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White Squall (1996)

White Squall

TOMATOMETER

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

Critics Consensus: 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.

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

Critics Consensus: 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 SCORE

Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 18,380

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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 … More

Rating:
PG-13
Genre:
Drama , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Jun 22, 1999
Runtime:


Cast


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Critic Reviews for White Squall

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.

Full Review… | July 25, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top 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.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top 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

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.

Full Review… | March 16, 2003
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.

Full Review… | August 22, 2002
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.

Full Review… | June 5, 2002
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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Cinematter

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for White Squall

The strongest force in nature is the will to survive.

More
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.

More
SirPant
Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

A group of teenage boys learn discipline, courage, and what it's like to stick together as a unit as they aboard the Albatross and ride it out into the great wide open in the Caribbean. Whether they're there because their parents want them to grow up and learn responsibility, or whether they're there because they want to be, they will all learn the comraderie, the hardships, and everything else that goes along with traveling to sea. All of the good and the bad must come together when the Albatross runs into a white squall, a MAJOR storm at sea.
How could anybody not love "White Squall"? There are a lot of great movies about going out to sea, and "White Squall" is up there with the best of them. It's not like "Crimson Tide", "U-571", and those; it's a spectacular coming of age film that has nothing to do with war. Scott Wolf, Ryan Phillippe, and the rest of the crew do a good job of acting, and Jeff Bridges does the best of all in portraying the sternness, yet warm-hearted character that is the Skipper.

If you're a fan of coming of age movies like "Stand By Me", and if you like very entertaining movies that explore the hardships of life to a tee, get "White Squall" right NOW! It's one of the best movies you've never heard of. Example line from the movie: "I don't want it to end. I don't want to go back to what I was before I came here: anonymous." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2002.

More
stormyweather980
Jason Owens

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.

More
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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