1990s Crimson Tide (1995)

Published on August 8th, 2007 | by Chris

1

Crimson Tide (1995)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On August 8, 2007
Last modified:October 8, 2012

Summary:

While it's true that '95 was a bit late to be making US vs. Russia Nuclear Missile Scare Movies(tm), Crimson Tide pulls it off in a big way. I have to admit, I hadn't watched this movie in several years, and quite frankly forgot just how good it really is.

Crimson Tide (1995)While it's true that '95 was a bit late to be making US vs. Russia Nuclear Missile Scare Movies(tm), Crimson Tide pulls it off in a big way.  I have to admit, I hadn't watched this movie in several years, and quite frankly forgot just how good it really is.

The film's story really isn't a new one, having been played out in other movies such as "The Enemy Below" (which gets referred to in this film early on, nice touch!)  The tale of impending nuclear destruction and the moral dilemmas that must preoccupy the people responsible for executing such orders.

Rookie Executive Office Lt. Cmdr. Hunter (Denzel Washington) goes up against the battle hardened Captain Ramsey (Gene Hackman) of the submarine USS Alabama with the itchy trigger finger.  They've been given orders to launch a nuclear strike, but later receive a partial message which neither confirms or retracts those orders.  Taking the moral high ground, unwilling to lauch the strike without confirmation, Hunter takes the ship from Ramsey.

All the while they're being hunted by what is presumably a Russian attack sub, and pull through that battle in the midst of the internal conflict.  Not before suffering some severe damage and causing Hunter to have to make some difficult choices.

Ramsey, however, is not content to have his command subverted, and stages yet another takeover, and finally the issue is resolved for the better.

What makes this film shine is the chemistry and tension between Washington and Hackman.  These guys are top-notch actors, and manage to create an atmosphere of conflict so thick you could cut it with a knife.  Their conflict between executing the orders given "as is" and interpreting those orders correctly in such a situation is really what drives this picture.

The direction (Tony Scott) is stellar, also, and really makes you feel the close-quarters cramped nature of submarine life.  I don't think there were many shots that didn't make you feel like you were right in the characters' faces.

Admittedly there is a lot of submarine mechanics which sort of get in the way, like the constant repetition of orders into the handsets, sometimes three and four times.  Hey, this is a submarine movie! You have to expect things like that.

The external sub shots during the battle with the Akula class sub really aren't the best examples of special effects, either.  While it may reflect what it might actually look like, it doesn't translate well on camera.  Either that or not much attention was paid to these scenes during production.

Crimson Tide is rated R for numerous f-bombs and other language, and I really can't say any more than that!  I really enjoyed rediscovering this picture!

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Description

A stellar cast including Academy Award(R) winner Denzel Washington (2001 Best Actor, TRAINING DAY), Gene Hackman (1971 Academy Award(R) Winner, Best Actor, THE FRENCH CONNECTION; ENEMY OF THE STATE), Viggo Mortensen (THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy), and James Gandolfini (TV's THE SOPRANOS) resurfaces in a greater-than-ever Extended Edition of this intense hit thriller...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: Buena Vista Home Video
Manufacturer: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Hollywood Pictures
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Denzel Washington
  • Gene Hackman
  • George Dzundza
  • Viggo Mortensen
  • James Gandolfini

Features

  • Factory sealed DVD

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little ducks, there's trouble in Russia..., April 10, 2015
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This review is from: Crimson Tide [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Yes little ducks, that's a line from one of the opening shots of the movie when Gene Hackman who plays Captain Frank Ramsey of the USS ALABAMA nuclear missile sub is addressing the crew before they start their mission. The mission is to set sail and be on the ready to launch their nuclear payload toward Russia if worse comes to worse and the rebel force that suddenly took control of several russian subs and a russian nuke base tries to launch their missiles against America. This movie was released in 1995, had a 53 million dollar estimated budget and Tony Scott was the director. Who the heck's Tony Scott????? He was/is the brother of Ridley Scott who did a little space movie called Alien. I say was because he's no longer with us (suicide, 2012). Tony also did another fairly popular movie you might know called Top Gun, another military themed movie that made the American Navy and their fighter pilots look the badazzes that they are (again going up against the russians). In this... Read more
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good acting saves it, January 21, 2014
By 
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This review is from: Crimson Tide (Amazon Video)
The chemistry between Hackman and Washington is what makes this movie. Both are great actors and the peronalities they portray is really what this movie is all about. It's a common theme ... chain of command setting, idealogue vs man of action . Also a classic power struggle. The reason I did not give it 45 stars is simply because it had too much of a Star Trek "I only have 5 minutes to fix this and I'll do it in 4 minutes and 59 seconds" feel to it. Hey I love Star Trek and this movie did have great suspense, but it was bordering on sci fi caliber. This was supposed to be a plausible situation. That said, it's an exciting movie with alot of good actors and believable action. I recommend it.
PS what made me think about this movie was the fact that I had just watched "Flight" and loved Denzel Washington in that too. He really is a good actor and has only gotten better with age.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed this flick except for the CO character having a ..., February 27, 2017
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Crimson Tide (Amazon Video)
Rant: As a former SSBN submariner (''83 to '96, work center was in MCC--Missile Control Center), I thoroughly enjoyed this flick except for the CO character having a dog aboard the boat. It's not the fact that that would never occur, it's the fact that the CO character allowed the dog to piss on the deck without cleaning up after it. This display of Total Disrespect for the crew was maddening to me. That would never occur in the fleet. Leave it to Hollywood to mess up a decent flick.
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Crimson Tide (1995) Chris

Summary: While it's true that '95 was a bit late to be making US vs. Russia Nuclear Missile Scare Movies(tm), Crimson Tide pulls it off in a big way. I have to admit, I hadn't watched this movie in several years, and quite frankly forgot just how good it really is.

4.4


User Rating: 4.8 (1 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



One Response to Crimson Tide (1995)

  1. Ah, submarine movies. (Deep Breath).  If you’ve followed the site for any length of time you probably know I’ve developed a soft-spot for the sub-genre (no pun intended!) and 1990’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel The Hunt For Red October is no ex

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