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Overall Rating
2.68

Awesome: 23.02%
Worth A Look: 15.11%
Average: 7.19%
Pretty Bad: 16.55%
Total Crap38.13%

5 reviews, 109 user ratings


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Twister (1996)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Stupid fun."
4 stars

In 'Twister,' the capricious tornadoes growl ominously as they approach, and they pluck up huge trucks and tear houses apart with such casual, horrifying force that the audience gasps and laughs at the same time. 'Twister' promises — and delivers — pure apocalyptic power unlike anything put on film before. These seething black mushrooms in the blue-gray Oklahoma sky have a scary, Wagnerian grandeur. I was reminded of the 'King Lear' line: "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods."

Is Twister a great movie? Hell, no. The script, credited to Michael Crichton and his wife Anne-Marie Martin, is basically either "Look, a tornado! Let's chase it!" or "Look, a tornado! Let's take cover!" But Twister is a great summer movie — a warm-weather no-brainer addressing the two classic action-film themes, force and momentum.

Those themes are the bread and butter of director Jan de Bont, a former cinematographer (Die Hard) who made his debut with the pedal-to-the-metal Speed. De Bont has a genius for the aesthetics of motion, the comedy of relentlessness. Twister may be the most beautiful action movie you'll see this summer: The kinetic shots, composed by Jack N. Green (Clint Eastwood's regular cameraman) and edited by Michael Kahn (Steven Spielberg's usual cutter), flow into each other like the panels of a great comic book — say, Jack Kirby circa 1966.

The plot? There isn't one, actually. The Crichtons have obviously seen The Abyss, with its estranged couple under stress. Here, the couple is Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, dedicated stormchasers who want to send special sensors up into a tornado to get data that may improve tornado warnings. Meanwhile, a rival team of stormchasers (led by arrogant Cary Elwes) hope to beat Helen and Bill at their own game. That's it. But that's about all de Bont needs.

Twister isn't the brilliant machine that Speed was, but it often packs a comparable wallop. When the heroes are driving towards a tornado and a terrified cow spins through the air, I laughed at first, but the surrealism of that image has haunted me. The cow is only a warm-up for such unguided missiles as tractors, windmills, fuel trucks, and finally an entire house. What happens with the house is so perfect, so summer-movie absurd, that I wouldn't dream of giving it away.

Hunt and Paxton make an appealing pair, and they try to do more than "Look, a tornado!" Hunt has a fine, lyrical moment when she stands her ground and gazes into a massive twister, her blonde hair billowing; she's like a storybook goddess. But really you don't go to see the people in Twister any more than you went to see the people in Jurassic Park or Speed. You go for three things: pursuit, retreat, annihilation. In that order.

'Twister' may be no more than what Pauline Kael called "jolts for jocks," but it's among the most ravishing dumb movies ever made.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=224&reviewer=416
originally posted: 02/03/07 10:48:44
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User Comments

9/18/13 Jeff Wilder Fantastic FX. Bleh characterization and story. 3 stars
10/13/11 bob I think its a great movie. 5 stars
6/03/10 User Name About as entertaining as a weather report. 1 stars
3/04/10 PAUL SHORTT EFFECTS ASIDE ITS PREDICTABLE, CLICHED, SLOPPILY WRITTEN AND POORLY PERFORMED 2 stars
11/13/09 RealityOfFilms This is a GREAT movie! And it has its funny moments too, which makes it even better! 5 stars
10/21/09 baby doll this movie suck along wit the review 1 stars
1/20/09 Antonina It was so interesting for me. Those tornadoes are terrible things! 5 stars
9/30/08 Jerome C. This will be the last comment. THAT FLICK WAS GREAT! now stop watching it. 4 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner The storyline is well made! 5 stars
8/05/08 Braniff Don't waste your time with this bullcrap! 1 stars
5/26/08 loser stop swearing this movie was hektic!!!!! 5 stars
4/24/08 donkey this movie can suck a dick 1 stars
12/04/07 christina holsinger it was fucking cool 5 stars
6/18/07 Greyson Best movie, seen it a million times and never gets old, who cares if its realistic or not 5 stars
5/21/07 Keith Saw it for like the 23rd time this weekend. Never gets old. Some slow parts in the middle. 5 stars
5/07/07 Lloyd Fucking stupid ass movie 1 stars
4/26/07 David Risser Good movie about tornadoes/one of my favorite disaster movies 4 stars
4/02/07 Travis Hoffman totally gret, I watch it every day.helen hunt is fuckin hot. twister is great 5 stars
2/23/07 Weblynx Great special effects, really good movie 5 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday Good fun. I like it mostly for Jami Gertz's character. 3 stars
2/06/07 Matt Flying cow, the fx are great! The story's silly, but this isn't about intelligent scripts. 4 stars
12/10/06 Danielle my alltime fav. movie 5 stars
12/01/06 David Pollastrini great fx 5 stars
10/15/06 JM Synth Not very good, but if you liked ID4 in 96, you're no better than anyone Slyder. 2 stars
9/16/06 jcp loved it 5 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist Best f#%*ing film ever made, I distinctly remember exiting the theater revved up&awed 5 stars
6/18/06 chienne Is Helen Hunt only capable of playing Bitch Supreme in every movie she's in? 3 stars
5/27/06 Sheena Love it. Action, adventure, death and love. 5 stars
5/12/06 Fruit-Loop Good but lacks X Factor 6.6/10 4 stars
2/13/06 Anthony One of the Greatest movies of 1996 4 stars
1/03/06 cody I give this visual effect mind blowing movie, with decent story , good perf. helen***1/2 4 stars
11/15/05 Kayla I absolutely love this movie. It makes me want to seriously be a tornado chaser. Im only 16 5 stars
10/19/05 Quigley this is the best and only good natural disaster movie. awesome visuals and great sound! 5 stars
9/30/05 lilly this movie totally kicked Ass!! I swear they NEED to make another one!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/11/05 ES Ugh, check your editing there de Bont, is the windshield on the truck smashed or not? 2 stars
6/30/05 darick God! I f****ing hated this movie as a 7-yr old, and still do f****ing hate it 1 stars
5/26/05 tony Once again another one hit wonder by Jan De Bont. This movie was great! 4 stars
4/25/05 sunny it was a pretty not so eye catching movie untill the cow flew across the T.V screen. 4 stars
3/06/05 Nate Awesome movie 5 stars
8/14/04 G-man great weather movie 5 stars
8/02/04 jade farrell twister is the worlds best moviue i have seen 5 stars
6/02/04 M. Arnold I liked the movie. It made me want to study more about tornados. 4 stars
5/31/04 Zierra Langham I think it sucked it can be a little more cooler and moveable. 2 stars
5/11/04 cat i liked it 5 stars
3/15/04 Heather I LOVE IT VERY MUCH I DONT' KNOW WHAT U GUYS ARE SAYING U MUST BE CRAZY CAUSE IT IS AWSOME! 5 stars
2/24/04 Anna an extremely boring pathetic film the special effects are good though 2 stars
1/29/04 Marlyn Jones i can't belive peple say it's bad! there is more to this movie than most than you think! 4 stars
1/05/04 Lyz total crap, not many actual facts, they need to learn how to act 1 stars
12/07/03 john no story whatsoever - bad acting - laughable villains and effects that don't hold up 1 stars
9/25/03 jimmy d while i was at the theater a tornado hit and killed my father! 1 stars
6/15/03 Jack Sommersby No characters nor story -- just butt-fucking f/x. Who cares? 1 stars
4/04/03 Jack Bourbon Maybe if we drive INTO the tornado, we can get a better look! 1 stars
3/20/03 May Q. Horney Helen Hunt's character just too contentious in this one. 3 stars
3/02/03 Jamie Meola What are you people talking about?! This is a great movie!! 5 stars
1/31/03 jeremy Bad when excluding Helen Hunt, totally atrocious when including her. 1 stars
1/05/03 R.W. Welch Cardboard characters, but lots of good flying debris. 2 stars
11/17/02 Nevz pants. 1 stars
11/13/02 COLLEEN GREAT PLOT 5 stars
10/31/02 Linley I liked it, I love everyting about tornadoes, so i had to check it out! 5 stars
10/29/02 STEVE BOY IS IT BAD. 2 stars
10/29/02 José this film is not a masterpiece ... but I enjoy it very much 5 stars
9/30/02 Charles Tatum Oh, c'mon, don't take it so seriously 4 stars
9/29/02 Peter Sherlock Total wank 1 stars
9/25/02 movie guy great 5 stars
8/31/02 Ken Great special effects, everything else sucked donkey dick. C'mon - an EVIL METEOROLOGIST?? 1 stars
8/26/02 Z This is shit. The characters are paper thin and peeling at the edges. IT SUCKS....hard 1 stars
7/05/02 Ken Come on - an EVIL METEOROLOGIST? Even Disney villians have one dimension. 1 stars
6/07/02 stud NEAT 3 stars
4/10/02 NWO4LIFE Fun, but repetitive 3 stars
4/03/02 Butterbean Awesome effects and great story. This movie deserves it's $241million profit. 5 stars
1/24/02 Andrew Carden Milking Cows Is Better Then Watching This. 1 stars
11/30/01 The $1.98 Pyramid The tornadoes are worth a look, the characters are laughable. 4 stars
11/13/01 Tam Forgettable SFX-laden flick with no plot/performances to speak of. 2 stars
11/03/01 Chris Batchelor Better than other people's opinino, esp. within the meteorological standpoint! 5 stars
8/10/01 Mr. Hat I didn't think it was too bad. 3 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Cool effetcs, but the rest is pure goat spunk. 1 stars
7/31/01 Henry Ginsberg Boring 2 stars
12/20/00 The Evil Penguin HEY!!! 4 stars
11/26/00 Cristopher Revilla Good visual effects, not so good of a story, and a very fucked up ending 2 stars
10/15/00 Ant Brilliant special effects. BUT, the acting and script are among the worst in movie history 2 stars
7/12/00 Terrie Smith Great special effects; boring personal story line. 3 stars
4/16/00 Thrill seeker Home theater or big screen only for viewing. Ignore the plot, ride from twister to twister. 5 stars
3/24/00 David Rogers I seen the script the writer for this movie had for Godzilla, and it was crappy as this. 1 stars
2/17/00 Bozo A decent effect or two but illogical and hunt would ruin a perfectly good blowjob 2 stars
2/16/00 Kyle Broflovski Substance-free squared. But I still saw it 3 times. I'm a ducking fumbass, I guess... 2 stars
1/10/00 Will hey, look, a movie about wind 1 stars
7/24/99 Hagbard Celine Would've been okay if Bill Paxton had been struck and killed by a flying cow. 1 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg This is probably the stupidest film ever. But also the FUNNEST. 4 stars
6/04/99 Ah Dooey Simply said: Awful. Truly awful. 1 stars
5/04/99 Big Dog Bill Paxton is horrible, How can he get acting roles? Bill Paxton you suck! 1 stars
4/28/99 WindSuck This movie SUCKED and BLEW! 1 stars
4/21/99 lucas jackson it is one fucking piece of shit,it makes Titanic look good,fuck twister 1 stars
3/18/99 Max Bernstein Damn you Bill Paxton. Damn you straight to Hell. 1 stars
12/31/98 Todd As bad as Lost World 1 stars
12/04/98 Shadow Raider God awful. Sappy FX and plot, shit story.ID4 sucked even more. 1 stars
11/24/98 Fred Uppa yo ass, movie!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/10/98 Hugh Jass Wind? Twist? Wind? Choo-choo-choose me and... Goddamit! 1 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob Loved the flying cows, but WHERE THE HELL WAS THE PLOT! 3 stars
10/18/98 katherine nice effects, but a little boring at times. 4 stars
10/13/98 tw not bad 5 stars
10/10/98 KrazNutz You can't tell me that Hollywood doesn't know 90% of the audience are idiots. This is proof 2 stars
8/31/98 Matt it was like one great big truck commercial 2 stars
8/30/98 Mister Whoopee This movie blew. Get it? BLEW! WIND! BLEW! Haha. It says choo-choo-choose me and... bah. 1 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Same director did Speed 2. Kill him before he breeds. 2 stars
8/23/98 Superfly Terrible, terrible movie. 1 stars
8/21/98 Mike F this movie was ok. only cause I like crappy movies. 3 stars
8/17/98 Johny Taught me a lot about Tornado saftey 1 stars
8/17/98 J-Guy (The MFC) I needed this movie as bad as a stale glass of water and kick in the head. 1 stars
8/16/98 {{{OZ}}} "Quick! Tie your belt to a pipe and the twister won't hurt us!" - Fuck off. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  10-May-1996 (PG)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Jul-1996 (PG)




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