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Open Water

6/10
Drama . Thriller . Biography . Horror
 

Two divers are left out at sea without a boat. There’s nothing but water for miles, unless they look at what’s underneath them...

 
Actors: John Charles , Christina Zenato , Michael E. Williamson , Saul Stein , Daniel Travis , Blanchard Ryan
Directors: Chris Kentis
Country: USA
Release: 2004-08-20
More Info:
  • Steven Rea

    Without doubt one of the scariest, creepiest, gut-churningly unsettling pictures to come along in ages.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    Worth a dozen "Blair Witch Projects," with much more harrowing psychology and pithy dialogue. It's a bone-chilling plunge into no-holds-barred storytelling.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Carla Meyer

    The nagging desire to help these people underscores the involvement of the audience in this superbly told story. You can almost taste the saltwater, and the fear.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    In spirit, Open Water reduces us to children peering through our fingers, waiting for the horrid deliverance we're not quite sure we want to see.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    The ending -- a more devastating surprise than "The Village" could manage -- caps eighty sweat-job minutes of imaginative, jolting suspense.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Aaron Hillis

    Open Water may not be a pristine or complex suspense thriller, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anything else as terrifyingly potent in such a tiny package.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Rarely, but sometimes, a movie can have an actual physical effect on you. It gets under your defenses and sidesteps the "it's only a movie" reflex and creates a visceral feeling that might as well be real. Open Water had that effect on me.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Ronnie Scheib

    A tour-de-force thriller that deftly transforms its low-budget limitations into spectacular assets.

    Variety Full Review
  • Andrea Gronvall

    Superlative chiller.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Rarely have the dangers of drifting apart been given such a visceral and genuinely upsetting emotional wallop.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Terrifying precisely because it doesn't go in for cheesy shock tactics and special effects. (Those sharks are REAL.)

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    It offers genuine scares and chills without the self-aware, packaged feel of many horror/thriller films.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Sid Smith

    A slow drip, but one all the more intense for its Gothic minimalism and its underlying parable of naturalistic determinism: It's no fun to fool with Mother Nature.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Megan Lehmann

    While immersed in the horror of their plight, you might forget to breathe.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Mike Clark

    There's more terror than entertainment here, though. I've seen a lot of movies in my life I couldn't wait to see end; this may be the first good one.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Chris Kaltenbach

    The year's most unsettling movie experience - and in this case, that's a very good thing.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    A fascinating experiment in both filmmaking technology and narrative style, but one that can be counted a success only in limited ways.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    Could develop a cult following. But it is hard to envision repeat viewings or any great number of people willing, even vicariously, to undergo the couple's ordeal.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Kevin Thomas

    An expertly made suspense thriller based on an actual incident, but on a visceral level it's about as much fun as watching someone pull the wings off a butterfly.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joanne Kaufman

    Open Water, which was made for $130,000 -- and seemingly without special-effects assistance -- proves you don't have to have a big budget to have an audience on the edge of its seat.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Kentis and Lau succeed in doing what all filmmakers worth their salt strive to do: They make us care about their characters.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Unlike "Jaws," Open Water isn't much for traditional popcorn-movie scares. Instead, the movie is more interested in depicting the gradual deterioration of its protagonists' sanity, and how that affects their relationship.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Jami Bernard

    The actors are unknowns, but Ryan does a lot with her little downturned mouth. There are as many shades of anxiety as there are shades of blue in the sea, and Ryan manages to find them all.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Open Water is a stunt, one you either buy into or not.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    The movie is also banal in ways that are irritating and second-rate.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Don R. Lewis

    Every hour that ticks by your stomach drops a little more as the outlook becomes more bleak.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Luke Y. Thompson

    It's moderately compelling drama, but also fairly static stuff, image-wise.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    The sharks are scary, and the ocean is vast and indifferent, but the most effective parts of Open Water, which is ultimately too modest to be very memorable, evoke a deeper terror, one that can chill even those viewers who would never dream of putting on a wet suit and jumping off a boat.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    The film's dispassionate examination of the shifts in Susan and Daniel's relationship as they drift from irritation to barely suppressed panic is at least as nerve wracking.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Dan Jolin

    This isn’t your average against-the-odds survival story.

    Empire Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

    Writer-director Chris Kentis has dreamed up an ingenious premise, but he botches its execution. Every once in a while, the film stumbles upon a twist that ratchets up the tension, but then haphazardly discards it.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Bill White

    By no means a good movie. Although based on a true story, the mathematical error that led to Daniel and Susan's predicament is handled with such dramatic slovenliness that the viewer is apt to be confused as to what actually happened.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    This is not to say that it is bad writing, shooting, or acting: It would need to be more ambitious to be bad. It is simply the most mundane sort of behavior presented in the most mundane sort of way.

    Slate Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    I longed for something - anything - unexpected to occur. What I wouldn't have given for Wilson, the "Cast Away" volleyball, to float past with his bloody "face" print grinning at the pair!

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    Open Water is just one tedious scene stretched out to feature length. It's terrifying all right, but only for what it says about the extents to which a couple of hungry actors and a bullish director will go to turn themselves into overnight celebrities.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Ultimately, it's 79 minutes of footage of a pair of petty, pretty people freaking out over having to go to the bathroom in their wetsuits, and in the end you find yourself rooting for the sharks.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Dennis Lim

    Open Water is simply a stunt--hopelessly literal-minded and cheap in every sense.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    These dramatic shortfalls make us merely worried that two human beings are in danger, but not two compelling souls. There's your missing ingredient, the human X-factor.

    Washington Post Full Review
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