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Deep Water (2006)



Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 54
Fresh: 52 | Rotten: 2

Equal parts mystery and biography, Deep Water is both an engrossing documentary and an affecting treatise on human folly and obsession.


Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 1

Equal parts mystery and biography, Deep Water is both an engrossing documentary and an affecting treatise on human folly and obsession.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 4,686

My Rating

Movie Info

Co-directors Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell's historical documentary Deep Water chronicles one of the most infamous nautical tragedies of the past several decades. In autumn 1968, Britisher Donald Crowhurst, the proprietor of a down-and-out manufacturing business for marine electrical components, avowed to enter the first Golden Globe sailing competition -- a nonstop, one-man circumnavigational race against eight other competitors. In financing the boat via a deal with English entrepreneur

Dec 18, 2007

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Latest News on Deep Water

December 19, 2007:
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August 23, 2007:
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All Critics (58) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (2) | DVD (5)

The details just get stranger and stranger.

January 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As directed by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell, the movie breezes along at a highly watchable clip, thanks to fluid, affecting intercutting of archival, black-and-white footage and present-day interviews.

November 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some beautiful shots give unexpected texture to the film, such as an underwater capture of a boat from below, with prisms of light surrounding it. And its final image is a quiet heartbreaker.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For this gripping and amazing documentary, such truth emerges not just from the facts, but also the poetry of men who redefine themselves in a risky race on small sailboats.

September 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
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Deep Water is a stunning documentary that not only beautifully elucidates a nearly forgotten incident but touches on crucial themes involving isolation, sanity, self-worth, impossible dreams, the nature of heroism and limits of human endurance.

September 10, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of this year's better studies of the human soul.

September 7, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic


August 2, 2009 Full Review Source:

I do think the movie loses focus at times, but nevertheless, this is a pretty interesting story into madness.

August 22, 2008 Full Review
Sin Magazine

As a portrait of obsession, competition and, finally, delusion, Deep Water is haunting and engrossing, and one of the best nonfiction movies of the year.

November 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

This is fascinating stuff... that would be better served by a magazine article or book.

November 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

The film evokes a visceral understanding of solitude at sea.

October 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Deeply researched and compellingly presented, Deep Water is as much about one man's misadventures on the ocean as it is about loneliness, desperation and the danger of dreams.

October 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Not merely a documentary portrait, but an engrossing drama with more twists and turns than your average thriller.

October 12, 2007
Salt Lake Tribune

This is pretty heady stuff, and it's constantly enthralling, particularly for something that has to use so much second-hand information.

October 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

This well crafted and engaging documentary is a ripping yarn of a man's mansize adventure going horribly wrong.

October 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

...the less said about this film the better. It's that good.

September 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

This was a story that made front pages in its day but has been largely lost to history, and now is brought bracingly and compellingly back to life.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Oregonian

With the discovery of films and audiotape from the first solo, non-stop nautical race around the globe, Deep Water promises to take us where we have never been.

September 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

This isn't primarily an adventure story, though it's very suspenseful; it's first and foremost a profoundly sad tale of human frailty.

September 15, 2007 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

But more startling are the original tape recordings and 16mm films made by the solitary competitors as they spent more than ten months alone trying to sail around the globe.

September 14, 2007

It is a sad, finely crafted documentary that must not be missed, if you call yourself a real film buff.

September 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

...a compelling portrait of a man who is terminally befuddled and ends up abandoning his wife and children because he can't face the music.

September 11, 2007 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Deep Water

Deep Water is one of the poignant documentaries that I have seen. This film tells the true story of Donald Crowhurst, and Englishman who risked everything in a circumnavigational race around the world. Crowhurst was near bankrupt and needed the winnings of the race to save himself. Deep Water is a flawless documentary and one of the best documentaries in recent memory. This is a true, courageous story, one that is also foolish, but one that also should be admired because of the will Crowhurst had to do everything to save his family. Deep Water is a great sailing documentary about a spectacular race, a true story that is captivating even though it is suicide. I loved this film, thought it was a powerful film from start to finish. If you enjoy a great documentary, then this is the perfect film for you to watch. A flawless film that tells a great story, Deep Water is truly a unique documentary. Brilliantly paced and directed, Deep Water looks at Crowhurts attempt and ultimate failure in attempting the race. The human emotion in recounting the decisions behinds Donald Crowhurst's failed race attempt is apparent, and it adds so much to this documentary. A brilliant, sad documentary Deep Water is a film that must be seen. This a great film from start to finish, one that tells a poignant story about a man who risked everything, and ultimately lost everything.
May 12, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

a fascinating documentary on the first nonstop singlehanded sailing race around the world, the sunday times golden globe race held in 1968-69, before gps and most satellite communications. the race was open to all comers regardless of experience. what started as a grand adventure ended tragically for most of the 9 contestants. if u don't know this heartbreaking story already i don't want to spoil it so enough said.
November 27, 2009
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

A superb film. A documentary, by it's very nature, can only be as good as the story it has to tell, and this one's a cracker. "Deep Water" raises the bar higher than the likes of "Touching the Void" by it's sheer wealth of contemporary footage and audio material. Donald Crowhurst was a peculiarly British type of Boys-Own adventurer. He may have sought to deceive but he paid the ultimate price for doing so, and this film is a fitting tribute to it's flawed hero.
November 6, 2007

Super Reviewer

    1. Narrator: We are all human beings, and we have dreams. This voyage was Don's.
    – Submitted by Mark H (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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