20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Reviews

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June 30, 2017
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: 6 out of 10: High budget Disney adventure is an entertaining if overlong adaptation of the Jules Verne classic. The movie entertains in places but struggles with seemingly endless underwater nature shots and serious lulls in the action.

When the action does rear its head it is quite well done. The giant squid attack looks better than advertised and the Papua New Guina natives (actually Jamaica) are wonderfully right out of Shaka Zulu.

James Mason is a magnificently brooding Captain Nemo, while Kirk Douglas is a likable as everyman Ned Land (who despite his name and disgust at eating seafood is supposed to be a first-rate sailor. And he has the annoying sea shanties and pet seal to back him up) While Mason and Douglas, despite coming across as strangely French, certainly provide good performances the rest of the cast sinks to the bottom.

Paul Lukas is stiff and unbelievable as the professor and Peter Lorre is horrible miscast as Gilligan. (Okay he actually plays Conseil the professor's apprentice. He is about forty years too old to apprentice for anything. One of the cast calls him lad at one point for God's sake) Nemo's henchmen are even a bigger joke. They are dead ringers for the Batman villain henchmen from that late sixties series of the same name. (And certainly could have been the basis for those in the 1968 Batman movie) While the acting is a mixed bag it is the nature shots that kill the pacing of the film. Environmentalists will have a fit with all the coral reef stomping and turtle molesting while the rest of us who have avoided IMAX for years do to crap like this will squirm in our seats.

The movie also strangely misses opportunities. For example much is made of Captain Nemo using gold for ballast cause money means nothing to him and Ned Land's attempts to steal said treasure represents the greed of the "landlubber" that is ruining our oceans blah blah blah. Towards the end of the film the captain releases the ballast and nothing is even mentioned. No Ned Land bemoaning the waste, no money shot of all that treasure falling into the depths. Nope its back to the nature photography the sea shanties and the pet seal.

Yup by this time I am rooting for the giant squid.
May 4, 2017
With a great cast, a sense of wonder and adventure lacking in many modern films, and amazing practical effects used to create an awesome submarine and a breathtaking giant squid, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is truly an adventure film for the ages.
December 12, 2016
Extraordinary modern movie, beautiful, with lots of dated footage compensated by enormous imagination and skill
November 28, 2016
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a magnificent adventure film with groundbreaking special effects, majestic Cinemascope Technicolor photography and beautiful designs. A star cast led by Kirk Douglas and James Mason help create what is regularly seen as the best Jules Verne adaptation of all time. However, the script is a bit disjointed, the film a bit too long, and Douglas steals a bit too many scenes with clowny over-acting. The highlight is the Nautilus crew's fight with the film's legendary mechanical octopus.
½ November 10, 2016
This version of the Jule Verne's tale is purely wonderful. With unaged special effects and true adventure. A must-see, even in 2016.
½ October 22, 2016
88%
Watched this on 22/10/16
James Mason's performance holds uncommon depth and this is one of the very few disney films that are not childish. Mason's role balances out the film and on the whole the film moves at a breezy pace with a plot that is shrouded at mystery for most of the length. Kirk Douglas is also good in his role. The visual effects of the film are mesmerizing and it hasn't aged with time. Much credit should be given to director Richard Fleischer for helming this film.
August 16, 2016
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) C-127m. ???? D: Richard Fleischer. Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas. Wonderfully upbeat, sensationally entertaining underwater adventure involving colorful crew of advanced submarine and the amazing discovery of the dubious Captain Nemo (Mason). One of the best "looking" films of the 1950s, with dazzling, Oscar-winning special effects throughout; Art Direction-Set Decoration also won Academy award. Grand fun for one and all. A plea to Hollywood: Do not remake this. CinemaScope.
August 13, 2016
With a visionary and surprisingly poignant story so far ahead of its time that even 1950s Hollywood couldn't do it complete justice, this Jules Verne adaptation nontheless thrives on the strong performance of James Mason as the iconic Captain Nemo, as well as the astounding underwater sequences and the giant squid.
½ April 28, 2016
Jules Verne's whale of a tale is captured well visually on-screen with impressive special effects. It's dark for Disney and isn't one my favorite live-action films, but it is a worthy adventure made extra fun by Kirk Douglas. (First viewing - In my early twenties)
March 11, 2016
Good live-action journey underwater, with an interesting concept. There's a lot of good chemistry between the leads and good writing. Disney should try this in IMAX.
March 3, 2016
The best adaptation of one of Jules Verne's greatest stories of all time! Not entirely accurate to the original book, but a satisfying story, and memorable characters. I can never get tired of listening to Ned Lands "Whale of a Tale" melody! Even him singing with the sea lion Ezmerelda is one of my favorite moments in the film!
A made for TV adaptation has been done in the nineties, but it doesn't even come close to this one! Awesome in every way and form!
January 2, 2016
This is an impressive movie adaptation of a Jules VERNE book set in the 1800's, with adventure, drama, action and comedy (slapstick) elements.
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2016
Amazingly shot and brilliant performances, especially from Kirk Douglas (whose character I found hilarious) and James Mason
November 26, 2015
A great Thanksgiving Classic. I forgot how realistic the giant squid was. Especially swimming backwards like that and all.
½ October 28, 2015
This science fiction, almost steampunk, adventure film must be appreciated for its ambition and what it managed to do in its era. While the fight against the squid is still excellent, the special effects generally look dated and this film generally hasn't aged well. However, it is still more entertaining that many more modern films produced.
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2015
It's one heck of a great ride, but the effects don't cover up the threadbare story.
October 15, 2015
The best adaption of Verne's book.
September 5, 2015
My boyfriend grew up watching this movie on repeat as a child. He was thinking about it for WEEKS and decided to order it online and force me to watch it. Well, he says forced. I've read the book so I was more than willing. Considering this movie was filmed in 1954 it has aged extremely well. I'll give a bit of a description for those of you unfamiliar with the story. These guys try to figure out why so many whaling ships have been disappearing. They discover a highly advanced submarine lead by Captain Nemo. This was the costliest movie Disney produced at the time. There's underwater adventures, exploring other countries, and a companion seal. There are a few mysteries like how is it so bright at the bottom of the ocean? How is the bottom of the ocean so close to the surface parked submarine? But, hey, we must remember it was filmed in 1954 and they actually did a really good job minus a few quirks.
½ July 14, 2015
One of the few Disney movies I like - because it has a watery theme :)
½ July 2, 2015
Truly amazing movie, one of the best live action disney movies ever.
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