The China Syndrome
The China Syndrome (1979)

A true nailbiter, The China Syndrome is a potent harbinger of the potential devastation that can be wrought when humans attempt to harness an energy source they don't fully understand, an energy that can leave no leeway for such human… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: March 16, 1979
DVD Release Date: August 28, 2001
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Critic Score: 83% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

A tightly assembled didactic thriller.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

A terrific thriller that incidentally raises the most unsettling questions about how safe nuclear power plants really are.

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Richard T. Jameson
Parallax View

What we must quarrel with is the heartless, devious, and appallingly manipulative manner in which the authors of the film have drawn their good-guys-and-bad-guys battlelines ...

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Variety Staff

A moderately compelling thriller about the potential perils of nuclear energy, whose major fault is an overweening sense of its own self-importance.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

The three stars are splendid, but maybe Miss Fonda is just a bit more than that. Her performance is not that of an actress in a star's role, but that of an actress creating a character that happens to be major within the film.

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The film is one of those rare modern thrillers that manages to combine fantastic acting and intelligent dialogue with real, heart-stopping suspense.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

All a bit too earnest, despite the seriousness of the subject, with Fonda setting her jaw and stepping into father's footsteps as Tinseltown's very own protector of humanity; but it's tightly scripted and directed, and genuinely tense in places.

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Renee Schonfeld
Common Sense Media

Scary, absorbing thriller predicts risks of nuclear power.

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TV Guide

Not a comforting film, but an undeniably potent one.

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More reviews for The China Syndrome

Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
An effectively tense thriller that must have been even more terrifying when it came out, when fear of nuclear power was greater, and it is very well directed… More
xGary Xx
Jane Fonda plays a tenacious reporter whose news crew chances upon an incident at a nuclear power plant that could have led to a meltdown, and goes on to try… More
Aj V
A fantastic true to life film, with great actors, and intense suspense. I loved this movie and I highly recommend it.
Dean McKenna
Taut thriller about an accident at a nuclear power plant, features strong performances and solid direction.
Stephen M
Jack Lemmon plays a shift supervisor at a nuclear power plant who narrowly averts a core meltdown while being surreptitiously filmed by Jane Fonda and Michael… More
jay nixon
Gripping & frightening with a powerhouse cast