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Das Boot (The Boat) Reviews

Page 1 of 146
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

November 8, 2013
Das Boot is nothing short of incredible. One of the greatest War films of all time and just one of the greatest films of all time. It's amazing how a film that is 150 mins long can hold one's attention throughout but shows you just how compelling a film it is. Seen from the eyes of 'the other side' it really has an important lesson for all. The ending is devastating and just goes to show that there are no winners in war.
flixsterman
flixsterman

Super Reviewer

December 28, 2008
Speaking as a submarine veteran of both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, this is by far the grittiest, most realistic sub movie I've ever seen. Technically and emotionally stunning.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

November 2, 2007
An extraordinary well-made, politically savvy submarine movie concerning a group of German soldiers during WW2 who have doubts concerning the direction of the Nazi regime, but have no say in the matter when they are ordered to go out sea and search for enemy vessels. One has to give director Wolfgang Peterson a ton of credit for being so bold in attempting to get the audience on the side of a group of Nazis, a task which he does successfully through the use of subtly showing their doubts and uncertainty that they are fighting for the right cause. The twists and plotting that are on display here are something you could not script any better, as Peterson's shrewd camera work coupled with his ability to gauge when to hold his audience in suspense or deliver the excitement in bundles proves to be captivating. The final, devastating twist single-handedly pushes this movie into "elite" status, as it is one that is so emotionally ravaging and unexpected that it will leave you stunned upon conclusion. Without question one of the best foreign films constructed, and one that demands repeat viewings over one's lifespan.
Thomas J

Super Reviewer

June 28, 2011
Wolfgang Petersen did something I felt was impossible... I actually found myself kind of rooting for the Germans in this WWII set film. Great performances from all of the cast and it is good to see that even the enemy is just doing what they also think is right.
Kev
Kev

Super Reviewer

April 2, 2011
Grade A (95%)

This is a great submarine movie I have seen since "The Hunt for Red October". Das Boot (also known as The Boat) is a thrilling experience. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen (who was nominated for Best Director in 1981), Das Boot takes us into a World War II German U-Boat where its mission is to sail the ocean and basically sink as many enemy ships as they can. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. The one thing that I never learned from the film "The Hunt for Red October" was how hard it is to maneuver in a submarine. In many moments of the film, the submarine with have to descend deeper into the ocean to take the least damage possible from over head Destroyers who are dropping bombs from the sides of the ship. While most of these hits occur on the sides of the U-boat, the damage can still be critical.

What Das Boot does best is the suspense. Most of the movie is filmed inside the U-boat where the story is the same throughout: find enemy ships, sink them, dodge attacks, repeat. Sometimes the action is unexpected and sometimes the beeps sounding faster and faster to represent a Destroyer's range of the U-Boat is suspenseful.

The movie works in every way. The film has violence that comes with some disturbing images for younger audiences but nothing to be worried about (i.e. - a bolt from a pipe bursts and strikes a man in the arm but no close us detail of the wound). The acting performances are good enough to keep you well into the film and actually like the characters.

For a foreign film, Das Boot succeeds. It does everything an American film does that makes it terrific. The violence is fantastic, the direction from Mr. Petersen is amazing, and the suspense is present throughout the film.

NOTE: I watched the Director's Cut which was 3 hours and 30 minutes long.

Das Boot is a thrill ride, I would watch it again.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

July 21, 2010
If there's a war film that truly represents the realistic submarine warfare of World War II, Das Boot would be it. Wolfgang Peterson has crafted his masterpiece with this film. A film so realistic that when you watch it, you feel like you're part of the war itself. Some people have considered U-571 the best World War II submarine film, an entertaining film, but very flawed and about 15% Accurate. While this film is superb and it blows every Submarine film out of the water, this film is a definite must watch if you love war films. The cast is great as well. You feel claustrophobia as most of the action happens under water in a German U boat. Das Boot is a one of a kind film, a unique war film that touches on the small details and it really makes all the difference in the end. This is a film for people appreciate cinema and if you're claustrophobic, you may not want to watch it as 85-90% of the film is set in the U boat. But if you're tempted into watching it, you'll witness one of the greatest war films ever put to film. Das Boot is a masterpiece.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

June 15, 2006
The blueprint of a submarine film, pretty much quoted and copied ever since, still remains the masterpiece of the genre. It also takes the WW2 issue on a whole new level by showing the little men, the young ones, who didn't give a damn about political ideologies and were thrown to waste into the battlefields below the Atlantic. The movie takes its time to introduce those round and realistic characters you're soon stuck with for the next three hours under very claustrophobic conditions. The acting is superb, maybe even the best that was ever produced in Germany. The atmosphere of constant threat from above and around you is almost physically tangible. Especially the final hour is outstanding and will leave you moved, thrilled and breathless. A masterpiece among the war epics.
Jani H

Super Reviewer

March 27, 2008
"Das Boot" is a truly amazing, outstanding and perfect. Ok, all of those words pretty much mean the same but the film is the best navy themed film ever made. It's long as hell but never dull.

The cast is perfect and they all do a great job putting their characters to life. The claustrophobic atmosphere inside The "Boot" is well made and photographed to the screen.

"Das Boot" features probably the best theme song ever made. The overall sound of the movie is great and highly recommended for home theater viewing.

Forget about all the other lame WW2 submarine attempts. "Das Boot" is the ultimate film in its own genre.
Pierluigi P

Super Reviewer

July 12, 2007
Harrowing epic tale of courage and despair, claustrophobic odyssey under the sea. It's pure and simple sympathy for the devil.
sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

January 25, 2007
one of the great war films of all time, this 4 hour epic is slow and dragging and the film is stronger for it. the slowness of the story is to illustrate the reality of life at sea in a u-boat. purposeful and brilliant in its delivery it was interesting to see a film from the german perspective of the war. i never caught myself symathising with nazi's, but i did sympathise with the individuals because this film does a great job of showing the plight of a soldier while never making the mistake of discussing the politics of war. everytime they looked doomed i hoped they werent, and then when they finally were doomed i was ok with it. this is an example of a director doing everything right.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

February 16, 2007
Intelligent and extremely claustrophic WWII drama set aboard a german submarine. The characters and performances are extremely believable which makes for an extremely harrowing three hours!
CloudStrife84
CloudStrife84

Super Reviewer

July 8, 2007
Best submarine movie to date. Also a plus that the movie shows the german perspective, which makes it more interesting and unique.
Christopher M

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2007
Part of my post-war German film course. This is an interesting film to watch when you think about how it shows the emergence of some American ideas of filmmaking within German cinema. Its an entertaining thrill ride and has its low points and high points. High points: unsurmountable tension, some striking images, very successful at recreating the type of claustrophobic conditions German submarine operators would be in. Low points: Few standout actors, almost too linear plot, no clearly definable style. An early, entertaining war thriller that despite its flaws, definitely has its place in film history.
sainttom93
sainttom93

Super Reviewer

January 14, 2007
To get the view of the war from the OTHER side!
Beefy
Beefy

Super Reviewer

September 24, 2006
One of my absolute favorite war movies. The use of models makes it even better to me.
Sarah G

Super Reviewer

August 28, 2006
Brilliant. The ending is totally unexpected. Plus a incredibly realistic submarine drama!
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

June 15, 2006
One of the best anti-war films I know of. I have a great amount of respect for this because it shows World War II from the German point of view, and paints a very gripping and sympathetic portrait, instead of showcasing the Germans as being psychotic, ruthless monsters like their precious Fuehrer.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2007
Claustrophobic is the most appropriate word. But some of the crew, especially the Captain as played by Jurgen Prochnow, thrive in it. This film will grip you and keep you on the edge of your seat. These German men are resourceful skilled engineers and loyal soldiers. The internal turmoil bubbling just below the surface of some of their minds about kissing the asses of the upper military officials who have no idea what real battle is, and who's ideals may not match those of the common German citizens, even as they love their craft (work and sub), makes for thrilling drama.
neumdaddy
neumdaddy

Super Reviewer

November 3, 2003
'Das Boot' - Probably the greatest war movie I've ever seen. Simply incredible. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes movies at all. So good...

Earthworm Jim 2 was an absolutely hilarious game! I even bought Earthworm Jim 3D for the Nintendo 64, and that was a winner as well. Haven't played a more humorous game in my life. That, and it's fun. Such immense creativity! I have a deep appreciation for games like this. :fresh:

Mr. T. He gets a 6/10 if only for his cereal back in the late 80's/early 90's. But, his B.A. Brackas character in "A-Team" was pretty cool too.
Cameron W. Johnson
Cameron W. Johnson

Super Reviewer

January 21, 2012
"- Rock das boot! - don't rock das boot, baby - Rock das boot! -, don't tip das boot over - Rock das boot! -, don't rock das boot, fräulein!" ... Hey, it's either that or, "We all live in a German submarine, German submarine, German submarine", or, perhaps even, well, no lame song reference at all. This film sounds cheesy enough as it is, what with it's being about, I don't know, a bunch of Germans hanging out in a giant boot that is adrift at sea or something to that effect. No, that's just an ignorant American joke, and the Germans have a cool language, as well as some good films, such as this one, which better be good if it's going to keep me going for two-and-a-half hours with its theatrical cut, three-and-a-half hours with its director's cut and, of course, almost five hours with its uncut... cut. Yeah, I watched the uncut version of this film, don't judge me, because it was good, but after seeing that, as well as the director's cut, I think it's safe to say ich habe mehr als genug Deutsch für eine Weile hatte. Still, it's not like you're likely to fall out of this film, no matter how long it may be, because this rewarding opus sure does know how to keep you going. That being said, this film still isn't quite as upstanding as they say, being a quite smooth ride and all, but one that hardly sails on without taking some damage.

Certainly, this extensively meditative character drama is a generally genuine one that has enough inspiration behind it to be taken seriously, and yet, with that said, the final product takes some very surprising, often offputting lapses in seriousness by turning in quite a bit of comic relief, much of which is kind of cheesy and falls flat as detrimental to tonal evenness and, by extension, the film's momentum as a character piece, which is hurt enough by conventionalism within the writing of our characters. There's enough humanity in characterization for you to buy into our leads as more than just types, and it's not like genericism taints any other aspect of this story, but you'd be hard pressed to not recognize more than a few of the lead characters more than you should, as they are, in too many places, conventionally built, reflecting a moderate degree of laziness that does damage to the final product's kick, though most decidedly not as much as pacing limpness. The earlier acts of the film move a bit too steadily, but make up for slowness with a reasonable degree of liveliness and color in order to flesh the story out, but after a while, when all of the fun and games tone down a bit, the film really starts to drag, never to where it's boring, but to where it takes on some relatively dull spells that mark particular heights in the blandness that loom over to many places during the film's body. Now, the film rarely, if ever slows down so much that your investment is dislodged, leaving the film to, at least for a moment, slip into underwhelmingness, but things do indeed slow down more often than they should, and such an event grows more and more recurring as things progress, creating something of an inconsistent pacing that disengages, and makes this film's being oh so very overlong near-impossible to ignore. As you can imagine, the 293-minute uncut version that I saw, while quite good, really struggles like a trapped animal to pad things out, but it would appear as though no version of this film is without a whole lot of fat too trim, getting to be a bit excessive with its material (I understand that these U-boat battles featured many a long period of suspense, but come on, guys, we got the point within the first two minutes of these, like, ten or fifteen-minute-long sequences of pure waiting), and even more excessive with, of all things, filler, which is needed to flesh out calm, color and characterization within this gritty thriller, but gets to be quite disengagingly repetitious, as it is just so excessive, as well as reflective of this project's more natural shortcomings. It's not like this story concept doesn't deserve to be translated to the screen as a sprawling epic, because it is pretty meaty and promising, yet not as immense as Wolfgang Petersen apparently thinks it is, being just sensitive enough to run the risk of easily falling short if mishandled, and considering that the final product is overlong, with an uneven pacing and a few other errors, it should go without saying that this story concept's potential is not as fulfilled as they say. Still, the film hardly sinks into underwhelmingness, taking plenty of blows, but ultimately sailing on (I'm getting tired of the submarine warfare puns, too) as rewarding, or at least action-packed... at times.

A lot of the tension delivered in this "thriller" is delivered through overlong scenes of suspenseful waiting, which often really do work, and sometimes simply outstay their welcome, making it all the more relieving when the film's thrills really pick up in the form of action, which is not too terribly awe-inspring, seeing as how we're only talking about submarines floating around and shooting stuff at each other (It ain't all "Star Trek" cracks it up to be), but nevertheless more gripping than not, thanks to tight and relatively intricate staging that, when backed by thumping sound editing, immerses you into the heat of battle and catches your eye, which very rarely drifts too far away from the film even when there's no action to be seen, largely because the film looks just so darn good. In the very early 1980s, Jost Vacano could do only so much to pretty up not-so crisp filming technology and methods, but unlike Klaus Doldinger's surprisingly somewhat cheesy, momentum-damaging and thankfully underexplored score, this film's cinematography was fairly unique for its time, and is impressive no matter what era you're in, being about as crisp as it can be in its handsomely well-defined and often gritty coloring and lighting, and truly remarkable in its plays with filming tricks, for although you're bound to get a little bit tired of the many tracking shots of people running through the inside of the U-boat after a while, Vacano's and Wolfgang Petersen's tastes in camerawork, which are evenly framed to give you a sense of space in the U-boat, but not to where you can't notice the tight spots in the environment that give you a sense of the claustrophobia, or, as I jokingly consider it when looking at this German film, klaustrophobia (Ha-ha, but seriously though, no one is safe in this film), that is faced by the who are meditated upon so intensely. Needless to say, the cleverly tight framing of this series' filming comes in handy, as a bottle drama this claustrophobic deserves some high immersive value, something that you are indeed granted, partially thanks to the effective competence of this film's stylistic and technical touches, and largely thanks to the substance value within this story concept. Again, there isn't so much meat to this epic that it could easily achieve excellence, as reflected by the final product's falling short as not much more than simply good, even though it has only so many issues, at least in terms of quantity, yet plenty of meat can nevertheless be found within source material novel author Lothar-Günther Buchheim's vision, and quite a bit of it is brought to life by strengths within Petersen's script, which gets to be excessive and even a touch uneven, but is still with a fair bit of wit, as well as well-rounded characterization. Sure, plenty of characters who lead this film are a bit too familiar, but there is enough humanity infused in their development to earn your investment, and it helps that their portrayals are very inspired, as most every one of our leads share sharp chemistry, and delivers his own distinguished heap of layers and emotional range, which define and sell you on each individual's perception of comradery, claustrophobia and trauma. Many men enter this U-boat, and none of them come back entirely the same, facing many struggles that our leads sell you on with powerful performances, though it's not like Petersen, as director, doesn't deserve compliment, for although many of his storytelling touches are rather questionable, denying the inspiration within his direction is always a difficult task, which becomes all but impossible when Petersen does, in fact, deliver atmospherically, whether when he's keeping up enough soul to keep entertainment value, or at least engagement value adequate, or gracing typically overdrawn moments of suspense with genuine tension, often punctuated by emotional resonance (Oh, the ending is near-soul-crushing). This film's storytelling is audacious and hard to fully predict, being flawed to the point of failing to fulfill the full value of this subject matter, but compelling enough to make the final product engaging much more often than not, and ultimately genuinely rewarding.

Schließlich, once you've surfaced from this experience, the film is left standing a bit beaten by cheesy spots, as well as conventionalism in character, but truly damaged by ever-increasing slow spots that call more to your attention the excessive dragging that bloats this ambitious project into the state of being unable to tightly fulfill its full potential, but never distances you too much, as you're eyes are drawn to the occasional tight action sequence and many a high point in handsome, very well-framed cinematography, while your investment goes sustained by the decent writing, strong acting and reasonably inspired direction that makes Wolfgang Petersen's "Das Boot" a rewarding, if a bit excessive epic of a bottle character drama.

3/5 - Good
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