U-571 (2000)

DailyView: Day 103, Movie 175

Nothing wrong with a good submarine movie. Of course the top two on my submarine list would be Hunt for Red October and Crimson Tide, but today’s DailyView sub movie would certainly make the cut.

U-571 is set during World War II. The German subs had been causing all kind of trouble because of their code that had not been broken by the Allies. However, when a German sub is damaged in a battle, the Americans are able to take control of the sub and grab ahold of the code key. Unfortunately, the American ship was destroyed and a handful of Americans had to dive in the submarine to escape.

X-O Tyler (Matthew McConaughey) had been told by the ship’s captain (Bill Paxton) that he was not ready yet for his own ship. Tyler was disappointed, but he wound up on U-571 in charge after the circumstances of the American ship exploding.

Some of the crew was not exactly behind the new skipper, but Chief (Harvey Keitel) spoke up and backed Tyler. He may have second guessed his decision when he heard some of Tyler’s uncommon orders that would be life or death for them.

The cast here was solid. McConaughey is good, but he spends a lot of time staring at the top of the sub. Along with Keitel and Paxton, we had Jon Bon Jovi, David Keith, Jake Weber, Jack Noseworthy, Will Estes, Terrence Carson and Tom Guiry.

There is always a feeling of claustrophobia is submarine movies as the characters are trapped inside a metal object beneath the ocean. The environment itself provided a ton of atmosphere for a thriller. When the depth charges are exploding all around the sub, you can feel the terror the soldiers were experiencing and you can’t help but wonder how they could possibly escape the moment.

Directed by Jonathan Mostow, U-571 gives us a story of survival and determination to fight for country and against the horrendous Nazis.

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