Buena Vista Pictures | Release Date: May 12, 1995
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 35 Ratings
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28
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6
MeritCobaSep 24, 2016
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Nuclear devastation threatens the west coast of the United States when Russian rebels capture several intercontinental missile bases in Siberia and declare war against the USA. The crew of the submarine USS Alabama is in the midst of this modern missile crisis when the order arrives to launch the pre-emptive strike. Then communications break down, but not before a last garbled message comes through.

Now the captain, played by veteran Gene Hackman, and his second in command, played by the gifted Denzel Washington, face off: fire as ordered, and possibly trigger a global nuclear war, or reestablish communications, and thus risking the submarine and cause a delay with possibly disastrous consequences for the US. A rebel submarine makes matters more difficult.

The movie is commendable in that it remains focused on the crew and we know not much more than they do. This makes us feel as they do. However, Crimson Tide lacks flow. Flow is when events in the movie feel as being part of a natural progress that makes the story move forward. A movie lacks flow when we start to wonder.

With Crimson Tide it starts with the assignment of Washington to the Alabama. It somehow feels strange that an important ship like the Alabama gets a second in command assigned who knows nothing of that particular ship, has no experience and seems of a different disposition that his commanding officer. But then stranger things happen.

Next is the garbled message. Just when the Alabama loses contact with central command they get this garbled message. Is it a recall of the previous order? Nobody knows..but how convenient that it arrives just in time to lay a seed of doubt and stir the fires of conflict. But it could happen. Stranger things have.

Next then is that when Washington convinced Hackman to reestablish contact with headquarters using a buoy, the winch breaks down and makes such noise that it alerts the rebel submarine. How very convenient. But stranger things have happened.

Next, the Alabama succeeds in destroying the Russian submarine even though the latter fires four torpedos first on the latter. But the only two torpedo's fired by the Alabama do hit. It could happen. Stranger things have.

However, the last torpedo damages the Alabama and it sinks to the bottom of the sea, reaches hull crushing depth, but just in time regains buoyancy and escapes in the nick of time. Well. It could happen, stranger things have.

Then when the Alabama is in the position to reestablish contact with central command the transmitter is broken. And when the confrontation between Hackman and Washington reaches boiling point, it suddenly works again. It could happen.Stranger things have.

But having so many events conveniently happen breaks the flow of the story. Strange things happen, a series of strange things is extremely rare. And if a story requires them to be there otherwise there would be no story is bad story telling.

Compare Crimson Tide to the Caine Mutiny which has no such odd incidents. It is a natural story that has flow. Crimson Tide can only exist because it requires exceptional strange things to happen. This is its main flaw.
No excellent acting by Hackman, Washington and Mortensen can repair that damage.
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7
SpangleJun 3, 2016
Crimson Tide is an entertaining action thriller featuring powerhouse performances from Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. Well directed film Tony Scott, Crimson Tide has quite a few tense moments that really pack a thrilling and thoroughlyCrimson Tide is an entertaining action thriller featuring powerhouse performances from Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. Well directed film Tony Scott, Crimson Tide has quite a few tense moments that really pack a thrilling and thoroughly edge of your seat moments. While it can be a pretty stereotypical war film at times, it really can be thoroughly thought provoking as to who is right and who is wrong, which is not what I expected. Crimson Tide really makes you think at times and wonder who is in the right. Additionally, Crimson Tide really has some good performances from Hackman and Washington who really bring the differences of their characters to the forefront and really play the roles perfectly. That said, some of the supporting cast felt a little awkward and left a bit to be desired. Viggo Mortensen and James Gandolfini, for example, were nowhere near as good as I had hoped. Overall, Crimson Tide is an interesting film with unexpected philosophical ponderings. Expand
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6
YorkManJun 1, 2016
Excellent post Cold War undersea thriller starring Gene Hackman as Captain Ramsay, the grizzled, old school Captain of the nuclear submarine USS Alabama, and Denzel Washington as his newly promoted First Officer, Lieutenant Commander Hunter.Excellent post Cold War undersea thriller starring Gene Hackman as Captain Ramsay, the grizzled, old school Captain of the nuclear submarine USS Alabama, and Denzel Washington as his newly promoted First Officer, Lieutenant Commander Hunter.
When a situation develops that forces Hunter into committing mutiny, in order to prevent a launch of nuclear missiles, it ultimately boils down to a battle of wills between the two men. Each convinced they are right, and each dedicated to their course of action.
Tony Scott directs, and conjurs up a tight and well crafted on screen depiction of life on a submarine. Going from the initial mundanities of everyday life, to ramping up the tensions as the crew deal with the distinct possibility their sub might become a very large metal coffin.
The acting throughout is excellent, with (pre-Lord of the Rings) Viggo Mortenson a stand out, as the weapons officer (and old friend of Hunter) who gets caught in the middle.
There are some (big) problems with the film though. The first is that it does take extreme liberties its narrative. The film was criticised on release by anyone and everyone connected with the US Navy, who stated that the principle notion of the movie (a mutiny) would never happen in real life. Other criticisms were thrown around about the (late in the day) script re-writes by Quentin Tarantino. It's so obvious where his 'lines' are in the script, and when they are being spoken it's utterly out of place.
The ending was also commented on, and it's no surprise this film was parodied in an episode of The Simpsons, the ending coming in for a very wry level of sarcasm due to it essentially being a cop-out. People wanting an actual epilogue that puts things into context won't be getting one.

Overall though this is an exciting action-thriller. Put your thinking cap in your pocket, fire up the DVD/Blu-Ray, ramp up the bass on your sound system/TV, dim the lights..... And go along for the ride!
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9
talisencrwMay 13, 2016
Probably my favourite Tony Scott film, amidst stiff competition. The acting of both Hackman and Washington, plus the fine supporting cast, is top-drawer, and Scott keeps the suspense up, the film's as tight as a drum. It's rumoured that thereProbably my favourite Tony Scott film, amidst stiff competition. The acting of both Hackman and Washington, plus the fine supporting cast, is top-drawer, and Scott keeps the suspense up, the film's as tight as a drum. It's rumoured that there were plenty of script doctors, including Quentin Tarantino, but that's no crime--especially when it works. One of my favourite submarine films--it's up there in my books with 'Destination Tokyo' (I haven't seen my DVD of 'Das Boot' yet). It's a great shame that Scott decided to take his life a few years back. He was a much better director than I used to give him credit for. I guess it's true that we don't realize just how good people are until they're gone. This film's essential for war film enthusiasts or those who enjoy suspense films or thrillers: It wouldn't be out of place in the oeuvres of, say, Sir Alfred Hitchcock or David Fincher, and would make a great double-bill with 'Lifeboat' or 'They Were Expendable'. Expand
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9
avamiller21May 6, 2016
What an absolute thriller/action/drama all combined to form Crimson Tide. Acting was superb by both Washington and Hackman.

Watch it online for free: http://www.watchfree.to/watch-6df-Crimson-Tide-movie-online-free-putlocker.html
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10
shoulderoforionApr 27, 2016
I have watched this movie more times than I can count, it's my go to feel good action flick when I'm bored or angry at **** movies. There is nothing subpar about this flick.
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10
Compi24Nov 28, 2012
"Crimson Tide" is a 1995 film Starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. The Tony Scott film involves a first officer (Washington) on a nuclear submarine who clashes with his captain (Hackman) over whether or not they have enough"Crimson Tide" is a 1995 film Starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. The Tony Scott film involves a first officer (Washington) on a nuclear submarine who clashes with his captain (Hackman) over whether or not they have enough information to perform a first strike on a volatile Russia. As far as, Tony Scott films go, they're sort of hit or miss. I loved "Man On Fire" and "Unstoppable." However, movies like "Deja Vu" and "The Taking Of Pelham 123" are just sort of "meh" for me. This is partly because Mr. Scott made a very strange transition midway through his career. He went from using a really clean and traditional camera movement (as in "Top Gun," "True Romance," and "Crimson Tide") to using this really frenetic and trippy camera style (as in "Deja Vu," "Man On Fire," and "Unstoppable"). Sometimes the latter works, sometimes it doesn't, but one thing that usually has stayed amazingly consistent throughout Tony Scott's career is a brilliant lead performance from Denzel Washington. Tony Scott and Denzel Washington have collaborated together five times, and they've crafted some amazing stuff. "Crimson Tide" is no different here - Denzel sails through this movie with an utterly incredible finesse. However, while Denzel's performance is a force to be reckoned with, the best performance in this film is from none other than Popeye Doyle himself; Mr. Gene Hackman. His portrayal of Captain Frank Ramsey is one of the most menacing performances I've seen him give in a long while. Hackman owns this ship. In terms of directing, this movie in my opinion had everything "The Hunt For Red October" had, yet there was just a tad more. While "The Hunt For Red October" filmed it's underwater combat scenes using trick photography and models in midair, "Crimson Tide" actually shot their model ships underwater and utilized practical special effects on them regularly. While "The Hunt For Red October" had a brilliant score by Basil Poledouris, "Crimson Tide". . .had Hans Zimmer. Finally, while "The Hunt For Red October"'s plot was very interesting and definitely worth watching, "Crimson Tide" managed to be one of the most intense filmgoing experiences for me in a very long time - the fear of a nuclear holocaust is hammered into your head at an almost unsettling degree. White-knuckle film? You don't know the meaning of the term. "Crimson Tide" is an unbelievable film that I will not soon forget. Collapse
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2
[Anonymous]Nov 27, 2008
Caught this on cable last night -- the "extended version"! This is the worst kind of rah-rah jingoistic dreck, and an outrageously dumb premise to boot. Not to mention the cop out ending. The entire time you can't escape the feeling Caught this on cable last night -- the "extended version"! This is the worst kind of rah-rah jingoistic dreck, and an outrageously dumb premise to boot. Not to mention the cop out ending. The entire time you can't escape the feeling that both Hackman and Washington are slightly embarrassed for taking part in this. I'm sure Viggo Mortensen regrets it. For my part I'm embarrassed to have sat through it all. Roger Ebert unbelievably gives it an 88 though, making you question his integrity, or curious about what he gets paid to give these sorts of films good reviews. Expand
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10
AntonyCNov 23, 2008
You know that once a movie is lampooned by the Simpsons it has to have surpassed a certain level of quality and popularity. Watching this movie, you'll soon see why it easily earns it's place in Springfield. Smart, dramatic and You know that once a movie is lampooned by the Simpsons it has to have surpassed a certain level of quality and popularity. Watching this movie, you'll soon see why it easily earns it's place in Springfield. Smart, dramatic and featuring some great performances from Hackman and Washington, this is a story of deadly what-ifs in a place where no-one on Earth want's a deadly what-if situation. Expand
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