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The Deep Blue Sea (2012)


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 130
Fresh: 103
Rotten: 27

Critics Consensus: Featuring an outstanding performance by Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea is a visually stunning, melancholy tale of subsumed passion.

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 38
Fresh: 34
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: Featuring an outstanding performance by Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea is a visually stunning, melancholy tale of subsumed passion.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 20,674


Movie Info

Master chronicler of post-War England, Terence Davies directs Rachel Weisz as a woman whose overpowering love threatens her well-being and alienates the men in her life. In a deeply vulnerable performance, Rachel Weisz plays Hester Collyer, the wife of an upper-class judge (Simon Russell Beale) and a free spirit trapped in a passionless marriage. Her encounter with Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), a troubled former Royal Air Force pilot, throws her life in turmoil, as their erotic relationship … More

R (for a scene of sexuality and nudity)
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Terence Davies , Terence Rattigan
In Theaters:
Jul 24, 2012
Box Office:
Music Box Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Deep Blue Sea

All Critics (132) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (103) | Rotten (27) | DVD (2)

Now a new film of the play appears, adapted and directed by Terence Davies with Rachel Weisz in that stellar [Hester Collyer] role and with Rattigan's work in a freshening treatment.

Full Review… | June 18, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

The movie is an exquisite period piece, slow and dank, and unduly persuaded that it's rendering a classic.

Full Review… | June 17, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

[Weisz'] performance that transforms her from actress to movie star.

Full Review… | October 1, 2012
Top Critic

The best parts of the movie, like the scene with William's mother, involve isolated set pieces in which Weisz interacts with another actor.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

A story of passion and its aftermath; of what happens when an unhappy woman goes chasing after something shiny, only to find how quickly it fades.

Full Review… | April 19, 2012
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Davies doesn't provide stylish counterweights to the heavy drama. Any story that starts with a woman writing a suicide note is cheating us of an honest investment in the outcome.

Full Review… | April 19, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Weisz makes Hester's dilemma interesting for a while, but even an actress as fine as she can't begin to mold the character into someone worth caring about.

Full Review… | May 25, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

By the time she learns love is less about ideal romance than "wiping someone's ass" when they grow old, it's difficult to care about a problem she created for herself.

Full Review… | April 21, 2013

The character is a victim of her own decisions, but Weisz's bruised performance in The Deep Blue Sea yields empathy for being battered by doomed romanticism.

Full Review… | February 4, 2013
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

The heart wants what it wants and all that; it's anybody's guess why that might be.

Full Review… | January 1, 2013
Mark Reviews Movies

Rachel Weisz performs a superb star turn here, but I'm still in a deep funk after watching this gloomy drama.

Full Review… | November 10, 2012
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

As rumbling and tremendous a meditation on self and suicide as there's ever been onscreen. Director Terence Davies has now made masterpieces across four decades.

November 5, 2012
Projection Booth

While the film has some of the same characters as the play, the crucial relationship between Hester and the former doctor, Mister Miller (Karl Johnson of "Hot Fuzz") is reduced to almost nothing in the film.

Full Review… | October 30, 2012
Laramie Movie Scope

Terence Davies: More poetry of pain

Full Review… | October 20, 2012
Movie Habit

Though "Deep Blue Sea" is a quiet and stately film on the surface, it's powerful and raw underneath.

Full Review… | September 12, 2012
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Theater chamber piece efficiently directed and written by Terence Davies.

Full Review… | September 5, 2012
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Have your exit route mapped out before the lights go down.

Full Review… | August 25, 2012

The Deep Blue Sea is an eloquent love song. It's both hauntingly pitiful and very human. It's love in all its labor.

Full Review… | July 30, 2012 ravishing as pure cinema, it would likely work just as well - if not better - if the dialogue was turned down and the Barber played on.

Full Review… | July 24, 2012

Taking its tone from bombed-out post-war London, Davies' film is far from cheery, but if you don't mind the slow pace and can overlook the director's trademark mannerisms (including the almost obligatory pub singalongs), there's much to admire

Full Review… | July 17, 2012
Movie Talk

A triumph of style and substance - a rare distinction that Davies has managed time and again.

Full Review… | July 15, 2012
Knight at the Movies

...will sort the lovers from the cynics in a heartbeat.

Full Review… | June 12, 2012

Davies visually enhances the content of the play in a purely cinematic way.

Full Review… | May 9, 2012
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Deep Blue Sea

The Deep Blue Sea is an intricate, subtle and exquisite looking chamber soap opera, set in post war London of 1950. The spare and brilliant adaptation of one of Britain's greatest 20th century playwrights, Terence Rattigan, is brought to life and very much into film language by another Terence (Davies) a filmmaker's filmmaker. Davies has only produced a handful of films in the last twenty years, and this may be his best.

Please be warned this film is exceptionally slow moving, with gaping, meaningful pauses you could drive a panzer division through. Since all those pauses are fraught with meaning and precise and deeply felt acting, I was not bored. If you like your movies full of dialogue and action, you might asleep before act one closes. It also jumps back and forth in time, and you need to be alert to figure out where you are in the story.

Rachel Weisz plays an lady married to a much older successful judge, who throws away her whole life for love, (or really for good sex) with a younger, dumber war hero (Tom Hiddleston, the bad guy Loki of The Avengers), who is more or less the opposite of the cultured and thoughtful man to whom she is married (Simon Russell Beale). These three actors do wonderful internal work that is full of subtext and deep emotion. They are all perfect, but Weisz is a standout. Hester is a strong, misguided woman trying to find herself in a pre-feminist world and her performance resonates very deeply and hauntingly.

The mystery is why a woman (Hester) would throw away a comfortable, cultured life for unrequited love (of which her eyes are fully open) to a man who may be good in bed, but is in no other way worth it. Her attempted suicide is her first reaction. The question is never answered, but the tragic end of the story, (a failed suicide attempt) still leaves a hopeful crack open in the the door for Hester, who has lost everything, to find a fulfilling life for herself.

The selling point for me, is the stunning looking film itself. Every shot is a glowing work of art, using the drab post war London as a backdrop. There's a long tracking shot during a flashback during the London blitz, that as stunning and moving a moment in any film I've seen this year. The huddled, frightened Londoners cheer themselves up by joining in song. Later, in the present, some drab looking pub goers do likewise singing the Jo Stafford version of "You Belong to Me" under muted and warm light. Of course that song is a fitting subtext for the film..

The film has my highest recommendation, but don't rent it if you're feeling sleepy (or adulterous).

Josh Morris
Josh Morris

Super Reviewer

No, this isn't the Samuel Jackson shark movie. I wish it were, but it's not. Each year I try to watch as many award nominated movies as possible, and this is a Golden Globe nominee for Rachel Weisz's performance. She plays a woman who is depressed after leaving her husband after an affair with a Royal Air Force Pilot(Tom Hiddleson) in 1950 England. I had never heard of this movie, so went and read the plot and thought "hmm, that could be interesting!" Well, I was way off. This movie is a pretty big bore, with a lot of artsy silent type shots while classical music plays. Weisz's is good, but to me her performance is lost in movie that is more concerned with being pretentious than entertaining. I can see how some people will like this, and those people usually have a vast difference in movie taste than me. So if you don't agree with my reviews, then check it out I'm sure you'll enjoy it a lot!

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer


Exceptional performance by Rachel Weisz but the film is heavy going.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


A well-made, involving drama concerning a troubled, younger wife (Rachel Weisz) of a wealthy judge (Simon Russell Beale) caught in a sexless marriage, who has an affair with a former Royal Air Force pilot (Tom Hiddleston), due to her desire to experience physical pleasure. What gives this film more weight than your typical affair story is Rachel Weisz's phenomenal performance, where you care about her character despite her obvious flaws. Really, this film is all about Weisz, who shines in the moment even when the pace of the film threatens on glacial speed. It is a short, emotional movie that does not overstay its welcome, and it explores all of the angles, including Weicz's elder husband who is civil and understanding, but obviously very hurt and distressed. A good film that should be seen.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

The Deep Blue Sea Quotes

Sir William Collyer:
This is a tragedy.
Hester Collyer:
Tragedy's too big a word.
– Submitted by cora d (23 months ago)
Hester Collyer:
Anger fades, and it is replaced by regret.
– Submitted by Facebook U (2 years ago)
Sir William Collyer:
What's happened to you Hester?
Hester Collyer:
Love Bill. That's all.
– Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)

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