K-19: The Widowmaker Reviews

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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
March 5, 2013
Why did movie moguls think that this was the right moment for a tale of unflinching loyalty to the Soviet Union?
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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 6, 2002
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 9, 2002
| Original Score: C+
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 2, 2002
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 28, 2002
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 25, 2002
What could have been a movie packed with historical significance and nail-gnawing underwater tension ends up little more than a lumbering public-service announcement for the human spirit.
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Dennis Lim
Village Voice
July 23, 2002
Bigelow hits all her marks and more within the narrow parameters.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 22, 2002
[A] really strong work from start to finish.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
July 19, 2002
More intellectually scary than dramatically involving.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
July 19, 2002
Gets stuck in a no man's land between the real and the fictional.
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Mike Clark
USA Today
July 19, 2002
Though this saga would be terrific to read about, it is dicey screen material that only a genius should touch.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
July 19, 2002
The movie's centrepiece is as close to tour-de-force suspense filmmaking as you'll see anywhere this summer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 19, 2002
Within the clutter of accents and heavenly choirs -- Klaus Badelt's score is at times a bit much -- lurks a good story. And, in midsummer, that's often all we can ask for.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 19, 2002
Bigelow is known for making good, visceral movies, but here she adopts a kind of dignified watchfulness, and that feels right for the material.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 19, 2002
A salute is in order for Bigelow, a director who knows how to navigate macho terrain without losing her human compass.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 19, 2002
It's no Das Boot, Crimson Tide or The Enemy Below. But it's no embarrassment, either.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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John Anderson
Newsday
July 19, 2002
A thriller without a lot of thrills.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
July 19, 2002
Despite its exciting moments, the film is too long.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
July 19, 2002
If you enjoy the tense claustrophobia of submarine thrillers, K-19 fills the bill.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
July 19, 2002
Apart from its exhaustingly repetitive attention to the contrasting Ford and Neeson characters, the movie has virtually no interest in the secondary and tertiary characters whose heroism, jitters, sacrifice and suffering are at the heart of the story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
July 19, 2002
As intelligent as it is suspenseful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rosen
Denver Post
July 19, 2002
At its best, it almost makes you feel proud to have been a Soviet communist, -- even if you weren't.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
July 19, 2002
While the film deals with serious issues based on fact, its emotional tone is too solemn. All hands aboard K-19 seem to have deluded themselves into believing that they're making an American Das Boot.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 19, 2002
It's not your Dad's submarine melodrama, and, for the most part, it's exciting stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
July 19, 2002
The movie, from director Kathryn Bigelow, can't keep track of what course it wants to steer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
July 19, 2002
It's almost impossible not to be moved by the movie's depiction of sacrifice and its stirring epilogue in post-Soviet Russia.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Arizona Republic
July 19, 2002
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 19, 2002
[Bigelow] is an expert technician who never steps wrong and is skilled at exploiting the personal qualities of Ford and Neeson to add another level of uncertainty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mike D'Angelo
Time Out
July 18, 2002
Remember The Hunt for Red October, in which Sean Connery played a Russian sub captain without modifying his Scottish burr in the slightest? He's my hero.
Full Review | Original Score: 50/100
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
July 18, 2002
Sleek and suspenseful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 18, 2002
Joins Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot at the top of a very short list of the best submarine movies ever made.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
July 18, 2002
A tense, swift drama of mechanical catastrophe and dueling egos.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 18, 2002
Pleasantly old-fashioned for the most part, K-19 frankly spends more time than is necessary on these preliminaries. It becomes another, better movie when the nuclear crisis begins.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 18, 2002
Never before have I seen a men-of-war film more notable for its psychology than its spectacle.
| Original Score: 3/4
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John Powers
L.A. Weekly
July 18, 2002
K-19 is so unnervingly square that it seems eerily like Party-sanctioned Soviet filmmaking.
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July 18, 2002
K-19: The Widowmaker is a great yarn.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
July 18, 2002
'K-19' isn't a movie that will necessarily charge up the kind of audience that embraces the overblown plot gimmicks of 'The Sum of All Fears' or the stylized paranoia of 'The Bourne Identity', but Bigelow makes 'K-19' an effective and moving thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 18, 2002
A taut, sobering film.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 18, 2002
K-19 may not hold a lot of water as a submarine epic, but it holds even less when it turns into an elegiacally soggy Saving Private Ryanovich.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Robert Koehler
Variety
July 16, 2002
Obediently follows the verities of the submarine movie and its true story origins but without the imagination needed to refresh the genre.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 16, 2002
This submarine drama earns the right to be favorably compared to Das Boot.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 16, 2002
K-19 will not go down in the annals of cinema as one of the great submarine stories, but it is an engaging and exciting narrative of Man confronting the Demons of his own fear and paranoia.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4