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Down Periscope (1996)



Average Rating: 3.9/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 8

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 39,733

My Rating

Movie Info

Vulgar, slapstick comedy abounds in this feature film debut for television sitcom star Kelsey Grammer. Almost everyone else thinks of Lieutenant Commander Tom Dodge is a class "A" goof who messes up every task he is assigned, but Adm. Dean Winslow thinks otherwise and decides to give Dodge one last chance by assigning him to helm an outmoded, diesel powered, rusty in a series of wargames. Dodge's sub is to be the enemy and must somehow outsmart their high tech opponents. Though ostensibly only



Feb 3, 2004

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (27) | DVD (4)

It's good-natured, innocuous frivolity that should raise a few smiles and generate good but not great spring box office.

November 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

he construction is so ramshackle (or the mood so PC) that the film-makers put a woman (Holly) on board, then can't find a thing to do with her.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A soggy sub sandwich layered with cheesy action, stale jokes and gung-ho baloney.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The tone of the acting, which is set by Mr. Grammer's blandly laid-back performance, is all wrong for a genre that demands over-the-top hamming.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

More laid-back here than he is on television, Grammer seems to barely break a sweat.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

After that auspicious opening, it sinks.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Exactly what you'd expect.

August 4, 2009 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Kelsey Grammar's transition to the big screen is far from seamless.

August 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine


July 8, 2004

Mediocre comedy. Like a SNL film but with Frasier instead.

July 18, 2003

Rather lame.

June 3, 2003 Full Review

A directionless and doomed diversion. Grammer's naval military mishap is a sinking ship both literally and figuratively

May 27, 2003
Movie Eye

"Police Academy" underwater. (If only...)

July 27, 2002

It's embarrassing to see Lauren Holly wasting her time as the butt-of-all-the-obvious-jokes female aboard ship.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

It is a pretty decent plot that gives everyone a chance to be silly.

April 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Scouts | Comment (1)
Film Scouts

This maritime comedy is not worth watching without something else to do.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: SPLICEDWire

Why give someone who has a genuine skill for understated, intelligent comedy a highly unfunny script that's both overly obvious and stupid?

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Down Periscope is a rather leaky sub.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter

There's barely a belly laugh here, and judging from the deafening silence in the theatre where I saw the film, it's not just me.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Yes, I think I can hear you not laughing, right now.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Down Periscope

A sugar-free 'Police Academy' style film set in a Submarine. A nice idea but unfortunately it totally forgets to be funny. In fact, it gets fairly serious towards the end and any amount of slap-stick would have got in the way as you genuinely want them to succeed in their mission and the way in which they do is actually rather intelligent. Boo, we don't want intelligent, we want stupid!! It's fairly harmless though, I actually watched it thinking it was the other film that came out around the same time, McHale's Navy. I only wanted to see that because Bruce Campbell is in it. I need to get out more.
December 9, 2013

Super Reviewer

Down Periscope for me, at least is a harmless comedy. Down Periscope is one of those films that you either love or hate. People seem to hate it because it's "boring", "predictable" and that the jokes fall flat on their faces. I don't believe that. Sure there is definite room for improvement, but Down Periscope has many funny parts to it. Which I won't reveal, because I don't want to spoil the film for you. Kelsey Grammer plays Commander Tom Dodge who has just been assigned a commission to command a diesel powered sub. He also has been assigned with a crew of misfits. With that, Dodge is ordered to participate in a war game against the U.S Nuclear Navy. The premise of the film is simple, but it's lots of fun if you're in the right state of mind to watch this type of film. The film does provide a few good laugh out loud moments as you watch the ineptitude of the crew unfold. Though not perfect, Down Periscope is a good little comedy ton watch with friends over a few beers. Also this one of the few films where Rob Schneider is actually very funny, his performance in this film makes the film better than you might think. Kelsey Grammer gives a good comical performance as well. Down Periscope may not win any prizes, but it's a harmless fun comedy that has plenty of laughs. Give it a chance, it's better than what most people have claimed it to be. If you're in the mood for a silly comedy, the Down Periscope is the comedy for you.
March 1, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

A rusty sub. A rebel commander. A renegade crew. When destiny called, they should have hung up. Inthebakset
December 18, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

This screwball comedy movie is practically Police Academy at sea. The humor is a little sleazy at times but the language wasn't too bad. Kelsey Grammar plays a likable role in the Navy comedy. Most of his crew are somewhat stupid characters but I did like the sonar man with the great hearing. Lauren Holy was okay as the sexy female interest but Rob Schneider was just plain annoying and tended to overact. He's either very funny or very stupid in his films. Bruce Dern, as always, was an effective "bad guy".
July 23, 2009
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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