Best Submarine Movies

  • Das Boot (The Boat)

    Das Boot (The Boat) (R, 1981)

    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge
    Das Boot is one of the most gripping and authentic war movies ever made. Based on an autobiographica... read morel novel by German World War II photographer Lothar-Guenther Buchheim, the film follows the lives of a fearless U-Boat captain (Jurgen Prochnow) and his inexperienced crew as they patrol the Atlantic and Mediterranean in search of Allied vessels, taking turns as hunter and prey. There's very little plot, so the movie's power comes from both its riveting, epic battle scenes and its details of the boring hours spent waiting for orders or signs of the enemy. With the exception of one staunch Hitler Youth lieutenant, none of the crew is particularly loyal to the Nazis, and some are openly hostile toward their Fuhrer; this allows viewer sympathy with the men as they perform their laborious, monotonous duties in cramped, filthy quarters, or await death as depth charges explode all around the sub. Prochnow is excellent as the nerves-of-steel commander, and many of the supporting actors -- all German -- are solid as well, although the characterizations border on war movie clichés (the young crewman who has left behind his pregnant girlfriend, the Chief Engineer whose wife is seriously ill). The real star, however, is cinematographer Jost Vacano, who makes the sub's grimy, claustrophobic interior come to vivid life, as his camera follows the crew through hatches, up ladders, into bunks, and under pipes, creating a palpable sense of claustrophobia while injecting it with movement. Originally edited by writer/director Wolfgang Petersen as both a two-and-a-half hour theatrical release and a six-hour German miniseries, Das Boot was re-released in a restored version in 1997 with nearly one hour of added footage which made it even more suspenseful than before. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi
  • The Hunt for Red October

    The Hunt for Red October (PG, 1990)

    Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, James Earl Jones, Sam Neill
    The first of several films based on Tom Clancy's "Jack Ryan" technothrillers, Hunt for Red October s... read moretars Alec Baldwin as eccentric CIA analyst Ryan and Sean Connery as Soviet submarine commander Marko Ramius. Ramius sets the plot in motion when he murders his political adviser, burns his orders, and steers his sub Red October towards American waters, hoping to defect. The CIA, aware that the Red October was about to embark on an evasive mission to demonstrate its ability to avoid detection and fire its nuclear missiles upon U.S. installations, believes that Ramius is insane, and that he plans to start World War III. To cover their own behinds, the Russians back up the CIA's suspicion. Only Jack Ryan believes that Ramius' mission is not as apocalyptic as it seems -- and it is Ryan who is assigned to infiltrate the Red October to prove his theory. The sort of film that in an earlier era would have been called a "thinking man's thriller," The Hunt for Red October ushered in a new series of Hollywood-produced post-Cold War adventure films, including 1995's Crimson Tide. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
    • fb595080674
      fb595080674: For a movie with a Cold-Waresque submarine warfare plot, I was awfully bored most of the time.
      Reviewed 4 months days ago
    • fb526715597
      fb526715597: Alec Baldwin + Shaun Connory x Cold War submarine race = awesome!
      Reviewed 17 months days ago
    • fb1087124427
      fb1087124427: . The best submarine movie of recent times. Still fun 20 years on. Enjoy a thriller plot and plenty of action.
      Reviewed 15 months days ago
  • U-571

    U-571 (PG-13, 2000)

    Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi, Jake Weber
    In this World War II action thriller, American reconnaissance agents learn that a German submarine i... read mores sinking. The doomed ship carries an Enigma Machine, a special coding device that allows high-level Axis forces to send messages that can't be read without a similar encryption mechanism. Obtaining a working Enigma device would be invaluable for the Allied war effort, so a U.S. sub is sent out to rescue the machine. However, German forces have already picked up the sub's distress signal and are en route to rescue their comrades. U-571 features a distinguished cast, including Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, and Jon Bon Jovi. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • spitfiremk51
      spitfiremk51: . Could have been much better. Watch Das Boot instead for a good WWII submarine movie.
      Reviewed 3 months days ago
    • fb1077523731
      fb1077523731: .

      I've always been a big fan of submarine movies, and this one does an admirable job of making the boats feel claustrophobic. The st
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
    • Loth18
      Loth18: Director Jonathan Mostow crafted a tension filled nail-biter with this underwater submarine war thriller. A pulse-pounder that ranks up there with some of the best submarine war fil
      Reviewed 3 years days ago
  • K-19: The Widowmaker

    K-19: The Widowmaker (PG-13, 2002)

    Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard, Joss Ackland, John Shrapnel
    A real-life historical incident becomes the basis for this military thriller from director Kathryn B... read moreigelow that's reminiscent of such submarine dramas as Das Boot (1981), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Crimson Tide (1995), and U-571 (2000). Harrison Ford stars as Captain Alexi Vostrikov, a Russian naval officer who's being given command of the Soviet Union's first nuclear submarine, K-19, at the height of the Cold War in 1961. The vessel's previous commander, Captain Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson) has been demoted to executive officer following a botched test and his outspoken assertions that the flagship is not yet ready for deployment, but he curbs his resentment and resolves to serve his new superior well. Polenin's concerns are well founded: parts are not yet installed, equipment is missing, and the ship's doctor is killed in an auto mishap. Political pressure forces Vostrikov to sail his crew into the North Atlantic anyway, for a missile fire test that serves as a warning to the U.S. that its enemy is now its technological equal. The test is a success, but a disastrous leak in the K-19's reactor cooling system soon threatens to create enough heat to detonate the craft's nuclear payload -- which would certainly be mistaken for the first salvo in a worldwide atomic exchange and spark the beginning of World War III. With no other option, Vostrikov orders his men to repair the damage in ten-minute shifts, irradiating them hopelessly. The conflict between the seemingly bureaucratic Communist Vostrikov and the more humane Polenin escalates, until a surprising twist reveals where both officers' loyalties truly lie. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
    • spitfiremk51
      spitfiremk51: Best submarine movie I have seen. Although the point of the movie (the reactor meltdown) didnt happen un
      Reviewed 20 days days ago
    • elstew9
      elstew9: A rendering of a real-life account of an incident aboard a Russian nuclear submarine during the Cold War. Not much action, but one wouldn't expect it. High in drama, but nev
      Reviewed 16 months days ago
    • fb100001092752191
      fb100001092752191: s officially suppressed for 28 years, K-19: The Widowmaker is a fine addition to the "sub-genre" of submarine thrillers.
      Reviewed 19 months days ago
  • Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide (R, 1995)

    Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman, George Dzundza, Viggo Mortensen, James Gandolfini
    Two leaders with different philosophies about battle and leadership wage war with each other in this... read more tense military thriller. Capt. Frank Ramsey (Gene Hackman) is the commanding officer of a nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Alabama. Ramsey is a distinguished veteran near the end of his career, and he leads his men with an iron hand; as he puts it, "We're here to preserve democracy, not to practice it." Ramsey is assigned a new second-in-command, Lt. Cmmdr. Ron Hunter (Denzel Washington); Hunter is much younger than Ramsey, Harvard educated, and believes the goal of the military in the nuclear age is to prevent war, not fight it. While at sea, word reaches the Alabama that a splinter group of Russian forces have seized missile silos, and the ship is put on red alert. The Alabama has orders to fire, but as it is receiving a new incoming order the radio malfunctions. It's Ramsey's contention that an order is an order and they are to move forward with the attack, while Hunter feels if there is any question at all about their mission, they should wait until they can receive further instruction, with Hunter going so far as to threaten mutiny against Ramsey if the missile strike is carried out. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Towne both contributed to the screenplay without credit. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • fb100001513380747
      fb100001513380747: A tense, thrilling submarine war film with a nice tone to it, like "The Hunt for Red October." (B+)
      Reviewed 5 months days ago
    • 00Film
      00Film: . Although it's a little exaggerated it's a tense fast paced submarine drama.

      Surrounded by a fantastic supporting cast the 2 leads light up the screen with the
      Reviewed 7 months days ago
    • fb100002362637954
      fb100002362637954: . Well made and interesting until the conclusion, this is almost an unbeatable submarine film.
      Denzel Washington and gene Hackman are so well rounded actors you can feel the tensi
      Reviewed 17 months days ago