Das Boot Reviews
Also, mega-kudos for the decision to go with German actors speaking German. A bold decision that pays off dividends for authenticity.
Nazis be trippin'! It takes a lot for a movie to make you root for Nazis.
You know when they lost me? When they tried to make me sympathetic to NAZIS!
People use, "gee, willikers, you can really feel the claustrophobia!" synonymously with, "this must be a good movie!" That doesn't follow (though, it does feel claustrophobic). Yes, it successfully portrays claustrophobia, but how about a plot to go along with that?
It was a kind of German equivalent of Lawrence of Arabia. Overblown & lacking in substance. It's not until late that the film makes a last stand at drawing the viewer in. And, by then, it's a bit late. I think most of the zeal for it comes from some vague desire to connect with historical(ish) events.
If you're an hour into the movie and have can't identify a semblance of a plot, and have zero emotional investment in anything anyone is doing, there's a problem.
The ending, with the re-surfacing attempt & ensuing events, were so spectacular, it made the movie watchable, again.
"Guys Sit Around on a Submarine For Hours And Bad Things Constantly Happen to the Submarine and When Something Good Happens Something Bad Undoes It: The Movie."
Where was all that "breathtakingly thrilling" stuff? Like most films that clock in over three hours (and especially if your setting is a submarine), this film will hit you will a sleep torpedo.
Oh, and until the end it was a 3 1/2 outta 4 star type of deal... but just that final five minutes bumped it up to the full 4. Holy shit.