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Black Sea

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, United States, Russia
·
2014

Rated R · 1h 55m

Director Kevin Macdonald
Starring Jude Law, Karl Davies, Jodie Whittaker, Daniel Ryan
Genre Adventure, Drama, Thriller
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A rogue submarine captain pulls together a misfit crew to go after a sunken treasure rumored to be lost in the depths of the Black Sea. As greed and desperation take control on-board their claustrophobic vessel, the increasing uncertainty of the mission causes the men to turn on each other to fight for their own survival.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

Empire by

Though it perhaps inevitably lives in the shadow of some subgenre masterpieces, Black Sea is a superbly shot men-on-a-mission thriller with chest-tightening tension and a striking contemporary resonance.
60

CineVue by Ben Nicholson

Certain sequences are handled exceptionally... but others feel overblown and some characters underwhelm. That’s not to say that Black Sea is not an enjoyable – and at times, enthralling – aquatic adventure, it just never quite thrills as much as it spills, and flounders during some of its more emotional beats.
63

Slant Magazine by Chris Cabin

As much as the film is primarily a genre workout for director Kevin McDonald, the script makes room for a tough-minded, psychologically corrosive depiction of vengeance.
60

Variety by Guy Lodge

As ruggedly crafted as you’d expect from director Kevin Macdonald, with a sturdy ensemble led by Jude Law as a submarine captain of formidable sangfroid, the film nonetheless never quite sparks to life.
70

The Dissolve by Kate Erbland

Not content simply to make a finely tuned undersea action film, Macdonald reaches for something more significant and comes up short, trapping his own treasures under a tidal wave of thwarted ambition.
50

The Hollywood Reporter by Neil Young

Director Macdonald, in his sixth outing of the decade including documentaries, likewise handles proceedings with a self-effacing, uninspired competence.
50

The Playlist by Oliver Lyttelton

It'll pass a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon without too much trouble. But whether as an adventure tale, a thriller, or a morality play, Black Sea never quite makes a compelling enough case for its existence when better examples of the submarine genre are already out there.
60

The Telegraph by Tim Robey

It’s hard to decide if Black Sea is a good idea put over with sub-par execution, or an iffy idea handled as well as possible in the circumstances.
80

Time Out London by Trevor Johnston

Black Sea runs a few fathoms short of classic status. But its blend of old-fashioned storytelling values and zeitgeisty relevance make it a worthy addition to sub-aquatic cinema’s nerve-juddering legacy.

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