe Vigoda steals the movie. Maybe I should have ranked it lower, but I think I have a brain cloud.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
65
58th
Yes, it's stupid, but I still like it.
Rated 13 Sep 2009
20
4th
Dumb
Rated 02 Mar 2009
15
14th
Lame plot, lame casting.
Rated 10 Nov 2012
64
36th
Gilliam-lite, and quite unsubtle. Sometimes that ends up being a great asset, but mostly it's a "been there, done that" kind of film.
Rated 03 Apr 2011
83
41st
A mostly forgotten and very quirky comedy with strong, and not heavy handed despite the material, performances by Hanks and Ryan. The film's sincere plot relishes in its hyper-fictional universe, that many would find borderlines fantasy, but never stops taking itself seriously. Weakly filmed, the script does most of the heavy lifting. Nice, if underutilized, set locations also help. This is no Citizen Kane but go in expecting a refreshing, whimsical comedy and you'll be satisfied.
Rated 22 Feb 2007
30
9th
Very poor.
Rated 04 Dec 2014
70
48th
Charming but could use some subtlety.
Rated 02 May 2007
40
23rd
Tries real hard to be fun and romantic and different, but it's just so *bad* at it. A relic from the bad old days when every Tom Hanks movie sucked
Rated 25 Aug 2007
31
31st
ok
Rated 28 Jun 2008
45
46th
worth a watch

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