Superstars Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman face off in the intense action-thriller Crimson Tide, now on Blu-ray DiscŪ. Viggo Mortensen and James Gandolfini also star as the full-throttle tension (Los Angeles Times) buil... more »ds relentlessly in this pulse-pounding format! Amidst a global crisis, the USS Alabama is ordered to launch its nuclear missiles signaling the start of World War III! And when the sub s commander and his executive officer clash over the validity of their orders, an epic struggle for control erupts under the sea. Watch every explosive frame in spectacular 1080p, while 5.1 48 kHz, 16-bit uncompressed audio blows you away. See, hear and feel the Tide rage through the power of Blu-rayTM High Definition!« less
"I gave this movie 3 stars because ultimately, I was entertained. The acting (for the most part) was outstanding, and the tension that was created could be cut with a Knife.
That being said, Let me put some peoples mind at ease, and relate some of the inaccuracies of the movie.
1. No Animals on Board. Period. Lose the Dog and the Fish Tank. An aquarium would be a terrible missile hazzard, and a dog crapping and pissing onboard, not a chance.
2. The supply officer (James Gandolfini) would never be allowed near control. Nor would he have the ability to force a seaman or petty officer to do push ups onboard a bus. The Supply Officer is a "restricted" officer, which means they can not participate in "command" of the vessel. The "Chop" would simply be in charge of the ships stores and the galley, nothing else.
3. There is no countermanding a launch command. Period. If the CIC (The Prez) issues a launch, the birds are flown. All the fail-safe measures (authenticating the flash traffic) are pretty much spot on, yet when word comes down to launch, you launch. The Navy asks it's young submariners to be prepared to do the unthinkable, and are trained as such. As long as there exists the slight possibility that a valid order may be later recinded, you take away the confidence of the crew in it's orders. The safe guards regarding authorization and two person concurrance is designed to prevent a single officer from launching weapons.
However, once a properly formatted, and authentic order is received, it is expected that it will be carried out. To do otherwise would always give crew members a moment of pause, wondering when the order to stand down would occur. This hesitation can not exist. Thus once the birds are ordered to fly, they will fly, as certain as if the president had pulled the trigger himself.
4. While some submariners have been on the heavy side, the number of obese people seen on the boat is not consistant with a real crew. And I have never seen ANYONE as obese as the COB was in this movie.
5. There are no secret "crawl spaces" in which people can move around in. The boat is not that big. Thus, Hunter and crew would have had to navigate actual passageways to get to control, and would have run into whatever guards were stationed.
6. The "submarine" diving in the exterior shots was not a trident ballistic missile boat, but rather a Los Angeles Class attack boat out of Hawaii. I was in Pearl Harbor when the filming took place, and Pearl is strictly a Fast Attack sub base, with Tridents only coming once in awhile for a stop over after the end of a patrol. The boat shown in the dive footage was actually an LA attack boat, and not a boomer.
7. While boat commanders frequently run multiple casualty drills, there would never be a "weapons drill" run just after a potentially fatal fire. The boat commander is ultimately responsible for the boat, crew, and it's payload. No commander would brush off such a large conflageration and "run a drill" until the fire had been fully extinguished and the reflash watch reported no possibility of reflash existed.
8. Enlisted Submariners by nature are picked for their maturity and intelligence. Submariners, especially Nuclear Trained, are encouraged to "question" orders. The safety of the boat and the crew depends on each person being able to accurately determine if an order given is "lawful". The "boys" on board Alabama showed none of those traits. The fact that the "chop" could bully his way into the Captain's Quarters by simply yelling is a testament to the poor opinion the film makers had of enlisted men.
In a "real" boat, the "chop" would have been staring down the barrel of a .45 caliber handgun, and would have been wrestled to the deck while a "security violation" was reported over the ship and "away the security alert team" was sounded. Security on board a sub is so crucial, that there is a story in which a seaman actually ordered Admiral Rickover to kiss the deck face down because the admiral while wearing full dress whites, refused to show the deck watch his military ID. He was spot promoted to Petty Officer by Rickover himself.
So while my Sailor side has issues with all the inaccuracies and fairly poor treatment the military gets with this movie, I do find the movie suspensful, entertaining, and sometimes too close to comfort (the flooding sequence is a nightmare all sailors share)
So kudos to the film makers for making a slick, taunt, thriller, but thankfully, that would and could NEVER happen."
Decent Treatment, But Iffy Editing
Wes Janson | Florida | 05/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The original DVD release of Crimson Tide occurred at a time before the trends of including cut scenes, commentary, and animated menus. While it makes sense to re-release the film with what we now considered the standard features, missing from the original, I found the overall experience somewhat disappointing.
For die-hard fans of Crimson Tide, this DVD is worth getting just to see the 7 minutes or so (Original release was 116 minutes, this version is supposed to be 123) of exra footage. The title menu is much nicer than before, and the addition of the documentary is a great bonus. But under deleted scenes, we're shown only three very short "scenes": an extra line of dialogue onboard the crew bus, a longer version of Radchenko's speech to the reporter, and a half-minute long nearly silent waiting scene before the panel at the end of the movie. All three are shown as raw footage, without any cleaning, or explanation.
All of the content in the deleted scenes is in the primary feature, in a cleaned-up and nearly seamless state. None of the new footage is more than a few seconds in length, but it's clear that all of it consists of short pieces of dialogue removed either for time constraints or clarity. What this means is that throughout the movie we're treated to bursts of extraneous dialogue that the editor had originally removed, usually for a reason. It's interesting from the point of view of a film student, but as a consumer release I think it degrades from the experience ever so slightly. Crimson Tide is all about suspense, and anything that distracts the focus of the audience is consequently lowering the quality of the movie. None of it is very overt, but there's enough of it that it might harm the experience of a first-time viewer of the film.
Overall, the extras contained in this release make it a must-have for previous fans, but for new buyers I would still recommend the original DVD cut."
Crimson Tide rocks the boat!
Scott A. Brown | San Antonio, TX | 03/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After experienceing Crimson Tide for the 15th time, I believe this is my favorite movie of all time. From the very beginning of the movie you are swept into a very plausible scenario: Russian rebels have captured nuclear missle silo's and are threatening to launch at the U.S.. The USS Alabama has been deployed to launch a preemptive strike against Russia. This movie has what DVD owners are looking for: Excellent visuals, bass thumping sound, and great acting. Denzel Washington gives the best performance of his career as Lt. Commander Hunter. His character's by-the-book style is at direct odds with Captain Ramsey's (Gene Hackman) old-school ways. The result is an incredible clash of wills that results in mutiny and the near destruction of the world in a nuclear holocaust. The tension is thick in this drama, and the movie has emotional moments and moments of extreme joy. You will be on the edge of your seat rooting for either Capt. Ramsey or Commander Hunter throughout the movie. This is a must-see movie!"
A Taut, Anxiety-Filled and Exciting Action Drama!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 07/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wow! This is one that is sure to raise your blood pressure and get the old heart pounding! The movie is set in the near future, during a time of extreme instability and potential military adventurism in the crumbling Russian republics. As a result of all that is going on, old cold-war tensions are revived, igniting a heightened military readiness in the USA and sending an anxious submarine crew venturing on patrol into position to potentially launch its inventory of ICBMs at Russia if ordered. Under these circumstance, and based on contradictory information coming in piecemeal from the outside world, a mutiny occurs between the eccentric and stern authoritarian skipper, played brilliantly by Gene Hackman, and his executive officer, also played extremely well by Denzel Washington. The story line leading to the mutiny, and what happens as a result of it is all quite plausible, and given the fact that the submarine has enough missile power to destroy most of industrial Russia as we know it, it is quite a believable and cautionary tale. The drama is well scripted and well acted, and one is hard-pressed to know who is right and wrong regarding the decisions made and actions taken. I was at the edge of my easy chair throughout the movie, and at times it was intense enough to be what I call "white-knuckle time". It is a movie I both enjoyed and learned from, and it should soften even the hardest hearts among us as to the dangers of having fully armed weapon systems like nuclear missile submarines in the hands of fallible human beings, who no matter how well trained and disciplined, are still frail and vulnerable people just like us. Enjoy!"
In deference to Submarine Sailors who've seen this film
Douglas W. Peschka | Olathe, KS USA | 02/18/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I rented a VHS of this film a few years ago, and my review is based upon that viewing of Crimson Tide.
Having served in the Navy for two years at COMSUBPAC Staff in the early 1970s along with officers and enlisted submarine sailors, I fully respect the thoughts and comments made on this page about Crimson Tide by submarine veterans. And they are right - the public needs to understand that what is portrayed in this movie would not really happen aboard a boomer [U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarine] if the reception of missile launch orders is intrerrupted in real life.
Unlike another reviewer on this page who felt that these submarine veterans should "get off their high horse" and wondered what really goes on down in the deep if they don't like the inaccuracy of this movie and "whine about it like a sissy", I will only tactfully say that all people who view this film, be they veterans who have been there - done that, or be they civilians who have no knowledge of the life of a ballistic missile submariner, or the strict regulations and code by which these boomer submariners live, that all should keep in mind - this is only a movie. It's purely a fiction made only for entertainment, and not a documentary intended for the dispersal of truth.
Having said that, I also think that Hollywood needs to seriously review it's way of looking at our brave men and women in the armed forces, even if their product is meant for entertainment, and not for fact.
If you are looking for a film to accurately portray what would really happen on a boomer if it received incomplete radio orders regarding a missile launch, then don't look to Crimson Tide for the truth.
If you are looking for an entertaining story of conflict between strict obedience of orders and the responsibility of reason, then Crimson Tide is a film you want to see.
Somebody else wrote that "The Hunt For Red October" is a "thinking man's action film", and it is.
In a very different way, so is Crimson Tide.
Whether you feel this movie is good or bad, is up to you, really.
Captain Ramsey [Gene Hackman] is the captain of the USS ALABAMA, a real-life ballistic missile submarine. His new Executive officer is Commander Turner [Denzel Washington]. After a former Soviet Republic has fallen under control of a despotic dictator, and gained access to formerly Soviet ballistic missiles, and threatened to launch them against the United States, the ALABAMA is sent to patrol the waters surrounding that country.
While on patrol near this Soviet Republic, the ALABAMA receives an authenticated order to launch missiles, followed by a second order that gets cut off when the ALABAMA is attacked by a Soviet attack submarine.
Captain Ramsey believes it is his duty - and Commmander Turner's - to simply obey the first message, and launch the missiles NOW! Commander Turner believes it is his duty - and Captain Ramsey's - to resume radio contact with the Chain of Command BEFORE taking any further action.
That conflict sets up the drama - and the action - throughout the film.
What would YOU do?
Thought-provoking, and entertaining.
And much of what is portrayed in the film is very different from what it would be like on a real boomer.
Submarine Veterans have posted thier comments here, critical of the film's accuracy, and with good reason. They have been on those missile boats, and the producers and writers of this movie have not. That's the way it is, folks.
The Submarine veterans whom I was fortunate to serve with - and under - at COMSUBPAC were, to a man, fully professional sailors, all. They are men of their word. So when boomer sailors weigh in here to compare this movie with how these circumstances would really be answered on a sub in real life, you can rest assured that they're telling it like it is.
Listen to them.
I recommend this movie only with the caveat that the viewer be fully aware that Crimson Tide is only a well-written fiction, and nothing like what really happens - or would happen - aboard the Navy's ballistic missile submarines.
Listen carefully to what the Submarine Veterans have to say about this movie. Read their comments about it on this page.