Joe Versus the Volcano
Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Patrick Shanley's first foray into the director's chair is a quirky romantic fantasy, featuring Bo Welch's signature production design. Tom Hanks plays Joe Banks, a man who hates his job,… More

Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: March 9, 1990
DVD Release Date: April 2, 2002
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Critic Score: 64% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Joe Versus the Volcano erupts with plenty of screwball energy and thoughtful observations about living to the fullest, but its existential ambition may prove too goofy for some audiences.

Juan Carlos Coto
Miami Herald

After it's over, one thing is perfectly clear. Joe Versus the Volcano, for all its wacky gags, delightfully bizarre look and ill-fated attempts at insight, is only one thing: Mediocre.

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Joe Leydon
The Moving Picture Show

An epic comedy of goofiness triumphant and nuttiness unbound.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

Playwright John Patrick Shanley made his movie directing debut with this defiantly strange, totally under-appreciated, yet completely wonderful romantic comedy.

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Jason Bailey

It speaks to the commercial and critical success of Shanley's 1987 hit 'Moonstruck' that he was handed, by a major studio, the resources to make a movie as unapologetically weird as this one.

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Nicholas Bell

A silly fable about love as the end product of seizing the moment and getting out of your comfort zone, it's a scenario as superficial as Shanley's Moonstruck was substantial.

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Henry Stewart
Brooklyn Magazine

Like Woody Allen's filmmaking evolution played out in reverse: it starts as smart, existential black comedy and ends in broad, zany caricature.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Joe Versus the Volcano achieves a kind of magnificent goofiness. Hanks and Ryan are the right actors to inhabit it, because you can never catch them going for a gag that isn't there: They inhabit the logic of this bizarre world and play by its rules.

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Nick Rogers
Midwest Film Journal

It would be easy for Joe to embrace arch insincerity, to be a fulminating rant in fairytale clothing. Instead, it asserts that it's OK to be afraid, that emotional strength isn't always easy and that you can find what you thought forever lost.

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Brian Costello
Common Sense Media

Cult classic with smoking, kissing, stereotypes.

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More reviews for Joe Versus the Volcano

Flixster Audience Score: 54% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
Ahhh, the days of sweet youth! Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan look like high school kids in this little comedic trinket that waxes slightly philosophical. Starting… More
Tim Salmons
One of the few romantic comedies I can watch.
Manu Gino
An Average Joe. An Adventurous Comedy. Not so bad as it's said to be. The movie is probably too allegorical for most tastes, but this is a good tale about… More
Conner Rainwater
One of the most crazy ideas, but executed so gracefully. Tom Hanks is the most lovable guy out there and Meg Ryan the most lovable girl out there, naturally… More
Cassie Hill
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks prove once again that they have incredible movie chemistry. Meg Ryan plays 3 astonishingly different women, Dee dee, the shy women, who… More
Jason Owens
"Joe Versus the Volcano" is a strange movie, but it is great. Joe Banks (Tom Hanks) isn't satisfied with his job or his life and on top of that… More