Rotten Tomatoes
Cancel Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari

PG-13 Released Dec 9, 2022 1h 38m Documentary TRAILER for The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari: Trailer 1 List
83% Tomatometer 18 Reviews 83% Audience Score 50+ Ratings
A close examination of the Whakaari / White Island volcanic eruption of 2019 in which 22 lives were lost, the film viscerally recounts a day when ordinary people were called upon to do extraordinary things, placing this tragic event within the larger context of nature, resilience, and the power of our shared humanity. Read More Read Less
Watch on Netflix Stream Now

Where to Watch

The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari


Watch The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari with a subscription on Netflix.

Critics Reviews

View All (18) Critics Reviews
Peter Rainer FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) Powerful... It's a very scary movie and not for everybody. Dec 20, 2022 Full Review Noel Murray Los Angeles Times The choice to limit the film’s scope also limits its impact; but the heart of “The Volcano” is still effectively harrowing, showing the moment when awe at nature’s wonders turns into mortal terror. Dec 16, 2022 Full Review Leslie Felperin Financial Times The resulting film pushes all the expected sentimental buttons and jerks a tear or two... But viewers might sense that there’s a more sublime dimension to the story lurking just under the surface like a bubbling reservoir of magma. Rated: 3/5 Dec 15, 2022 Full Review Archi Sengupta The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari is another tragic documentary that reminds us not to try to show Mother Nature who is boss. Rated: 4/5 Jul 9, 2024 Full Review Chance Solem-Pfeifer Willamette Week Intermittently, the film verges on criticizing ineffective threat systems or irregulated eco-tourism, but The Volcano isn’t willing to explore controversial ramifications, even to illustrate how responsibility was eluded. Rated: 2/4 Feb 15, 2023 Full Review Jane Freebury Jane Freebury Forensic anatomy of a disaster in this fine documentary that explores a tragic episode in adventure tourism, while detailing the unfolding tragedy and interrogating the risks taken that led to it Rated: 4/5 Dec 31, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (24) audience reviews
Dave S When several groups of tourists head out on an excursion to a volcanic island off the coast of New Zealand, they never take into consideration the possibility that their questionable judgement is going to come face-to-face with horrifically bad timing. The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaree is a terrifying documentary of unimaginable circumstances, a harrowing story of survival and heroism, presented primarily through cellphone footage shot by the victims of the catastrophe as it happened. With plenty of remarkable footage and some compelling personal stories, The Volcano is a memorable and impactful viewing experience. The music score does get a bit tiresome at times, but that’s a minor complaint about an otherwise solid documentary. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 05/11/24 Full Review Sarah R Great story, beautifully shot, just poorly produced. The background music is overwhelming to the point of muting the participants voices. I ended up having to use subtitles to get around the swelling orchestra. And, so unnecessary because this story is dramatic enough. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/03/24 Full Review Dan R If you want to watch a truly terrifying documentary this year then let me recommend 'The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari'. SYNOPSIS: 'During a sightseeing trip to a remote island, 47 tourists and guides are trapped by a volcanic eruption off the coast of New Zealand in 2019. Minute-by-minute footage and personal accounts give testimony to the tragedy that will claim 22 lives.' What makes this so scary is the amount of 1st person footage there is and how we watch people reacting to an experience which will change their lives for ever. And for some it'll end their lives or leave scars, both physical and mental, which there is no recovering from. It's harrowing at times as the awe of nature's wonders turns into mortal terror. How do escape the inescapable? How do you face your own mortality in that moment? It's a tremendously powerful documentary but it should come with a warning as some of the scenes you witness and hear are not for the faint of heart. Those who survived suffered the most terrible of injuries. Tragic and terrifying. 8/10 Rated 4 out of 5 stars 05/07/23 Full Review Paul A As "The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari" (2022 release; 98 min) opens, we are introduced to a small community on the North Island of New Zealand. Thirty miles off the coast lies Whakaari, or "White Island", one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and a popular tourist attraction. It is "December 9, 2019" as tourists arrive on the island... At this point we are less than 10 min into the movie. Couple of comments: this is the latest documentary from director Rory Kennedy, who just earlier this year made the excellent "Downfall: The Case Against Boeing". Here she reflects on that fateful day in December, 2019, when a group of tourists visiting Whakaari find themselves trapped when the volcano erupts. Let me admit up front that I had not heard of this tragedy before seeing this. A couple of things struck: first and foremost, the beauty of that island (someone remarks "it's like landing on the moon"), resulting in absolutely stunning photography (and immediately wanting to add this island to my "bucket list" of places to visit). But also this: there is a reason why the island is called "the most active volcano in the world", as this type of eruption apparently happens with regularity (as in: also in 2016, also in 2013, etc.). It is telling that after the 2019 eruption, the island was closed permanently to visitors, Along the way, we get lots of talking heads, including tourists who survived, first responders, etc. "The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari" had a brief US theatrical release, and then started streaming on Netflix, where I caught it. In and of itself there is nothing "revolutionary" about this disaster documentary, but watching the footage of this far flung location, literally at the end of the world, makes this worthwhile. Of course don't take my word for it, so I readily encourage you to check it out and draw your own conclusion. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review T Scott B A bunch of people travel to an ACTIVE volcano and then are amazed that such things erupt. The result is not good and sad, but the fact they ventured onto this ticking time bomb is an exercise in bad judgement, not drama. Hard pass. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Stevie O Very riveting and sad. Well put together. Listening to the survivors and watching their footage is heartbreaking. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari

My Rating


Cast & Crew

Athlete A 100% 92% Athlete A The Dissident 96% 82% The Dissident TRAILER for The Dissident An Unknown Compelling Force 67% 80% An Unknown Compelling Force The Alpinist 93% 97% The Alpinist TRAILER for The Alpinist Human Flow 91% 80% Human Flow TRAILER for Human Flow Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis A close examination of the Whakaari / White Island volcanic eruption of 2019 in which 22 lives were lost, the film viscerally recounts a day when ordinary people were called upon to do extraordinary things, placing this tragic event within the larger context of nature, resilience, and the power of our shared humanity.
Rory Kennedy
Mark Bailey
Production Co
PG-13 (Brief Strong Language)
Original Language
Release Date (Theaters)
Dec 9, 2022, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Dec 16, 2022
1h 38m
Most Popular at Home Now