What sells this formulaic corker of Apocalypse Porn is the cast.
You see San Francisco and Los Angeles falling apart very loudly and dangerously, and in great computer-generated detail. But there’s nothing memorable or beautiful about the carnage; no specific moments to replay in your head once the film is over.
The Hollywood Reporter
The movie is at its strongest when it integrates family dynamics into the plot rather than indulging in extreme couples therapy.
If you crave Emmerich-esque disaster-porn with a mega body count, there’s plenty here to OMG at. But when it comes to character depth or plotting, San Andreas is a sadly familiar wasteland.
The cast’s likeable work falls right through the script holes.
The very earnest human drama fits awkwardly into the action and isn’t helped by some unconvincing performances and weak dialogue.
After providing some blissfully stupid B-movie thrills for its first hour, the film suffers from spectacle overkill.
San Andreas' whirlwind of action and devotion to the disaster movie playbook will satisfy those looking for a loud, effects-filled ride. Those inspecting it any closer will find a cookie cutter studio blockbuster which stretches disbelief to its limits.
Time Out New York
Campy but never campy enough and far too numbingly artificial to ever drum up any real suspense or sense of awe, the film has a scale that's squandered on visual witlessness.
San Andreas can't wait for the carnage. The problem is, it's too chicken to ask us to comprehend it. It's all big, distant, unfathomable wreckage -- all shattering skyscrapers and rippling cityscapes -- with no sense of the human cost.