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Black Sea

Adventure . Thriller

A suspenseful adventure thriller directed by Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald, centering on a rogue submarine captain who 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 onboard their claustrophobic vessel, the increasing uncertainty of the mission causes the men to turn on each other to fight for their own survival.

Actors: Jude Law , Karl Davies , Jodie Whittaker , Daniel Ryan , Scoot McNairy , Tobias Menzies , Michael Smiley , David Threlfall , Ben Mendelsohn , Konstantin Khabenskiy , Llewella Gideon
Directors: Kevin Macdonald
Country: UK , USA , RUSSIA
Release: 2015-01-23
More Info:
  • Kyle Smith

    Not that a film as taut and exciting as this one needs punchy dialogue, but Black Sea has that, too.

    New York Post Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    Macdonald exhibits a rewarding interest in the mechanics of running a sub—the complicated series of manual-labor tasks and coordinated analog processes required to keep one of these mighty boats afloat. It’s a submarine movie that cares how submarines work.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Since washing out as a pretty-boy leading man, Law is what he always should have been: a high-strung character actor. In Black Sea, he’s convincingly hard, like Jason Statham with more vocal colors and without the shtick.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • 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.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Nev Pierce

    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.

    Empire Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    With creepy sound effects (thuds and clangs and groans, oh my) and a mounting - make that sinking - sense of dread, Black Sea is at once fist-clenchingly suspenseful and, well, dull.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    A standout is Ben Mendelsohn’s Aussie nutcase.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Black Sea contains its share of fantastical elements and the ending in particular evidences gaping holes of logic and physics but, as a "refrigerator film," it works well.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Claustrophobic, compelling and suspenseful.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    The film’s patina of richly textured grime lends the film a gloomy, claustrophobic beauty that serves its mood, as well as its satisfyingly misanthropic message: Greed isn’t good, and most people aren’t either.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    Black Sea looks so gorgeous and moves with such muscular grace that you might forget, or never imagine, that it's a relatively small action movie. Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), it’s basically another tough genre workout that is all too familiar, with enough tension and violence to keep an audience alert if not riveted.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Director Kevin Macdonald offers a suffocating visual feast. Some of the particulars don't add up, so much so that you do notice them even as the action plows forward. But it's still a thrilling ride.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    Jude Law makes for an effective rogue submarine captain in "Black Sea," a fittingly immersive thriller, tautly directed by Kevin MacDonald.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    A conspicuous comedown from the best of Mr. Macdonald’s films — “The Last King of Scotland” and “Touching the Void.” Still, the craftsmanship is impressive, Ben Mendelsohn’s Fraser provides plenty of psychopathic villainy, and Mr. Law invests his character with more passion than the writing deserves.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    Gripping, smart and genuinely thrilling, Black Sea elevates itself above most other thrillers by how wisely and well it brings you down to the depths alongside its crew.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • 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.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Many will forgive all the contrivances and a muted ending that doesn't quite come off. It is, after all, a submarine picture.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Macdonald uses the "Das Boot"-like claustrophobia for maximum tension, then deadens the thrills with flashbacks to Robinson and his estranged wife. Ah, jeez. Law and the scrappy cast work best when submerged and going at one another like beasts.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • 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.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Black Sea gets the job done, accomplishing all that it sets out to do -- and better than most January thrillers.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • 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.

    CineVue Full Review
  • 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.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • 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.

    Variety Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Law often looks angry and frazzled onscreen. This time he looks angry and sure of himself.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    There’s some first-rate camerawork aboard the sub, that strong lead performance from Law and one nifty plot twist. It’s a shame the script gives us one of the most incompetent and ridiculous submarine crews this side of “Down Periscope.”

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    The story loses credibility as it goes along, as the body count escalates, and Robinson’s solutions to life-and-death crises grow increasingly far-fetched.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    His hair is thinning and his features are thickening, and Jude Law is evolving into a more interesting actor as this happens. He’s more at home in tough guy roles such as “Dom Hemingway.” The gritty submarine thriller Black Sea is his latest one of those. But in this case, it’s a salty performance that seems just beyond his grasp.

    Movie Nation Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Black Sea is so almost-terrific that it's ultimately more disappointing than a movie that's merely badly or carelessly made.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Neil Young

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

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • 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.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Black Sea is cluttered and claustrophobic in all the right ways, and it doubles as a watery jeremiad against global corporate malfeasance. Still, you walk away from the film with the niggling sense that the story never quite holds your attention the way it should.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Graham Fuller

    That’s the problem with Law’s submarine skipper, Robinson, in the action thriller Black Sea. He’s driven and dynamic enough, but he can’t keep the sensitivity from his eyes.

    New York Daily News Full Review
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