An asteroid the size of Texas is heading toward earth. Unless it can be stopped, the human race will vanish. Advance pieces shower Manhattan and pulverize the city. Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton), NASA's executive director, runs through all the possible countermeasures and chooses a mission into outer space that will land on the asteroid, drill a deep hole for a nuclear bomb, and then get away before the bomb detonates and blows the huge rock to smithereens. Harry S. Stamper (Bruce Willis), the world's top oil driller, is called to Washington, D.C., and appraised of the jeopardy situation. He agrees to lead the mission if he can take his own team rather than an elite group of NASA astronauts.

Director Michael Bay has fashioned a nonstop sci-fi action adventure that runs full-throttle from start to finish. Even the emotional sidebar story of Stamper's wariness of handing his beloved daughter Grace (Liv Tyler) over to her lover A.J. Frost (Ben Affleck) cooks. The film pays homage to the 1967 film The Dirty Dozen where a band of criminals redeem themselves on a dangerous World War II mission. Here Stamper's determination to get the job done no matter what is fueled by loyalty to his crew of misfits that includes a deadbeat dad (Will Patton) and a sex-obsessed scientific genius (Steve Buscemi). In Armageddon these antiheroes prove themselves up to the challenge of saving the world.