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Overall Rating
3.01

Awesome: 10.34%
Worth A Look43.68%
Average: 8.05%
Pretty Bad: 12.64%
Total Crap: 25.29%

14 reviews, 90 user ratings


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U-571
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by EricDSnider

"Better than sub standard."
4 stars

After a first act that is mostly in German with English subtitles, leading into long exposition scenes that take forever, "U-571" turns into one heck of a taut, exciting action film with surprising depth (get it? It's about a submarine!) and emotion.

It's 1942, and a German submarine, U-571, has been wrecked by the Americans. A Navy crew led by Capt. Dahlgren (Bill Paxton, looking very Tim Robbinsy) is dispatched to sneak onto the disabled sub and find the "Engima" -- an encryption device that, once in the hands of the Allies, will enable them to understand the codes the Germans use to communicate with each other. (This is based loosely on true accounts of this sort of daring thing happening in World War II.)

The plan is to show up dressed like the Germans, accompanied by two U.S. soldiers who speak German, and infiltrate the sub by pretending to be bringing supplies. Things go awry, though, when a German destroyer blows up the American's ship while most of them are on board U-571 -- leaving them stranded on a non-functioning submarine that will soon be rescued by Germans, who no doubt will not take kindly to finding Americans on their U-boat.

In compliance with action-movie genericism laws, Lt. Andrew Tyler (Matthew McConaughey) is told early on that he's not good enough to command a ship; naturally, within moments, he finds himself at the command of a ship. Also, in order to prove Americans aren't the cold-blooded killers Germans are, the guys take a German fellow as a prisoner, rather than killing him, thus enabling him to screw up their plans more than once before someone finally has the sense to kill him -- but even then, he doesn't like doing it.

There's also a whole lot of submarine talk, with people yelling things pretty much randomly: "Everything's in German!" "I can't find the valve!" "Torpedoes in the water!" "Everyone's yelling!" "No one's listening!" "Batten down the hatches!"

But there's also some major suspense and action, and an inspiring theme of loyalty, courage and patriotism, nicely written and directed by Jonathan Mostow. Notice especially Chief Klough (Harvey Keitel), a man much older than Tyler who nonetheless remains completely loyal to him as a commanding officer.

Pay attention also to Rabbit (Will Estes) and Trigger (Tom Guiry), young recruits who devotedly (though with terror always in their eyes) obey every command with exactness. Rabbit's response to the death and subsequent dispatching of his friend, the rebellious Mazzola (Erik Palladino), is especially touching, as is Trigger's human and realistic reaction to a mission he doesn't think he's capable of filling.

Aside from being entertained and thrilled (check out the spectacular sea explosions), one also gains a strong sense of pride and gratitude for the men who actually fought this war, who bravely did the stupidest things imaginable in the name of freedom. As the film's tagline says, heroes really are just every-day people who act courageously in extraordinary circumstances.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1812&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/07/03 10:23:16
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User Comments

8/16/12 Ding Dong Awesome actioner with good production values. Who cares about accuracy. 4 stars
10/01/08 Shaun Wallner I really enjoyed this film. 5 stars
6/18/07 al smith fucking shit it was the brits who got the enigma not the fucking yanks 1 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK America did a lot in the war. But the way some directors on its as if no-one else fought... 3 stars
11/25/06 David Pollastrini great action 4 stars
9/08/06 Thomas Semesky Nothing really exciting here. 3 stars
6/11/06 Dave Webber Nice little drama - if you don't take it too serious 4 stars
1/09/06 Steven Lewis Lots of goofs, it still has a strong message and a power fictional story. Great film. 3 stars
6/10/05 JD Distorting history for this lame movie, they should be so proud. 1 stars
4/25/05 Quigley an awesome story with suspenseful action. I'll never enter a sub, and that's OK with me 5 stars
8/28/04 Aaron Smith best sub movie I've seen 4 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva wanted more story 3 stars
5/22/04 Monster W. Kung I piss on this movie. 1 stars
5/22/04 Idiot's Mouth This reviewer seems to be saying he WANTS McCaunaghey to try a British accent. ? . ?. 1 stars
12/08/03 john I hate to agree with an antisemitic moron but this movie just badly ripps off DAS BOOT 1 stars
12/04/03 tom MAy not be historically accurate but good movie!! 4 stars
8/28/03 Ameray Coland This move is FALSE about ENIGMA History. Jewish David Ayer do NOT KNOW history !!! 1 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Predictable, but it works. 3 stars
3/21/03 May Q. Horney Decent Submarine movie, not as good as CRIMSON TIDE or K-19 THE WIDOWMAKER. 4 stars
2/26/03 y2mckay nothing special, but an enjoyable sub action flick. It ain't DAS BOOT, but what is? 4 stars
2/16/03 Angolmois Shamelessly rips off both history and other sub-movies. A bit better than a lobotomy. 1 stars
1/04/03 freewaygl great testerone flick for women who like men in action!~! Yah! 4 stars
12/02/02 R.W. Welch Good actioner though somewhat overblown and historically inaccurate 3 stars
10/27/02 Ollie Charles The best movie so far since Schindler's List 5 stars
7/26/02 Cizin IthoughtitwasCanadianswhocaputerdthesubbutwewereunderbritiansruleatthetimeright 4 stars
7/01/02 Fredrik One of the very best WWII-films ever!!! 5 stars
4/30/02 Monster W. Kung Sucks. 1 stars
4/24/02 Charles Tatum Clicheed but enjoyable. 4 stars
4/09/02 Plexo movie blew monkey nuts. Writers apear to have been retarded. 1 stars
4/01/02 Marcus Did anyone else fight in WW2? So much for the true heros of the Royal Navy & the truth... 1 stars
2/21/02 Nevz Yet another example of the Yanks trying to rewrite history 1 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Quite clever. Nice special effects. 4 stars
11/27/01 sdfr kick ass! 4 stars
11/27/01 Jake Intense and thrilling. 5 stars
8/28/01 Phil M. Afficianado Not bad, really, but don't you get tired of the same chaotic scene 10 times over? Skip it. 3 stars
8/08/01 badfish Excellent,great story,great picture,awesome sound. 5 stars
7/31/01 Matthew Bartley No suspense, no accuracy...no anything 1 stars
7/04/01 Piz Ultimate guy flick complete with load bangs, action, and underdog rooting 4 stars
6/08/01 Peter Brook Good sense of timing from Mostow, nice special FX, it's a very predictable story, though. 4 stars
6/07/01 destney you are awsome not you suck 5 stars
6/02/01 sabrinacardin she thinksyour cool 2 stars
5/28/01 Dean Like Hollywood didn't insult the UK enough with The Patriot. This movie is pure feces. 1 stars
3/26/01 Big Blackie Fuckin' cool movie!! Depth changes were awesome! A must see!! 5 stars
3/13/01 Stuart Wright Is it just make up history time. Shall britain make a film saying we droped the atom bomb. 1 stars
2/25/01 jeroen Saw it yesterday......it's about boots or somethin,isn't it? 1 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog Suspense,action, depth charges, what a great sub. film. 4 stars
2/02/01 Matthew Bartley Think I'll make a film about the first moon landings starring Hugh Grant and Jude Law... 1 stars
1/23/01 scorekeeper Great movie, but can be very confusing. 4 stars
1/09/01 Jessica it was sooo good. Matthew McConaughey is do fucking hot!! 5 stars
12/10/00 BrittenysPears I wasen't looking for a history lesson here - the movie is very entertaining!!! 5 stars
12/01/00 Winston Churchill You know it was the U.K. who retrieved the Engima? This was like a bad A-Team adventure! 1 stars
11/20/00 Nick Exciting, Suspenseful, Rent it You wont' regret it 5 stars
11/06/00 Dave Great movie! McConauhey gives an exceptional performance 5 stars
10/19/00 Gremlin Kick ass movie, ther were a few parts that were a little fucked up but over all very neato 5 stars
10/17/00 Jack Laller great movie 5 stars
10/12/00 Monday Morning So you like "made in El-Kabong Hong Kong" action flicks better? This is great. 5 stars
8/15/00 Chickiepoo Long live Jon Bon Jovi!! Too bad he ws in this waste of film. Stoners SUCK! 1 stars
7/18/00 Matthew Bartley The USA did steal an enigma-but not until 3 years after the film! Utter shite 1 stars
7/11/00 pancreas great movie, i docked it one star because there were no naked chicks 4 stars
5/22/00 Obi Wan Defn8ly a guy flik!! Action,shit blowin' up, death...what more could you want? 4 stars
5/21/00 gwalla Top-notch suspense.The USA stole an Enigma too. So it's not 100% accurate, it's fiction!!! 5 stars
5/20/00 Steve Kelley I'm a guy. Bombs, water, fear, heroism, loudness. The formula works for a reason. 4 stars
5/14/00 JJF Falsifies history without batting an eyelid. Don't support this crap. 1 stars
5/13/00 Add It shits on the good soilders who died for our freedom. I urge u not to c this! 1 stars
5/10/00 Travis good action, predictable story 4 stars
5/05/00 tony just wanted more at the ending. there wasnt enough closure. 4 stars
4/30/00 Heather Another titanic movie that pisses around with the truth 1 stars
4/29/00 Ayesha Cross Regardless who actually happened, America always won the war - what bullshit! 1 stars
4/26/00 Matthew Bartley Fucking disgusting. This was a British operation it was 7 months later when USA entered war 1 stars
4/26/00 Marcus West Does abyone care for historical facts in this BS of a movie? 1 stars
4/26/00 XT Wanna see this one on DVD. Maybe it'll make a li'l more sense. Very interesting, though. 4 stars
4/25/00 PhilmPhreak A bit obvious, but damn good - excellent sound! 4 stars
4/25/00 Captain Highcrime Good for action but don't be basing any college history papers on this one. 4 stars
4/25/00 Matt Sabian Excellent!!!! A Das Boot contender! 5 stars
4/25/00 Maclay01 85db volume required the director - the theatres listened and the audience covered our ears 4 stars
4/25/00 Obi Wan Best flick I've seen in a awhile...it did entertain and had it's moments. Worth admission 4 stars
4/25/00 bobber Not a bad movie, but didn't know who Jon Bon Jovi was either. 4 stars
4/24/00 Negative Much better than given credit for. That says alot. Good film. 4 stars
4/24/00 Kevin Cho, movie-buff Absolutely NO character development - everything else was ripped off. POOR. 2 stars
4/24/00 Becky Read the book. All the heart and humor was cut out with Pete Emment's lines (Jon Bon Jovi). 3 stars
4/23/00 Matt It kept me in suspense. The acting was a little wooden at times, but overall it was good. 4 stars
4/23/00 Gavin Moore Any good American will love this, a throwback to 80's action films 4 stars
4/23/00 photogeek did they steal actual footage from Das Boot and make it suck? 2 stars
4/23/00 Z hey, it's more realistic than mission 2 mars... 4 stars
4/22/00 Matt Sabian Brilliant film, perfectly brought to life. End was a bit disappointing 5 stars
4/22/00 Joel Harwood is in tha house the peeps have spoken 1 stars
4/21/00 Joel Harwood Action with a predictable ending but what movie isn't 4 stars
4/21/00 Danny Sykes Predictable at times. Good twists in the plot 4 stars
4/18/00 Tony D'Amoto Pretty good action movie 4 stars
4/18/00 cofemug I laughed and laughed at the overall bad quality of the movie. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Apr-2000 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-Oct-2000

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Apr-2000 (M)




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