Black Sea


Black Sea

Critics Consensus

Black Sea may not be particularly deep, but thanks to Kevin Macdonald's judicious direction and a magnetic performance from Jude Law, it remains an efficiently well-crafted thriller.



Total Count: 134


Audience Score

User Ratings: 16,259
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Movie Info

A suspenseful adventure thriller directed by Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald, centering on a rogue submarine captain (two-time Academy Award nominee Jude Law) who pulls together a misfit crew to go after a sunken treasure rumored to be lost in the depths of the Black Sea. As greed and desperation take control onboard their claustrophobic vessel, the increasing uncertainty of the mission causes the men to turn on each other to fight for their own survival. (C) Focus

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Critic Reviews for Black Sea

All Critics (134) | Top Critics (35)

  • Not much of it is credible, starting with the hiring of a rusty submarine out of Sevastopol, but it has action and adventure to burn, leavened with bits of humour.

    Apr 9, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Too often, moviegoers must choose between character-driven drama and edge-of-your-seat action. "Black Sea" has both, with a gripping performance by Jude Law as their nexus.

    Jan 31, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Black Sea is a submarine thriller set in the murky depths of exactly where the title says.

    Jan 31, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • By no means a masterpiece, but a solid genre offering, a portrait of desperate men crammed together and surrounded on all sides by what one describes as "dark, cold death." What better way to escape the midwinter doldrums?

    Jan 30, 2015 | Full Review…
  • I'm something of a sucker for submarine-movie clichés; watching this movie, I was happy the very first time I heard a disconcerting ping.

    Jan 30, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • A contemporary submarine thriller that serves the genre well.

    Jan 30, 2015 | Full Review…

    Tom Russo

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Black Sea

  • Mar 09, 2017
    The caper? Nazi gold on the bottom of the ocean. Nothing new there, but everything is done competently in this submarine treasure hunt, except for a couple of plot curiosities. Definitely fun, with a premium performance from Jude Law.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 20, 2016
    It's "Das Boot" -- but less hopeful.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 13, 2016
    I found this a great return to form for Law and Kevin McDonald. The storyline had a twist I couldn't get behind but the old money getting in the way of clear judgement never gets old. The entire cast is strong and delivers everything at the right moment. The ending that delivers beat to beat works well even when the usual conclusion occurs. Highlight of the weekend and one film I put off for way too long.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jul 20, 2016
    Black Sea won't rival too many of the famed submarine movie relics of years past. It's not as hectic as U-571 or anywhere close to as silly as Down Periscope or even remotely as boring as The Hunt for Red October, but Black Sea still offers a solid, though rudimentary, thriller that probably doesn't stick to its guns enough in the end. Firstly, Jude Law puts in a fantastic performance as the sub's captain. A man who feels he's been down on his luck in his personal life and his professional, we immediately get the feel of why he's so desperate to get a crew together and search for gold. Surely the movie wouldn't be made if we never did find the gold, but the writers never gave any hints of it actually not existing, so the mystery was never really there. The feints and misdirection weren't carried out with great skill either. From the moment the crew, half Russian and half English-speaking, step on board, there's an immediate clarity for the viewer of how things will play out, and Kevin Macdonald does nothing extraordinary to subvert those expectations. But the positives outweigh the negatives because of the dedication of said cast. I always marvel to see Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McNairy back together again since Killing Me Softly. So while no punches are thrown at the audience to really push Black Sea over the top and make it memorable both in story and in writing, there are just enough harrowing moments that are executed to near perfection because of its committed cast. Though everyone plays to type, the offer at redemption near the end instead of a true dive into bleakness probably keep Black Sea in the conversation of run-of-the-mill instead of stand-out-sub movies.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer

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