Critics Consensus

Excellent cinematography and an interesting plot accompanied by a talented cast and crew make U-571 a tense thriller.



Total Count: 115


Audience Score

User Ratings: 56,812
User image

U-571 Photos

Movie Info

In this World War II action thriller, American reconnaissance agents learn that a German submarine is sinking. The doomed ship carries an Enigma Machine, a special coding device that allows high-level Axis forces to send messages that can't be read without a similar encryption mechanism. Obtaining a working Enigma device would be invaluable for the Allied war effort, so a U.S. sub is sent out to rescue the machine. However, German forces have already picked up the sub's distress signal and are en route to rescue their comrades. U-571 features a distinguished cast, including Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, and Jon Bon Jovi.

Watch it now


Matthew McConaughey
as Lt. Andrew Tyler
Bill Paxton
as Lt. Cdr. Mike Dahlgren
Harvey Keitel
as Chief Klough
Jake Weber
as Lt. Hirsch
David Keith
as Maj. Coonan
Matthew Settle
as Ens. Larson
Tom Guiry
as Trigger
Thomas Kretschmann
as Kapitanlieutenant Wassner
Thomas Guiry
as Trigger
Jon Bon Jovi
as Lt. Pete Emmett
Will Estes
as Rabbit
Rebecca Tilney
as Mrs. Dahlgren
Carolyna De Laurentiis
as Prudence Dahlgren
Dina De Laurentiis
as Louise Dahlgren
Burnell Tucker
as Admiral Duke
Rob Allyn
as Ensign
Carsten Voigt
as German Chief
Oliver Stokowski
as German E-Chief
Arnd Klawitter
as German Hydrophone Operator
Kai Maurer
as German Planesman
Robert "Robin" Lahoda
as German Engineer
Peter Stark
as German Lookout
Erich Redman
as German Bosun
John William Evans
as Marine Sergeant
Robin Askwith
as British Seaman
Jasper Wood
as Petty Officer
Martin Glade
as Gunner Officer
Oliver Osthus
as Depth Charge Officer
Cpl. Cory Glen Mathews
as Other Sergeant
View All

News & Interviews for U-571

Critic Reviews for U-571

All Critics (115) | Top Critics (30)

Audience Reviews for U-571

  • May 25, 2013
    U-571 is a thrilling and powerful war film from writer/director Jonathan Mostow. The story follows the crew of a US Navy submarine that is sent on a secret mission to recover an Enigma decoder from a disabled German U-boat. Starring Matthew McConaugey, Harvey Keitel, and Bill Paxton, the film has a strong cast. The writing is also rather good, and does an excellent job at creating suspenseful and intense battle scenes. Additionally, the directing is impressive, and brings a lot of energy and excitement to film. Well-crafted, U-571 is action packed and delivers an incredible high-seas adventure.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 22, 2012
    Well this caused a hullabaloo upon release, such a big hullabaloo that it even involved our British Prime Minister, some MP's and eventually President Clinton! I do recall at the time that Britain was not too pleased about the historical rigging so Clinton had to smooth things over, was quite the headline. Anyway if you can see past the huge numerous historical inaccuracies this wartime submarine thriller is pure adventure and action in a real boys own way. I don't mean to take anything away from the real memory of the maritime war effort but this really is a rollicking good fun film that will grab you and not let go. A gripping plot surrounding the need to capture the Enigma cipher machine of the German U-boat U-571. The crew of the US S-33 are sent in disguised as a German U-boat to infiltrate U-571 and capture the machine without anyone ever knowing they were there. Of course things don't go to plan and this is where the thrills begin as the US crew fight to remain undetected and escape with their valuable cargo. At first the film isn't overly impressive visually, seems to cozy, but as the story progresses things seem to get better, probably due to the moisture, sweat, heat and dirt buildup on crew and set. External visuals are lovely as we get many excellent pan shots of a real sub ocean bound with people on board (not sure whether they are the actual actors). Like other sub flicks ('Crimson Tide') most of the film takes place inside the German U-boat. Not as stunning or large as interior shots in said Scott flick but naturally size/tech varies between subs of then and now. What you do get is a very tight cramped experience which really offers an insight into how these boys lived in these tin cans. Realism is assured and is enough to give anyone a fear of confined spaces, the constant dripping from pipes and seals would do it for me. Cast is quite a unique mixed bag here too. 80's action men Paxton and Keith are reunited after 'The Lords of Discipline', Keith looking the slick Bond type in his turtle neck and leather coat, a bit cliched maybe. Other main leads went to hard man Keitel alongside wannabe action hero/romcom regular McConaughey. British actor Weber struggled to maintain his US accent which unintentionally gave me some chuckles. Of course one noteworthy element was the inclusion of Jon Bon Jovi in the cast, I think his first major role in a proper major flick. At the time most did ask why they couldn't have found a real actor for the role, his presence certainly made you wonder about the films credibility before release, a rock star in a legitimate war film? So with a mixed bag of various actors from various genres the film still managed to be one of the best war thrillers I've seen in a long while. Like I said the sub interior sequences are perfect and capture the hellish mood whilst the few special effects are nicely done and not over the top. Musical score doesn't quite hit the emotions as well as other war films, not overly memorable. Despite the Americanisation of the truth this film still wins and delivers a ripping yarn alongside a good dedication to the real men of the time. Love the films poster also.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2012
    An exciting, tense, and thrilling submarine movie. I was surprised at how much action there was, and it was constant. The acting is great too. Matthew McConaughey and Harvey Keitel really shine in their roles. The special effects are fantastic for their time. The best shot is when the U.S. Navy team fires a torpedo at a German submarine and it both implodes and explodes at the same time. The cinematography is very good as well. The camera is often hoisted on a mast as the submarine dives underwater or rises afloat. The story isn't revolutionary, but it doesn't have to be. You're here to watch Navy battles and submarines getting blown up, and there's plenty of it. It's a really well done movie, and extremely entertaining.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2012
    This star vehicle, set in WWll, actioner has the Yanks stealing a disabled German sub in the mid-Atlantic (much as the producers hope to steal the thunder of Das Boot). Plenty of macho posturing ensues. There are better WWll sub flicks out there. Das Boot comes to mind.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

U-571 Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features