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Open Water (2004)

tomatometer

72

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 191
Fresh: 138 | Rotten: 53

A low budget thriller with some intense moments.

78

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 9

A low budget thriller with some intense moments.

audience

32

liked it
Average Rating: 2.4/5
User Ratings: 55,190

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on a true story, a thriller about an American couple, Daniel and Susan, who are on an island holiday. Upon arrival at their hotel, it becomes clear that Daniel and Susan's relationship is under strain from their workaholic lifestyles, and they need a vacation even more than they realized. The next morning, the loving and rested couple, certified scuba divers, board a local dive boat for an underwater tour of the reef. The boat is crowded with other vacationers, and due to a series of

Dec 28, 2004

$30.5M

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All Critics (199) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (138) | Rotten (53) | DVD (34)

There are no Hollywood heroes in these waters, only two regular people ... plus you and me, huddling in the dark.

August 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sharks are nature's most efficient killing machines. Open Water, which co-stars sharks, is the summer cinema's most efficient scaring machine.

August 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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Considered in its ham-handed entirety, Open Water feels more of an exercise in cinematic sadism.

August 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Terrifying precisely because it doesn't go in for cheesy shock tactics and special effects.

August 15, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The unforgiving power of nature are all on display to amazing, and frightening, effect.

August 13, 2004 Full Review Source: CNN.com
CNN.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Becomes a slow and steady descent into pure fear.

August 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Intense relationship story isn't for kids.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comment (1)
Common Sense Media

Scary, tense, atmospheric, and well acted...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Kentis and Lau have labored to make an almost documentary-style film. It's meant to make us feel like we are really there, and to a large extent it succeeds.

September 27, 2006 | Comment (1)
Christianity Today

"Open Water" works on many levels, chief among them as an examination of isolation, worry, terror, and the dread that can accompany the unknown.

November 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Open Water depends on the audience to be able to vicariously place themselves in the situation at hand, and if you can do that, you're in for a nerve-frying treat.

June 26, 2005 Full Review Source: FromTheBalcony

Lo mismo ya lo dijo, mucho mejor, Steven Spielberg hace 30 años.

April 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

'Creatividad y un guión inteligente reemplazan la falta de presupuesto para crear un producto de buena calidad'

April 4, 2005

A horrifying meditation on how contentment can lull us into complacency, detachment, and ultimately, absolute isolation.

April 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Freeze Dried Movies
Freeze Dried Movies

Low-budget and sparse, but very effective.

March 7, 2005 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Uses a minimalist budget, a vast outdoor setting, a very small cast, and a narrative that meticulously builds a pervasive sense of dread without giving too much away

March 3, 2005 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Un exercice minimaliste satisfaisant, mais vite oublié.

February 25, 2005

Sure to push the buttons of anyone with a shark phobia.

February 7, 2005

The sharks were bad enough but who would have thought a jellyfish could be so frightening?

January 3, 2005 Full Review
Broomfield Enterprise

[It's] perhaps the most boring thriller you will ever see that will still manage to thrill you like crazy.

December 28, 2004 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

[Creates] the steadily mounting feeling that something could go terribly wrong at any moment, both in front of and behind the camera.

December 4, 2004 Full Review Source: The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

It's the influence of Reality TV that has made Open Water's naturalistic suffering (and crippling literal-mindedness) seem like acceptable escapism.

December 1, 2004 Full Review

Funciona não apenas como um suspense exemplar, mas principalmente como um estudo sobre a fragilidade do Homem diante da Natureza e sobre a maneira com que enxergamos a morte.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Not likely to help scuba diving become the world's most popular pastime, but only scary if you're already frightened of your own shadow in a cinema.

October 8, 2004 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

an expertly modulated horror movie

September 30, 2004

They float, encounter sharks, float, encounter jellyfish, float, encounter more sharks...zzzzzz. With...tension-inducing music, this film could have been a real nail-biter.

September 19, 2004 Full Review Source: tonymedley.com

Audience Reviews for Open Water

Open Water is a terrific example of using a simple concept to create something truly horrific./ Based on real events, the film follows a couple stuck in the middle of the ocean after being stranded when scuba diving, and they were left behind due to an inaccurate head count. What follows is a tense, horrifying fight to survive in the middle of nowhere. I really thought that this film was well executed in the sense that it really brought out the best in the survival horror film, and the two cast members were very good in portraying that fear and fight to stay alive. Brilliantly crafted and it's a steadily paced, well plotted film that goes deep into the psychological aspects of staying alive in the most stressful environment. Open Water may not be the finest survival horror film, but it's an accomplished picture nonetheless that showcases a simple idea, yet the filmmakers were able to get the most out of the plot due to riveting, tense and highly memorable moments of sheer terror. For a small budgeted picture, Open Water is a worthwhile filmgoing experience that truly delivers the shocks. What also separates this film from others is the more dramatic approach to the material and it makes the film stand out much more than it needs to. With great performances, a well structured story, Open Water is a must see for any genre fan looking for a truly tense film to watch. The film may not be much, but the sheer notion of being stuck in the middle of the ocean is enough to grab your attention right up to the final frame.
June 20, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Daniel: Other people go on vacation and spend their days just laying around. We have a story we're going to be telling for the rest of our lives.

"Don't get left behind."

Open Water is a well done independent thriller. Supposedly based on actual events, but this event is something I'm not familiar with, so I have a hard time believing that this is even close to the real event. Nevertheless, I enjoyed Open Water a great deal. It may be the scariest(and when I say scary, I mean from the real life aspect of it) shark movie ever. It's a serious movie, that makes the viewer feel like they are floating around in the middle of the ocean.

A couple goes on vacation and decide to go diving on a reef tour. When the count is botched, they are left behind without notice. The rest of the movie is an excursion into the levels of human fear, panic, and insanity. All of it is done very well and I was left feeling claustrophobic even though the movie is set in the the most wide open of settings.

The acting isn't tremendous, but that isn't too big of a deal. Most of the embarrassing acting is in the beginning before the diving trip. In the panic and stress moments though, I think the actors did a fairly good job portraying the characters feelings. What sets the movie apart though is how atmospheric and dark toned it is, and just how real life it all feels. 

Open Water is one of those shark movies you have to see. It's not a masterpiece like Jaws, but it is still one of the best. I think it's a completely underrated film that is deserving of much more admiration than it received. If you give it a shot, there's the possibility of finding a new hidden gem of filmmaking.
September 29, 2013
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

True story about a couple who got left behind on a diving trip in the open water.
February 8, 2013
thmtsang
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

A really interesting concept that's HORRIBLY executed. There's no plot. Only a lot of bickering, the occasional scream, and a situation that runs out of gas about half way through the film. Thank god they all died.
August 20, 2011
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

    1. Seth: Let's swim out of this puke.
    – Submitted by Christy B (2 years ago)
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