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White Squall

White Squall (1996)

tomatometer

62

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 13

Though it gets occasionally bogged down by touchy-feely sentiment, White Squall benefits greatly from Jeff Bridges' assured lead performance and Ridley Scott's visceral, exciting direction.

64

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 5

Though it gets occasionally bogged down by touchy-feely sentiment, White Squall benefits greatly from Jeff Bridges' assured lead performance and Ridley Scott's visceral, exciting direction.

audience

66

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 18,370

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on a true incident from 1960, White Squall is the story of the tragic sinking of the Albatross, a prep school educational two-masted schooner, during a Caribbean storm. Screenwriter Todd Robinson wrote the script after meeting one of the tragedy's survivors, Chuck Gieg. In the film, Gieg (Scott Wolf) is the narrator. He and his fellow students, whose parents have paid handsomely for their schooling, which combines classroom work with real-life adventure, are introduced to their grizzled

PG-13,

Drama, Action & Adventure

Jun 22, 1999

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (13) | DVD (4)

The filmmakers take a rather facile, anachronistic "Oprah"-esque approach toward the boys' feelings about their families and the Skipper's role as a "tough love"-minded surrogate father.

July 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This particular landlubber felt like jelly for the rest of the day, notwithstanding the hokey courtroom showdown that closes the picture.

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

Despite great scenery, the distinctive visual ideas of Mr. Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) and the strong dramatic presence of Mr. Bridges, most of White Squall remains listless and tame.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Typically, Bridges gives a deftly understated performance uncluttered by vanity or shallow pathos. No wonder he's not a star.

May 12, 2001 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The 20 or so minutes we spend with the Albatross in the squall is high adventure, to be sure. Everything else is ballast.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Ridley Scott, who more than anyone else founded post-1960s visceral filmmaking, is at the top of his form in White Squall.

January 1, 2000
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An old-fashioned, white-knuckle adventure with the excellent Bridges adding another great characterization to his increasingly impressive resume.

January 23, 2006
Fantastica Daily

Bridges puts his shoulder to the wheel and impresses audiences.

March 4, 2005

An Excellent Picture. It doesn't get any better

March 4, 2004
Moviehole

Stunning ocean visuals and a gut-wrenching storm sequence. An underrated and very good coming of age story.

June 19, 2003
KFOR Channel 4 News

Dead Poets Society goes to the high seas in this overly ambitious tale of 13 young men aboard a floating prep school vessel. Their rite of passage is the core element in this all-spit and no-polish production.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Unengaging maritime thriller from Ridley Scott. Good cast, but fails to connect.

March 19, 2003
eFilmCritic.com

This is a very solid film with strong acting performances to boost it, excellent photography and a good soundtrack.

March 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Daring and dramatic film about the passage of a group of young boys who come of age during their adventures at sea.

August 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

If the focus had been on the characters' experiences instead of the white squall, much more of the movie would have made a lasting impression.

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

The storm sequence is worth the wait, as scary and dramatically filmed as any ocean disaster you've seen in the movies, but the tribunal that follows is so muddled as to end the film in a great big anti-climax.

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

The visuals throughout the movie are exhilarating, and the squall scene in particular is pulled off spectacularly (if a bit chaotically). The scene is so powerful, it almost washes away the taint of familiarity...almost.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter
Cinematter

The script is slow and tired. We've seen it all before, and the change of setting has little impact.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for White Squall

The strongest force in nature is the will to survive.
December 16, 2009
ScoopOnline
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

Schmaltzy. Way too schmaltzy. It's like Dead Poet's Society on a boat. Good ending (unhappy) but overall, a forgettable film.
December 1, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

One of Ridley Scott's less interesting offerings, this ocean bound adventure is typically nicely shot, but the onboard soulsearching is contrived and uninteresting. An interest in and knowledge of sailing would probably help. But I have neither.
May 13, 2007
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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