User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 485 Ratings

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  1. Will
    Apr 21, 2004
    6
    Please don't comment about practices aboard a British man-o-war unless you know what you're talking about. Of course these ships carried spare masts, just as the Titanic had spare parts for her engines. Sigh. Anyway, the movie captured the spirit of the Aubrey-Maturin books. I did not like the jumbled sub-plot of the Jonah--it didn't seem to fit in the screenplay.
  2. BillR.
    Mar 13, 2004
    4
    The umpteenth Best Picture nom to which I respond: Yawn. Lazily acted for the most part. About as 'adventurous' as my arsehole; ending skirmish is disgracefully shot. Stripped down to its purely dramatic element, it can never maintain a competent focus on characterization. In fact, the most it can ever evoke is "Who gives a sh*t?", really. Even bigger letdown than The Truman The umpteenth Best Picture nom to which I respond: Yawn. Lazily acted for the most part. About as 'adventurous' as my arsehole; ending skirmish is disgracefully shot. Stripped down to its purely dramatic element, it can never maintain a competent focus on characterization. In fact, the most it can ever evoke is "Who gives a sh*t?", really. Even bigger letdown than The Truman Show overall, *still* waiting for a Weir film to really floor me. Expand
  3. DakotaP.
    May 1, 2004
    6
    This movie starts off boring and stays that way until the finish. But you do get to see some nice waves and sails. Rent it and watch it while you do something else. Good background flick while you cook dinner.
  4. JasonT.
    May 31, 2004
    6
    I really thought I was going to like this movie. Unfortunately, the story never had me. I'm going to watch it again to see exactly why.
  5. JeremyE.
    Apr 18, 2006
    4
    wow! History, Sailing, Pointless Fights, and, best of all Boredom! this film has it all. enough to make me fall asleep.
  6. Eliza
    Feb 12, 2004
    4
    This is a dull and wearisome boat movie. It just had no purpose or direction. The film is poorly made: it crawls at the pace of a drunken snail and the lackluster acting makes this snoozer even more interminable.
  7. TyS.
    Apr 27, 2004
    6
    Yes it had presence on the screen but was essentially a long winded affair with a very so so ending.
  8. JakeS.
    Feb 7, 2004
    6
    Russell Crowe in a big-budget epic. Yawn.
  9. WACKOJAKO
    Nov 17, 2003
    6
    Ideed, some of the most skilled filmmaking you'll see this year, but in the end it's rather redundant and ponderously trivial. I can see why this sort of film would appeal to frumpy, middle-aged critics, or fans of the books, but for the rest of us...well, suffice it to say that at parts it almost put me to sleep. Except when I was being grossed out by exact depictions of 19th Ideed, some of the most skilled filmmaking you'll see this year, but in the end it's rather redundant and ponderously trivial. I can see why this sort of film would appeal to frumpy, middle-aged critics, or fans of the books, but for the rest of us...well, suffice it to say that at parts it almost put me to sleep. Except when I was being grossed out by exact depictions of 19th century surgical procedures. Exactly how many crude operations must viewers be forced to watch? And the action ain't all that either...at least nothing we haven't already seen in the entertaining Pirates of the Caribean or the trully masterful Lord of the Rings series. Only the wonderful acting saves this pointless film from sinking to oblivion. Expand
  10. JeffS.
    Nov 27, 2003
    4
    Nice visuals, good acting, but dramatically flat. The characters hold little interest, as does the very thin storyline. Prepare to glance at your watch several times.
  11. JeffP.
    Jan 30, 2004
    4
    M&C is the type of film I respect, but didn't enjoy. It seems that the majority of people who liked the film had also read the books. Because I have yet to tackle the series, I agree their was not enough character developement. Concerning Oscar, I agree with most of the noms except Best Picture. Sadly, because of the recent negative feedback from the audiance, M&C may miss out on M&C is the type of film I respect, but didn't enjoy. It seems that the majority of people who liked the film had also read the books. Because I have yet to tackle the series, I agree their was not enough character developement. Concerning Oscar, I agree with most of the noms except Best Picture. Sadly, because of the recent negative feedback from the audiance, M&C may miss out on getting credit for it's visual FX, which would be a well deserved win. Expand
  12. Mark
    Nov 15, 2003
    4
    The Stephen Hunter review is dead-on. Everything seems to be so important that you start to wonder if anything really is. I eventually was bored to death. This is an Oscar-machine, that's it. And I wish it the worst of luck - well, this and Mystic River.
  13. GaborA.
    Dec 1, 2003
    4
    Besides accuratly portraying sea life there is little here. People say that the movie had no potential to begin with. I mean its constrained to a group of guys on a boat. At first i had a similar opintion, but then why was Jaws so good? Most Peter Weir films dont have parts that you can pinpoint and say that that was well done. However, walking out of Dead Poets Society i had issues to Besides accuratly portraying sea life there is little here. People say that the movie had no potential to begin with. I mean its constrained to a group of guys on a boat. At first i had a similar opintion, but then why was Jaws so good? Most Peter Weir films dont have parts that you can pinpoint and say that that was well done. However, walking out of Dead Poets Society i had issues to think about if not the movie itself. Walking out of MandC the only thing i was left to think about was the movie itsef, and anyone comes quickly to the conclusion that it was not well done. Expand
  14. BudB.
    Dec 6, 2003
    4
    Really wanted to like this movie, but was completely bored. This will not and should not receive a Best picture nomination.
  15. KaraT.
    Feb 5, 2004
    4
    I saw this tepid adventure flick back in October, and I have no idea why it was re-realeased. While it has some decent scenery and battle scenes, it is still frustratingly dull. You'd think that a high seas adventure movie based on a beloved series would be more involving. Apparently not. The acting is pretty bland and the screenplay is shoddily written and lazily paced. If I had I saw this tepid adventure flick back in October, and I have no idea why it was re-realeased. While it has some decent scenery and battle scenes, it is still frustratingly dull. You'd think that a high seas adventure movie based on a beloved series would be more involving. Apparently not. The acting is pretty bland and the screenplay is shoddily written and lazily paced. If I had been alive during this time, I would have tried to sink this boat myself and put it out of its misery. Expand
  16. RobH.
    Nov 16, 2003
    4
    Master and Commander lacks a sense of adventure. I got the same feeling I get watching documentaries on the History Channel. Interesting and informative, but not terribly exciting or entertaining. There were long stretches of boredom, where I had trouble staying awake. The fight sequences at the conclusion, which should have been exciting, were almost all shot in close-ups where Master and Commander lacks a sense of adventure. I got the same feeling I get watching documentaries on the History Channel. Interesting and informative, but not terribly exciting or entertaining. There were long stretches of boredom, where I had trouble staying awake. The fight sequences at the conclusion, which should have been exciting, were almost all shot in close-ups where everything was blurred and hard to see what was happening. Not a bad movie, just not what the previews make it out to be. Expand
  17. AlexA.
    Nov 19, 2003
    4
    Great setting, poor story. Lack of a solid plot and many dead spots ruin this movie
  18. JoelC.
    Nov 22, 2003
    5
    I went into the theater with high hopes and started dosing off a little because there are dead spots and the movie in general is pretty boring. The action scenes, as few as there are, are fairly decent. The ending is pretty lame. This movie just never really 'grabbed' me. I give it a 5 though, because i'm sure some people out there will really enjoy the flick, especially if I went into the theater with high hopes and started dosing off a little because there are dead spots and the movie in general is pretty boring. The action scenes, as few as there are, are fairly decent. The ending is pretty lame. This movie just never really 'grabbed' me. I give it a 5 though, because i'm sure some people out there will really enjoy the flick, especially if they are about 6/10 dead. My fiance's father really enjoyed the film but he is in his mid 50's, so maybe the film appeals to wrinkled halfway dead people. Anyway, Iv'e spent enough time writing a review for this movie, I recommend renting at most. Expand
  19. ScottE.
    Dec 19, 2003
    6
    I went into this movie with few expectations. I suggest that any moviegoers looking for an entertaining night out at the movies should do the same. While the movie definitely bogs down at certain points by striving to give the audience some obligatory character development, it makes up for the lag with some spectacular cinematography and epic battle sequences. At times, the director seems I went into this movie with few expectations. I suggest that any moviegoers looking for an entertaining night out at the movies should do the same. While the movie definitely bogs down at certain points by striving to give the audience some obligatory character development, it makes up for the lag with some spectacular cinematography and epic battle sequences. At times, the director seems content to rub our noses in our collective ignorance of historical and nautical facts. After all, most of us might know the difference between starboard and port, but can anyone tell me the difference between a "First Lieutenant" and a "Left-tenant?" This movie tends to cater to the crowd that will buy this DVD for the behind-the-scenes commentary, but I'd be content to see it again with subtitles so that I can understand some of the actors' heavy British accents. The director has injected an air of drunken humor into the script at certain points, which alleviates the heaviness of the movie's content (even I wasn't too thick-skinned to appreciate the "Lesser of Two Weevils" joke). Add to that the fact that Paul Bettany's doctor character works as a good counter-balance to Russell Crowe's bombastic "Lucky Jack," and maybe most people will appreciate this fine seagoing spectacle. Is this film worthy of garnering several Oscars? Maybe not. But it's definitely the other side to the coin to Disney's recent "Pirates of the Caribbean," and that is a welcome reward for most mature moviegoers. Expand
  20. JerryM.
    Nov 22, 2003
    5
    The movie evocates the sea war stories of the past . Good visual pre movie promotion but at the end, the movie doesn't deliver its expectations. Too long, too boring at moments.
  21. D.Harbick
    Nov 26, 2003
    4
    Very disappointing. This movie ignored the tremendous story told by O'Brian and instead provided a boring account of life at sea. Too bad writer/director didn't read or couldn't understand the magic in the O'Brian books. Don't waste your time on this movie.
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. 91
    It's a wonderfully crafted work, handsome, lively, stirring and utterly convincing in its depiction of the perils and thrills of sea life. But I'm not sure that my personal enthusiasm for it will translate entirely for viewers whose favorite movie about the high seas is, for perfectly good reasons, "Pirates of the Caribbean."
  2. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    Master and Commander hooks you from its nifty opening salvo to its nifty closing punch line.
  3. 100
    Isn't just a fabulous seagoing spectacle. It's one for the ages.