Joe Versus the Volcano Poster

Release Date: March 9th, 1990

DVD Release Date: April 2nd, 2002

PG|1 hr 42 min

Plot Summary
Joe Banks (Tom Hanks) is dying, apparently. This is good news, since his life was not much worth living anyway. On the upside, a strange millionaire (Lloyd Bridges) offers Joe a way to die with meaning and dignity: by hurling himself into a volcano. With plenty of spending cash and an ensemble of new luggage, Joe embarks on an absurdist journey to his demise, guided by two very disparate sisters, and trying to puzzle out the meaning of existence.

Cast: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Abe Vigoda, Dan Hedaya, Ossie Davis, Barry McGovern

Director: John Shanley

Genres: Romantic comedy

Production Co: Warner Bros.

Keywords: Amusing, 1990s, Love, Doctor, Sacrifice, Dark, Los Angeles, Sister, Transformation, New York City, Charming

Ratings & Reviews

view all
  • Joe Versus the Volcano is difficult to review because some parts are fresh, inventive, and entertaining, while others are near-misses or even complete failures. On balance, however, I readily admit liking this movie, although the second half pales in comparison to the first. show more

  • Like a lava lamp turned on high, Joe Versus the Volcano glows with originality. Go bask in it. [9 Mar 1990, p.4D]

  • It is not an entirely successful movie, but it is new and fresh and not shy of taking chances. And the dialogue in it is actually worth listening to, because it is written with wit and romance. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com