Review: Black Sea (2015)

by Brian Eggert

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DIRECTOR: Kevin Macdonald

Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Jodie Whittaker, and Grigoriy Dobrygin


115 min.

After several excellent documentaries in the 1990s and beyond, including the BAFTA winner Touching the Void (2003), director Kevin Macdonald garnered a lot of attention with his 2006 fictional film The Last King of Scotland. Since then, the Scottish filmmaker has made several solid programmers such a State of Play (2009), The Eagle (2011), and now Black Sea. Drawing from a variety of genres and conventions, the film contains elements of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Wages of Fear, The Hunt for Red October, and even Moby Dick. Indeed, components of each titlepulse through Dennis Kelly’s script, where an obsessed submarine captain leads a blue-collar crew of international scallywags into the depths of the titular sea for lost Nazi gold. Racked with claustrophobia, potboiler tension, and even a touch of class commentary, the effective result has been admirably made by Macdonald and deftly acted by his cast of international players.

Jude Law stars as Robinson, a sub captain who, having been sacked from his salvage company and long since dejected from the Navy, feels some heightened animosity toward The Man. His devotion to sub-marining cost him a family (seen almost exclusively in flashback) and now, at just the right moment when he has nothing... Read the full article


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