2014, Movies

Black Sea (2014, Kevin Macdonald)

For the most part, this is a pretty effective submarine movie with a great, out-of-character performance from Jude Law. It does what a submarine movie should do, and it does it well. There are, however, a few major quibbles that I have that hampered the movie in my mind. They involve some MAJOR SPOILERS.

The first problem is Ben Mendelsohn’s character. I like Mendelsohn a lot, and he plays crazy well (which is no doubt why he is type cast) but here he is crazy when the script needs him to be crazy and responsible when it needs him to be responsible. And that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Maybe there are people like that in the world – there are, for sure – but we need something to help us understand why he’s that way, and we don’t get it in this movie.

Second, the twist is pretty fucking weak. And they only half explain it. They hired an actor? Um, okay. So they also hired a house? It’s pretty far-fetched and a more reasonable twist – or, perhaps, more mysterious circumstances surrounding the investor – would have made me like the movie a lot more.

Finally, how much gold could he really float in that suit?

Otherwise, I liked it.


  • Directed by Kevin Macdonald
  • Produced by Charles Steel, Kevin Macdonald
  • Written by Dennis Kelly
  • Starring:
    • Jude Law as Captain Robinson
    • Scoot McNairy as Daniels
    • Ben Mendelsohn as Fraser
    • David Threlfall as Peters
    • Bobby Schofield as Tobin
    • Karl Davies as Liam
    • Konstantin Khabensky as Blackie
    • Grigoriy Dobrygin as Morozov
    • Sergei Puskepalis as Zaytsev
    • Sergei Kolesnikov as Levchenko
    • Tobias Menzies as Lewis
    • Jodie Whittaker as Chrissy
    • Michael Smiley as Reynolds
    • Daniel Ryan as Kurston
  • Music by Ilan Eshkeri
  • Cinematography by Christopher Ross
  • Edited by Justine Wright
  • Production companies: Film4 Productions, Cowboy Films, Etalon Film
  • Distributed by Focus Features
  • Release date: 5 December 2014
  • Running time: 115 minutes
  • Country: United Kingdom, United States
  • Language: English, Russian
  • Box office: $1.6 million

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