''Armageddon'' made our list of best disaster movies
FAMILIAR FACES (From left to right) Will Patton, Bruce Willis, Michael Clarke Duncan, Ben Affleck, and Owen Wilson; also: Steve Buscemi, Liv Tyler, and Billy Bob Thornton
UH-OH! As meteor showers lay waste to New York City landmarks, an asteroid the size of Texas threatens to wipe out life on Earth as we know it.
DISASTROUS DIALOGUE ''The fate of the planet is in the hands of a bunch of retards I wouldn't trust with a potato gun.'' General Kimsey (Keith David)
SAVING THE DAY A crew of oil-drilling roughnecks fly a shuttle to the asteroid, drill a very deep hole in it, plant a nuclear bomb there, and blow the rock into harmless smithereens.
AFTERSHOCKS The immediate impact was on Deep Impact, 1998's other asteroid movie, which suffered for being more cerebral and less frenetic. Armageddon's success allowed director Michael Bay and Affleck to film 2001's Pearl Harbor (substitute Japanese bombers for the meteors). Animal cracker-chomping lovers Affleck and Tyler would reunite romantically in 2004's Jersey Girl, which proved a different kind of disaster at the box office.
WHY YOU SHOULD SEE IT For comic reliever Buscemi, who gets the best lines. For the now-comforting rah-rah patriotism. For the relentless, Ritalin-paced editing. Did we mention Steve Buscemi?
EW GRADE C