In THE LIGHTSHIP, the pacifist captain of a floating lighthouse refuses to fight violence with violence after he rescues a stranded motorboat occupied by three dangerous criminals who want to hijack the ship.
"Any movie that is confined to basically one set is a tough sell. Life boat pulled it off. So does lightship. Just the interaction between Duvall, Arlis Howard and William Forsythe is worth the price of the tape. The bit where Dr. Casparry dances with Eddie Waxler while Gene Waxler looks on is so well done it looked real. This movie, much like Aliens, is chocked full of great characters, and they all get a chance to shine."
Mike Crestwood | New York | 04/06/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The premise is a good one---the crew of an isolated lightship is invaded by a trio of ne'er-do-wells with evil intent---but the plot, like a real lightship, doesn't go anywhere. The father-son relationship between the ship's captain (Klaus Marie Brandeur) and his erstwhile son seems forced, the story of the father's previous cowardice seems to be just the opposite---great leadership, and the relationship between the captain and his chief antagonist (Robert Duvall in a horrible role) never generates even a single spark of tension. Beyond the poor acting and directing is the fact that no tension is ever built anywhere, and the crew never use their knowledge of the sea and the lightship to get back at the bad guys. Additionally, they never try and disarm the bad guys, despite numerous opportunities to do so (even within the first two minutes of them coming onto the lightship) that even a trio of boy scouts would have done. If you are hoping for a tense, claustrophobic, nightmarish potboiler (like I was) then you are in for a great disappointment. Stay away from it."
Misfiring and pretentious thriller
F. J. Harvey | Birmingham England | 01/15/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The movie takes place on a single set, a floating lighhouse (the lightship of the title ) moored off the coast of Virginia .The vessel is captained by Klaus Maria Brandauer and he has a crew of four, plus his teenage son .All the above have their own deep ,dark secrets and grudges which are brought to the surface when the ship is taken over by a trio of escaping bank robbers ,comprising two lunkhead and disturbed brothers plus Robert Duvall as the monomaniacal gang leader . They become trapped on the ship as a storm rages rages outside isolating them still further from the outside world. This was done so much better in the 40's in Key Largo and the movie sufffers badly by comparison .Stiffly acted by normally capable performers ,this movie is ultimately scuppered by pretentious dialogue and a striving for "significance ",.It should be tense ,claustrophobic and gripping but instead is slow ,limp and portentious .
Okay for a popcorn evening.
PJR | Minneapolis, Minnesota United States | 09/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Mostly I agree with the points in Cricket and Crestwood's quite negative reviews, but still found it entertaining and would rate it a bit higher.The Duvall character was crazy enough to keep you guessing. Actually he sort of reminded me of Ledger as Joker in the Batman film. Which came first?
I found it quite satisfactory for one watching but would be unlikely to watch it again. Okay for an evening as a suspense/adventure film. More interesting than most. But like most, once the characters have played themselves out and there are no more mysteries, the film is done. No truly memorable moments. The depth of the characters is not all that deep to go back and ponder another time. All in all an average decent film."
Best Movie Set
khense | Los Angeles, CA | 07/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The physical lightship is a wonderful hulk which somehow survived everything humans do to each other. Given the dialogue & voiceovers in the film are theatrical,this is a majestic battle between good & evil on the best stage ever. The main good guy & bad guy both know a lot. There is an understanding that humans can easily kill each other,however they rarely have to. Inevitably in this case the characters sink to the "have to." If you can find a copy,watch Skolimowski's "Deep End," a visual & dramatic masterpiece with Van Gogh colors."