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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.34%
Worth A Look43.68%
Just Average: 8.05%
Pretty Crappy: 12.64%
Sucks: 25.29%

14 reviews, 90 user ratings

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by Charles Tatum

"U Have Seen This Before"
4 stars

"U-571" has an incredible budget, bankable stars, but a few scenes that I remember from other WWII sub films.

Matthew McConaughey is the second in command of an American submarine under the captain, Bill Paxton. Paxton passes on Matt getting his own boat, and the sub crew finds themselves under a secret mission. They are to disguise themselves as Nazi sailors, board a disabled u-boat, and take the Enigma machine, a coding instrument that could change the tide (get it?) of the naval war. The operation is going smoothly until the American sub gets torpedoed and a skeleton crew jumps on the captured u-boat of the title.

They are tracked by a German destroyer, and inside the u-boat's captain tries to sabotage their every move. The bulk of the film is a long set piece where the u-boat must attack the destroyer with an impossible plan and just one torpedo.

Matthew McConaughey is very good as the officer who finds himself in command of his own ship in a most roundabout way. He is cautioned that he is too nice to the crew, and this fault plays an important role in his decision making. Harvey Keitel also plays an understated role as the chief NCO on the boat who often must put Matt in his place, whether by good advice or common sense lecturing. He has a really great role and does it well. Much of the name cast disappears early, but Bill Paxton and Jon Bon Jovi are standouts. Bon Jovi is unrecognizable in a uniform, and he does his underwritten part well. Paxton is getting more mature roles now, no sign of that goofy grin of his, and I would have liked to see more of his character.

Mostow cowrote and directed, and some of his camera shots are amazing. Watch for an over head shot as the u-boat freefalls deeper into the ocean. The other effects are incredible, I did not think for one second I was watching some miniature sub models in a Hollywood swimming pool. The suspense is also timed out well, with the problems coming along believably and never overwhelming the plot.

I did find a couple of things that I would like to have seen Mostow think his way around on, instead of going into sub film cliche. At one point, in order to fool the enemy, the sub launches garbage and a body out of the torpedo hole in order to look like they have sunk. I am not saying this maneuver did not work in the real war, but has there ever been a WWII naval film that did not deploy this trick? Also, the American cast is amazed at how deep the u-boat can go, the almost exact scene was played to equal affect in "Das Boot." These minor quibbles glared when offered, and kept this from being a perfect action film.

Although the efforts of the British navy in capturing the code machines were slighted until a closing credits crawl, this film succeeds in what it was meant to do- entertain us. After "Das Boot," it can at least be called the second best WWII German submarine movie of all time.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1812&reviewer=325
originally posted: 02/25/03 14:47:24
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User Comments

8/15/12 Ding Dong Awesome actioner with good production values. Who cares about accuracy. 4 stars
9/30/08 Shaun Wallner I really enjoyed this film. 5 stars
6/17/07 al smith fucking shit it was the brits who got the enigma not the fucking yanks 1 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK America did a lot in the war. But the way some directors on its as if no-one else fought... 3 stars
11/24/06 David Pollastrini great action 4 stars
9/07/06 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
1/08/06 Steven Lewis Lots of goofs, it still has a strong message and a power fictional story. Great film. 3 stars
6/09/05 JD Distorting history for this lame movie, they should be so proud. 1 stars
4/24/05 Quigley an awesome story with suspenseful action. I'll never enter a sub, and that's OK with me 5 stars
8/27/04 Aaron Smith best sub movie I've seen 4 stars
6/18/04 Denise Duspiva wanted more story 3 stars
5/22/04 Monster W. Kung I piss on this movie. 1 stars
5/21/04 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
12/03/03 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
3/31/03 Jack Sommersby Predictable, but it works. 3 stars
3/20/03 May Q. Horney Decent Submarine movie, not as good as CRIMSON TIDE or K-19 THE WIDOWMAKER. 4 stars
2/25/03 y2mckay nothing special, but an enjoyable sub action flick. It ain't DAS BOOT, but what is? 4 stars
2/15/03 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
10/26/02 Ollie Charles The best movie so far since Schindler's List 5 stars
7/25/02 Cizin IthoughtitwasCanadianswhocaputerdthesubbutwewereunderbritiansruleatthetimeright 4 stars
6/30/02 Fredrik One of the very best WWII-films ever!!! 5 stars
4/29/02 Monster W. Kung Sucks. 1 stars
4/23/02 Charles Tatum Clicheed but enjoyable. 4 stars
4/08/02 Plexo movie blew monkey nuts. Writers apear to have been retarded. 1 stars
3/31/02 Marcus Did anyone else fight in WW2? So much for the true heros of the Royal Navy & the truth... 1 stars
2/20/02 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
11/26/01 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
7/03/01 Piz Ultimate guy flick complete with load bangs, action, and underdog rooting 4 stars
6/07/01 Peter Brook Good sense of timing from Mostow, nice special FX, it's a very predictable story, though. 4 stars
6/06/01 destney you are awsome not you suck 5 stars
6/01/01 sabrinacardin she thinksyour cool 2 stars
5/27/01 Dean Like Hollywood didn't insult the UK enough with The Patriot. This movie is pure feces. 1 stars
3/25/01 Big Blackie Fuckin' cool movie!! Depth changes were awesome! A must see!! 5 stars
3/12/01 Stuart Wright Is it just make up history time. Shall britain make a film saying we droped the atom bomb. 1 stars
2/24/01 jeroen Saw it yesterday......it's about boots or somethin,isn't it? 1 stars
2/05/01 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
1/08/01 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
11/30/00 Winston Churchill You know it was the U.K. who retrieved the Engima? This was like a bad A-Team adventure! 1 stars
11/19/00 Nick Exciting, Suspenseful, Rent it You wont' regret it 5 stars
11/05/00 Dave Great movie! McConauhey gives an exceptional performance 5 stars
10/18/00 Gremlin Kick ass movie, ther were a few parts that were a little fucked up but over all very neato 5 stars
10/16/00 Jack Laller great movie 5 stars
10/11/00 Monday Morning So you like "made in El-Kabong Hong Kong" action flicks better? This is great. 5 stars
8/14/00 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
5/13/00 JJF Falsifies history without batting an eyelid. Don't support this crap. 1 stars
5/12/00 Add It shits on the good soilders who died for our freedom. I urge u not to c this! 1 stars
5/09/00 Travis good action, predictable story 4 stars
5/04/00 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
4/24/00 PhilmPhreak A bit obvious, but damn good - excellent sound! 4 stars
4/24/00 Captain Highcrime Good for action but don't be basing any college history papers on this one. 4 stars
4/24/00 Matt Sabian Excellent!!!! A Das Boot contender! 5 stars
4/24/00 Maclay01 85db volume required the director - the theatres listened and the audience covered our ears 4 stars
4/24/00 Obi Wan Best flick I've seen in a awhile...it did entertain and had it's moments. Worth admission 4 stars
4/24/00 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
4/23/00 Kevin Cho, movie-buff Absolutely NO character development - everything else was ripped off. POOR. 2 stars
4/23/00 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
4/22/00 photogeek did they steal actual footage from Das Boot and make it suck? 2 stars
4/22/00 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
4/21/00 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
4/17/00 cofemug I laughed and laughed at the overall bad quality of the movie. 2 stars
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  21-Apr-2000 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-Oct-2000


  20-Apr-2000 (M)

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