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Das Boot (The Boat) Reviews

Page 2 of 146
September 15, 2014
A movie that seems to be more remembered for it's 3-hour running-time than for it's material, Das Boot is still a sturdy war picture. Using it's running time to examine the drudgery of war, as well as it's large cast, Das Boot is certainly a realized piece of storytelling, and it's sense of humor makes it accessible. Not all of it's effects and cuts have stood the test of time, but Das Boot is probably the best German film about WWII.
May 3, 2014
The most real depiction of life on the submarine that you will find, 'Das Boot' is wholly immersive and it has an air of authentic suspense. While it may feel like it drags on (especially if you watch the Director's Cut), it will still shock you and keep you on the edge of your seat. It seems so natural that you might be thinking that you are watching a documentary. Certainly one of the great war movies of all-time. Special mention should be given to director and writer Wolfgang Petersen and Jurgen Prochnow, who plays the disgruntled, but dedicated Captain.
August 16, 2014
Two words: JUST BRILLIANT! It's really that simple. Some intense action scenes, emotionally gripping segments, very humanizing storyline, historical backdrop, amazing cinematography, plotless existential feel, and so on and so forth. This is the kind of film that makes me a movie buff! I'm left with an experience of deeper cinematic fulfillment.
August 12, 2014
Watch it in German with English subtitles.
March 16, 2013
Considered one of the greatest German films of all time and directed by Academy Award nominee Wolfgang Peterson, Das Boot sounded like it would be an exciting and exhilarating war epic.

From a storytelling perspective, Das Boot is very interesting. In the contemporary age, many viewers are likely to be fazed by the slow movement of the film as well as it's extensively long pace, and the fact that there are a lot of people in the film but not really that many characters. This proves to be one of its most important aspects though because it depicts the war from a perspective that is very third person. The viewer gets an analysis of the war from the perspective of the characters without feeling their emotions. The film didn't end up being the war epic that I had expected, but it was an interesting film.
I've seen too many films which characterise the Nazis as being soulless killers, but in Das Boot we get an entirely new perspective. We see them simply as members of a crew on a U-Boat, and their experience is so engaging that I completely forgot about the fact that they were fighting for the Nazis. I forgot that the characters in Das Boot were the enemies, and I instead found myself rooting for them. Das Boot has viewers rooting for the characters simply because of their existence and not what team they fight for, and so it has viewers seeing the war from a very theoretical perspective yet also sympathising for the characters. Das Boot is mainly good from a technical perspective because of how it depicts the war and predates other acclaimed submarine thrillers by many years, but also because of the fact that it shows the characters normally characterised as the enemy in a light which has audiences supporting their plight and ambition. Wolfgang Peterson really puts himself out there in taking on a film like Das Boot, and even though in its age it does not seem precisely as deep or powerful as it did back upon its original 1981 release, it is clear that it would have been groundbreaking back in the day. It is one of the first films to look at the complex technical aspects of war with such unbiased perspective, as well as being one of the earliest submarine thriller films. So despite its pace, length and the effect of its age, Das Boot is easy to see as a classic. It doesn't cover way too much, but the technical qualities of the film combined with its exploration of camaraderie is excellent.
The human side of Das Boot comes into how it explores the comradeship between the soldiers on board. I can't remember the name of any of them, but the relationship they all share is excellent. The characters all have an almost brotherhood relationship to them which is so rich with humanity, and the film doesn't even need to put extensive focus on any singular character to achieve that. Thanks largely to the cast who are able to easily put excellent efforts in, Das Boot does not lack a human touch. Never has a film made it so easy to sympathise for Nazis before, and for achieving that as well as the amazing technical aspects of the film, Wolfgang Peterson was certain worthy of an Academy Award nomination. The atmosphere of the film is exceptional because it is intense and determined, and it manages to make some emotional turns when not expected. The final scene in the film is the most powerful of the film, and it alone makes the experience a valuable one. Wolfgang Peterson is able to make Das Boot without picking a side or naming anyone as a hero or a villain, so his work on the film is undeniably excellent.
When it comes to the technical parts of Das Boot, the film is spot on with detail. Although the exterior footage of the titular U-Boat is limited, it is captured with excellent cinematography and gives viewers a sense of the larger scale of things. When it comes to the interior shots however, everything is amazingly well detailed to the point that it is exceptionally believable. It doesn't look the slightest bit artificial, and the cinematography that captures the detail is atmospheric and powerful. The budget of Das Boot was used for the perfect purposes because the scenery of the film is spot on in establishing the setting and the time period of the film. The aesthetic appearance of Das Boot is beautiful, and with great cinematography and quick editing, it is able to assist the tension in the film in manifesting all while everything is captured with great detail. Also, the musical score in Das Boot is excellently composed and gives the film a touch of developing tension as well as a sense of determined movement. Some of the pieces in the musical score are unforgettable, and although it is only used in moderation to make the drama of the film seem more realistive and organic for the majority of its running time, Das Boot has a powerful musical score which is easily memorable. It's technical qualities scored many Academy Award nominations, and not a single one of them was undeserving because the visual and auditory detail to realism in Das Boot makes it a powerful visual experience to add to the strength of its already firm emotional atmosphere.
And thanks in part to the strength of an Academy Award nominated screenplay, Das Boot is full of powerful acting. It is difficult to really establish if there is any actors that standout in Das Boot because they all essentially make the same meaningful contribution to the film with their strength at conveying firm chemistry between each other and creating a true sense of camaraderie, and so the acting in the film comes less from any single person of talent and more a platoon of actors who really convey the tension of their situation. Like the millions of unknown soldiers who died in WWII, the many actors in Das Boot manage to all make equally amazing efforts with their atmospheric and dedicated performances. If there were any actors that were the most memorable, it would be Jurgen Prochnow because of how his age made him stand out and it gave him a certain sense of wisdom as well as a character which stood out from the rest for being more deep and sympathetic as a character. Herbet Gronemeyer makes a powerful and determined lead as well, and the supporting performance of Erwin Leder was a nice touch.

So a massively ambitious film, Das Boot is a long and slow feature but it has an excellent cast, amazing direction from Wolfgang Peterson at his best and unmatched technical qualities which sets a high bar for the standard of submarine thrillers while making viewers sympathise for the Nazis thanks to a strong script and a lack of bias.
August 2, 2014
Epic martial voyage in a submarine , that'll take you slowly into actions to find yourself involved with the destiny of the boat crew , as one of them , you'll live the very crucial moments of attacking , defending, , danger , despair and hope , only to eventually realize the misery and futility of the whole thing.
with great direction , sound effects editing and the smart vivid camera moving , the film is considered one of the best films of all time.i highly recommend it.
July 16, 2010
This is one of the great war films ever. The suspense is incredible.
June 23, 2014
The actors in the film were extraordinary! They kept me emotionally engaged and riveted to my seat for 3 hours and 28 minutes! And I still couldn't get enough of this captivating thriller that had me white-knuckling it throughout the film!
June 10, 2013
The finest German WWII movie of all time.
June 16, 2014
Director's Cut too long but very good. Would have liked to see the ending stretched out to FEEL the impact of what was happening. LOVE the shots of RUNNING through the sub. I'd love to see how that was shot.
May 23, 2014
so boring... and I like long films!!!
May 15, 2014
As close to a perfect "anti" war film as we will ever be shown. If ever cinema could strangle an audience and have them be thankful for it.
Matt H.
May 2, 2014
The Das Boot Director's Cut, a whopping 3h 28m, doesn't have much of a plot line, but instead is more of a documentary on U-boat life. It is so accurate in its happenings, and doesn't hold anything back. It doesn't sugarcoat the filth or the fear that encompasses the ship. Petersen and company have crafted a fine film just short of a modern classic.
April 27, 2014
The best submarine movie ever made, and one of the best war films ever made. Epic.
Connor G.
April 13, 2014
With an additional hour attached in the director's cut, the film really starts to drag. The original version might be better.
April 12, 2014
Three and a half hours, the approximate length of the director's cut of "Das Boot," is longer than I'd want to spend in a real submarine, but I am glad to watch the right submarine movie for as long as it lasts. I love submarine movies and their close relatives, spaceship movies. A group of people in an totally self-contained metal world surrounded by an uninhabitable void is a recipe for all kinds of excitement. There is always the anxiety of fighting invisible enemies and the horror of hearing bulkheads bend and collapse. There are often eerie vistas of the kind seen in "Ice Station Zebra"'s (1968) footage of the underside of an ice pack. In many cases, the isolation of the submarine becomes an opportunity to hone in on the characters and their incredibly small windows on the conflicts that surround and dwarf them.

"Das Boot" uses its isolation wisely enough, but less to create memorable and quirky characters in the vein of "The Hunt for Red October" (1990) than to free its characters from their historical setting. Because our heroes are Germans, their isolation underwater provides an excuse to imagine them separately from the ideological toxicity of the Nazi regime. Nary a swastika is to be seen, and hardly even a uniform. They are a surprisingly cosmopolitan bunch as WWII-movie Germans go: one is a born expatriate from Mexico, another has a French fiancée, and they all enjoy English and French songs. There is one true believer on board (he happens to be the person from Mexico, perhaps to underscore the hypocrisy and nonsense of his loyalty to the Fuhrer's vision of Germany), but he is made a figure of mockery. Even the food is international: in an unusual decision that creates an ironic contrast, some of the most intense battle sequences occur against a backdrop of bananas, oranges, and pineapples that stuff the submarine's storage spaces and dangle from its pipes. These tropical offerings also offset the standard naval rations depicted earlier in the movie, such as hairy, undercooked pork and mold-encrusted bread.

The focus of the film is the captain of the U-Boat. He carries out his job ruthlessly and takes little joy in his successes. When he and his bedraggled crew meet a polished and well-fed superior aboard a posh supply boat, he pointedly does not offer the salute or exchange pleasantries. Instead, he speaks the unpleasant reality of his experiences, stressing that the U-boat tour has been one near-death experience after the other, against an enemy that seems better-equipped and in the service of orders from on high that are virtually suicidal. This is certainly an anti-Nazi movie, then, but one that has its cake and eats it too: it creates idyllic, ultimately rather shallow characters and isolates them from their political context, allowing us to feel their ups and downs with them without the guilt of sympathizing with racists and national chauvinists. The action might have compensated for the relative weakness of the characters, but too much of it is of too little consequence, and several potentially-interesting plot points are abandoned, such as a second U-boat and its charismatic captain seen only at the beginning.

Given these shortcomings, "Das Boot" takes too long to get where it is going. The right submarine movie can easily fill three and a half hours, and the ever-escalating pace of "Das Boot" prevents it from feeling longer than it is, but its length is certainly felt. It is difficult to imagine sitting through the nearly five-hour uncut version, but I don't rule it out entirely: the weak points of this installment notwithstanding, the strengths of the submarine genre are substantial enough to make another, longer viewing tempting.
March 22, 2014
Possibly the best war drama ever. The characters are well defined and authentic without having to resort to kitschy personal story lines. I watched it with my so sons, through the 3 hours plus of the movie nine of us wanted it to end.
March 9, 2014
Incredible directing, acting, cinematography and editing add the this films haunting atmosphere, three and a half hours almost spent on one boat has never been so exciting, and Das Boot has one of the most haunting endings I've ever seen. A different way to look at war, and it may be the best war film I've yet to see. A complete masterpiece.
March 8, 2014
Classic, claustrophobic and some other adjective that starts with 'C'...uh, crabs?
March 5, 2014
Not perfect, but head and shoulders above all other WWII submarine movies.
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