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6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 485 Ratings

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  1. Mar 3, 2012
    10
    This film masquerades as a high-adventure war picture, but is actually at its heart, a simple and perfectly-told story of friendship and camaraderie. The pursuit of the French vessel, magnificent as it is, is just the backdrop to this elegant, emotionally stirring and intellectually powerful narrative. Easily one of my top ten favorite films of all time. All of the haters can go watchThis film masquerades as a high-adventure war picture, but is actually at its heart, a simple and perfectly-told story of friendship and camaraderie. The pursuit of the French vessel, magnificent as it is, is just the backdrop to this elegant, emotionally stirring and intellectually powerful narrative. Easily one of my top ten favorite films of all time. All of the haters can go watch something that appeals more to their intellectual level, like Transformers 2. Expand
  2. sarah
    May 1, 2005
    10
    A classic. Beautiful, riveting, intellectually engaging. Astonishing direction, richly detailed, superbly acted. The best film of its year and the best Hollywood epic since Lawrence of Arabia.
  3. Jul 1, 2012
    10
    The type of people below who say this movie is boring and uninteresting are the same type of people who can not appreciate art. They cite things such as boredom, because they are not intelligent enough to watch the little details that went into making a film of this caliber. This is an excellent film by Peter Weir with an extremely interesting premise and great historical authenticity forThe type of people below who say this movie is boring and uninteresting are the same type of people who can not appreciate art. They cite things such as boredom, because they are not intelligent enough to watch the little details that went into making a film of this caliber. This is an excellent film by Peter Weir with an extremely interesting premise and great historical authenticity for a film. It's a very historical movie based in the Napoleonic Wars. So if you're not into history you may not like it so much...but to call it boring, uninteresting, and ill-written is an utter disgrace. It's okay to call something that is **** exactly that. But just because your mind is tuned to follow more formulaic and "explosive" movies with complete bull**** does not give you the right to call a finely tuned, acted, written, scored, and directed piece of art such a moniker. Shame on all of those who have done such a thing here, may you forever rot in the sullen lethargy that is your narrow intellect. tl;dr-- Screw you if you don't like this **** **** movie. Expand
  4. JimW.
    Feb 12, 2004
    8
    This is not supposed to be rollicking swashbuckler movie. It's a slice of life on square-rigged ship. It is almost too true to the O'Brian books. I thought it accomplished its goal admirably.
  5. KevinB.
    Jan 28, 2004
    9
    This movie was great. Everyone here is saying that the movie is bad.... and for what reasons: it was boring, no character development, it was like watching discovery channel. If you have any ability to retain knowledge, or think with a sense of intellectuality, then you will probably like this movie (It didn't get ten oscar nominations for nothing). Other than that, all the people This movie was great. Everyone here is saying that the movie is bad.... and for what reasons: it was boring, no character development, it was like watching discovery channel. If you have any ability to retain knowledge, or think with a sense of intellectuality, then you will probably like this movie (It didn't get ten oscar nominations for nothing). Other than that, all the people who gave this movie a ZERO: how about you stick to movies like "2 fast 2 furious," because that seems like a movie that would contain your small attention deficit defunct brain capacities in a way that would appeal to your pathetic undeveloped, unevolved, infantile, nincompoop, sub-human brain. Expand
  6. KathyS.
    Feb 10, 2004
    10
    So sorry to the bashers of this movie but I vote with the "respected" professional critics. So sorry it didn't turn out to be "Fast and Furious" for those of you who, obviously, didn't get it. It was an art film.
  7. WandaP.
    Feb 10, 2004
    10
    I didn't want this movie to end. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin took me on an adventure in the early 18th century and I didn't want come back.
  8. AntjeE.
    Feb 10, 2004
    10
    A great movie and great actors.
  9. MaxC.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    It's a "10" in every sense of the word. The idiots who are giving it zeros must be zeros themselves. I think we've got 2 or 3 bored people who keep on signing on under different names. This is a great picture.
  10. ToriL.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    It is beyond my ability to comprehend how anyone could label this film "boring"! It was a beautiful film which told a simple story about courage,character,cowardice,superstition,loyalty and friendship. Peter Weir took me on a journey to a day long ago and far away and I BELIEVED I was there. Fear not those who are not mature enough for the likes of this film ..There's always plenty It is beyond my ability to comprehend how anyone could label this film "boring"! It was a beautiful film which told a simple story about courage,character,cowardice,superstition,loyalty and friendship. Peter Weir took me on a journey to a day long ago and far away and I BELIEVED I was there. Fear not those who are not mature enough for the likes of this film ..There's always plenty for you during the summer! Tori Expand
  11. RickP.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    I hate to be judgemental, but this is a movie for people with a brain in their head. If you get off on films like Independence Day, don't bother going to see this one. You aren't going to like it. But if you have an IQ above 110, and enjoy seeing spectacular special effects that compliment the film instead of becoming the film, go. You'll love it. It's the intelligent I hate to be judgemental, but this is a movie for people with a brain in their head. If you get off on films like Independence Day, don't bother going to see this one. You aren't going to like it. But if you have an IQ above 110, and enjoy seeing spectacular special effects that compliment the film instead of becoming the film, go. You'll love it. It's the intelligent person's visual feast. The cast is magnificent and Crowe is right on as Lucky Jack. Weir couldn't have done better. Expand
  12. Steff
    Apr 10, 2004
    8
    Wow! So many users call this an "action adventure" movie, which is proof that it wasn't really well marketed, or else the users don't actually know how to read. It's not an action adventure, it's a seafaring tale. It's quite possibly one of the best, most accurate films ever made of the imperial-age ocean voyages. No, it's not chock-full of action -- because Wow! So many users call this an "action adventure" movie, which is proof that it wasn't really well marketed, or else the users don't actually know how to read. It's not an action adventure, it's a seafaring tale. It's quite possibly one of the best, most accurate films ever made of the imperial-age ocean voyages. No, it's not chock-full of action -- because it's a BIG ocean and you didn't just happen upon fights on a daily basis. Most reviews SAID, in fact, that those wanting action only should probably look elsewhere. Too bad most people look at the poster and think "oh, blood, cool!" Anyone who wants to see realistic ocean voyages and loves the old ships of yore should definitely check this out. Myself and all my friends (we're 30, well-read, semi-history buffs, but also big fans of mainstream film) really loved the intelligence of this movie. Expand
  13. KarenR.
    Apr 20, 2004
    10
    Absolutely wonderful! No doubt about it! Peter Weir did a magnificent job in bringing this to life. I was hooked from the beginning! It was a pleasure to spend this voyage with him. Perfectly cast, Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany are wonderful together. They play off each other so well , it is a joy to watch! We need more thoughtful and engaging movies like this one!
  14. MilG.
    Feb 11, 2004
    10
    The best film I've seen in years.....and the only chance I'm going to get to serve on an early 18th century frigate. Great stuff, great film, gets better each time I see it.
  15. FrancesR.
    Feb 11, 2004
    9
    I loved this movie. The acting by all was excellent. Paul Bettany was too hamsome for the role of the Doctor but it otherwise was well cast. The contrast between the captain, God the Father on the ship and the Captain, revelling in the shear spped of his ship as very well done by Russell Crowe.
  16. D.Hinson
    Feb 11, 2004
    10
    As precisely drawn and exquisitely detailed as a chamber string quartet. (Alas, some viewers must have preferred very loud operetta.) The cinematography was excellent, use of Bach and Mozart contemplative, thoughtful and brave. The acting matched the Jane Austen-like mood. Anyone who claimed it lacked emotion must have gone for popcorn when young Blakeney had to prepare his friend for As precisely drawn and exquisitely detailed as a chamber string quartet. (Alas, some viewers must have preferred very loud operetta.) The cinematography was excellent, use of Bach and Mozart contemplative, thoughtful and brave. The acting matched the Jane Austen-like mood. Anyone who claimed it lacked emotion must have gone for popcorn when young Blakeney had to prepare his friend for burial.And to those who complain about the presence of **lumber** on a naval ship ? Men of war always put to sea with a huge supply of rope, lumber, spare spars, paint and masts.There was a forge aboard, a carpenter and carpenter's mates. It's called being prepared. Expand
  17. [Anonymous]
    Feb 15, 2004
    10
    Amazing movie, Bettany should have been nominated, if you want a pop corn flick go see Pirates of the Caribbean.
  18. RachelB.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    Far from being boring, this was a masterful and commanding film exploring themes such as duty, friendship, loyalty, courage, obsession and sacrifice. Beautifully shot and beautifully acted, with a number of stand-out performances - in particular those of Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, David Threlfall (the Captain's servant), Max Pirkis (the young midshipman who has his arm amputated) Far from being boring, this was a masterful and commanding film exploring themes such as duty, friendship, loyalty, courage, obsession and sacrifice. Beautifully shot and beautifully acted, with a number of stand-out performances - in particular those of Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, David Threlfall (the Captain's servant), Max Pirkis (the young midshipman who has his arm amputated) and Lee Ingleby (the midshipman who commits suicide). It's an emotionally-involving film which has been woefully mis-marketed. I'm not surprised that it does not appeal to those whose appetite seems to require endless explosions, car chases, etc. Expand
  19. LaurieM.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    At last! A film that is not dumbed down, and is refreshingly free of gratuitous sex and language. This movie experiencc is a window into the world of another age, where honor, respect, duty, and friendship are truely words to live by. I think Mr Weir & company have done O'Brian proud. No, not a literal interpretation, but one that most definitely captures the 'essence' of At last! A film that is not dumbed down, and is refreshingly free of gratuitous sex and language. This movie experiencc is a window into the world of another age, where honor, respect, duty, and friendship are truely words to live by. I think Mr Weir & company have done O'Brian proud. No, not a literal interpretation, but one that most definitely captures the 'essence' of the series and its characters. Yes, I've read the books, but one doesn't have to be familiar with the canon to enjoy this film. I was sorry to see it end & I can only hope that we get to share future adventures with Jack & Stephen. Expand
  20. LouisS.
    Apr 22, 2004
    10
    A masterful screen adaptation of my favorite stories. This movie is for fans of Patrick O'Brian what Lord of the Rings was to Tolkein fans. I've read all 22 of O'Brian's seafaring novels, and didn't see how the depth of the characters and their relationships could be portrayed in the same movie that does justice to the realism of the period. But Weir did it. A masterful screen adaptation of my favorite stories. This movie is for fans of Patrick O'Brian what Lord of the Rings was to Tolkein fans. I've read all 22 of O'Brian's seafaring novels, and didn't see how the depth of the characters and their relationships could be portrayed in the same movie that does justice to the realism of the period. But Weir did it. Bravo! This movie may not be for everyone. But if you like tales of the sea, this is for you. Expand
  21. BeejR.
    Feb 11, 2004
    10
    Master and Commander in my view was inspired by the books of Patrick O'Brian rather than being a true adaptation. That aside, it is still a stunning rendition of the world through POB's works. This was no swashbuckling boys own adventure romp. This was the British Navy..."We do not swash, and we never buckle". I am a fan of The Aubrey/Maturin novels, Russell Crowe and Peter Master and Commander in my view was inspired by the books of Patrick O'Brian rather than being a true adaptation. That aside, it is still a stunning rendition of the world through POB's works. This was no swashbuckling boys own adventure romp. This was the British Navy..."We do not swash, and we never buckle". I am a fan of The Aubrey/Maturin novels, Russell Crowe and Peter Weir, and I think that the three elements combined to make an outstanding whole. It's a movie that seems to get better with each viewing, as there are always details you spot anew each time you go. I can understand adventure movie lovers feeling let down by this 'Commanding Masterpiece'. but the blame should lie with the mis-marketing from the studio and not with the movie. The main protaganists have always been quoted as saying it's a big budget art movie, not an action flick! This is an excellent study of life aboard a British man-of-war, showing the hardships and privations endured on their little wooden world. All in all an excellent job from everyone. Oh, and yes, naval ships did carry a certain amount of 'spare parts'. These would have been shipped in the hold, not left laying on deck, therefore they would have been relatively safe from the raking fire from the Acheron, a privateer, NOT a pirate. There were no pirates in this movie! Expand
  22. KIMCARTER
    Feb 13, 2004
    10
    Fantastic, breathtaking, riproaring adventure! I loved it!
  23. IvaniC.
    Feb 16, 2004
    10
    I have seen this movie 3 times and want more. It´s fantastic with the firm hand of Peter Weir. The story is well conducted and Russell´s and Paul´s acting are simply fantastic. Great sound, cinematography, special effects.
  24. StephanieL.
    Feb 29, 2004
    10
    I LOVED this movie. I had never heard of the books, nor am I a big fan of Weir's other movies. But this movie just captured my attention right from the opening scene. It's beautifully shot (esp. the suicide scene that morphs into the sunrise), well-acted, good story, interesting metaphors. It reminded me of a Robert Altman film, in the sense that multiple story lines & I LOVED this movie. I had never heard of the books, nor am I a big fan of Weir's other movies. But this movie just captured my attention right from the opening scene. It's beautifully shot (esp. the suicide scene that morphs into the sunrise), well-acted, good story, interesting metaphors. It reminded me of a Robert Altman film, in the sense that multiple story lines & characters are woven together. I know this is being marketed as an action film, but I think it's more of a character-driven drama. Maybe that's why a lot of people are disappointed in M&C. But not me! Expand
  25. MaryW.
    Mar 23, 2004
    9
    I really love the books that this movie is based on, and I thought they did an excellent job of transferring the characters from page to film. Pretty good actors, and they didn't completely chop up and twist the book storyline. Overall it was a really good movie worth seeing more than once.
  26. JerryB.
    Apr 23, 2004
    9
    Will be known as a classic long after some of it's competition is forgotton.
  27. StaceyG.
    Apr 25, 2004
    8
    First off, this was not my type of movie, that is why i gave it an 8. However it probably deserves a 9. Crowe was fantastic but Paul Bettany really stole the show (where was his supporting actor nomination?) The supporting cast was very good and the screenplay, directing and editing was all done well. Master and Commander was one great movie, Just not my kind of great movie.
  28. MarkB.
    Apr 25, 2004
    9
    I've read a lot of the comments you all have made about this film and I think the lot of you have really missed the point. Those of you that tout yourselves as historians, put your history books away. This film was not intended to be 100% historically accurate. Did it maintain the suspension of disbelief? The answer is yes! One thing recorded history tells us about sailors of the I've read a lot of the comments you all have made about this film and I think the lot of you have really missed the point. Those of you that tout yourselves as historians, put your history books away. This film was not intended to be 100% historically accurate. Did it maintain the suspension of disbelief? The answer is yes! One thing recorded history tells us about sailors of the period is that they tell tall tales. So, much of what is historically accurate about military naval history was left in the hands of the sailors. Others of you claim this film is full of some of the most cliche' elements of a story told at sea. Perhaps, but as some of the critics suggest, the telling of sea tales in motion pictures has been a dying art and what better way to revive the form than to retell some of these stories for this generation. Isn't immitation still considered the highest form of complement? Some of the other takes on this film suggest a lack of connection and believeability of the characters in this film. WHAT!? I watched this film in my brother's living room surrounded by children and uninterested wives and I was still overcome with emotion by a large portion of the character interaction. If you failed to connect with these characters, I would suggest you find another doctor to accurately dose you with Ritalin. This film was brilliant! Those who pick apart it's historic accuracy, plot development, etc really have lost sight of what films like this intend to do and that is to entertain. Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post claims this film loses it's objective many times. He claims that the objective of capturing or defeating the French ship Acheron was lost and then regained several times throughout the film. How does this happen? As ship's Captain, Aubrey not only has a duty to King and Country, but he has to fulfill this objective thousands of miles from home with a crew, despite their fierce loyalty, are human. They see their shipmates mamed and killed in an environment less than ideal. The working conditions are some of the worst possible and their personal successes seem to lie only in their duty to their captain, loyalty to their country and the pride of their victories. These things don't leave much of a tangible prize for them. Captain Aubrey knows what the damage of a disgruntled crew can do. He must inspire, he must know when it comes time to step back and regroup and it's this love of his crew and his fairness to them that gives them the desire to fight with him. This movie could have simply been written as a start to finish battle with the Aucheron, that may have been intense. This may have afforded us a look into the might that led the British Fleet to it's legendary victories but, the measure of a good ship captain is to understand the limitations of his vessel and his crew and know when to fall back and regroup. If he had been a balls-to-the-wall kind of guy, chances are this story would have been better told in the form of a television commercial instead of a motion picture. I hope the success of this film inspires others to recreate some of histories timeless classics, even if they have slightly different twists. Expand
  29. WayneY.
    Apr 25, 2004
    9
    Never has a mast been of such significance. Amber, is of course wrong. These sailing vessels were at sea for years and carried a remarkable array of wood for just this purpose. I like this film more than I expected I would. Crowe was better than in Gladiator, perhaps because his character was closer to his Aussie Nature, and the relaxed way he commanded respect was great craft. How can Never has a mast been of such significance. Amber, is of course wrong. These sailing vessels were at sea for years and carried a remarkable array of wood for just this purpose. I like this film more than I expected I would. Crowe was better than in Gladiator, perhaps because his character was closer to his Aussie Nature, and the relaxed way he commanded respect was great craft. How can you say there was no emotional connection. Dialogue between Russ and Paul Betany was just right, and the plight of some of the officers , whose fears etc. we became part of, were genuinely heartfelt. Peter Weir knows how to make a big film without the formula book from Hollywood, even though the basic plot was not rocket science. Is the end a wink at a sequel - I hope so! Expand
  30. JessicaC.
    Apr 26, 2004
    10
    I watched it 5 times and more. It's a very good movie.
  31. Oct 22, 2011
    10
    I was really surprised by the low user score that this movie received. This is one of my favorite movies because it does such a great job of making you feel like you are witnessing what it was really like being on a war ship in the early 1800's. Through this movie, you are able to participate in an incredible sea adventure as an observer without risking life and limb. I have heardI was really surprised by the low user score that this movie received. This is one of my favorite movies because it does such a great job of making you feel like you are witnessing what it was really like being on a war ship in the early 1800's. Through this movie, you are able to participate in an incredible sea adventure as an observer without risking life and limb. I have heard others state how they find this movie incredibly boring, but that just goes to show how people perceive things differently. Sometimes you have to have a little patience to see the genius and depth that lay beneath the surface of what may otherwise seem ordinary from a distance. Expand
  32. Sep 6, 2010
    10
    For all those who gave this film a negative review and for those people wondering about watching it I say this: If you think that more explosions = more fun and you think that Transformers (Good film) and Transformers 2 (Horrible film) are the height of movie making then DO NOT watch this film. It is NOT a traditional action movie. It is for people who appreciate the art ofFor all those who gave this film a negative review and for those people wondering about watching it I say this: If you think that more explosions = more fun and you think that Transformers (Good film) and Transformers 2 (Horrible film) are the height of movie making then DO NOT watch this film. It is NOT a traditional action movie. It is for people who appreciate the art of storytelling and of watching a wonderful script from a classic book series woven into an artfully built crescendo. A story where the characters are not simply 1 dimensional but are given time on screen to build depth so that you truly feel for them when both wonderful and tragic things occur. Some people call this boring. THEY ARE WRONG. They simply have the attention span of a moth. This is a rich & rewarding movie experience for those with patience and a true appreciation for the craft of epic moviemaking. Expand
  33. PatC.
    Jun 3, 2004
    7
    A realistic and unpretentious rendition of life aboard a British man-of-war. What it achieves in straightforwardness it lacks in provocativeness. The adventure of the times is captured, but so is the tedium. When the crew was ready to head for home, so was I. It's best feature was its depiction of leadership-by-example within the confines of a vessel long at sea, and the capacity of A realistic and unpretentious rendition of life aboard a British man-of-war. What it achieves in straightforwardness it lacks in provocativeness. The adventure of the times is captured, but so is the tedium. When the crew was ready to head for home, so was I. It's best feature was its depiction of leadership-by-example within the confines of a vessel long at sea, and the capacity of the crew to respond positively. Expand
  34. Nov 10, 2013
    10
    One of Russel Crowe┬┤s best
  35. JackA
    Feb 2, 2004
    10
    Simply....AMAZING! The best film of 2003!
  36. KazuW.
    Feb 8, 2004
    9
    Amazing film. It's an intimate character drama surrounded by a beautiful production. The themes of friendship, honor and duty point out how life was less complicated back then and it's very well acted by the large ensemble cast. I loved it.
  37. KathieH.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    This movie is elegant, authentic, exciting, and well-acted. Any fan of Patrick O'Brian's novels cannot help but marvel at Russell Crowe's performance. He is Captain Jack. Paul Bettany is Stephen Maturin. Seeing some of my favorite characters on the big screen played by some of my favorite actors was a dream come true. I was enthralled from start to finish.
  38. BabetteP.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    This is an terrific adventure drama! Perfect cast (of course Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany - and all the others!) You feel like being a member of that crew on board - It's just great!
  39. MaxwellS.
    May 9, 2004
    8
    Surprisingly good. The acting was some of the best of the year (behind films like 21 Grams and Mystic River). I loved how the film jumped right into the story and made it work (a very tough thing to do). Another triumph was the story being about the relationship between friends and not the hatred between enemies (as the enemy wasn't really seen until dead). If the film was this Surprisingly good. The acting was some of the best of the year (behind films like 21 Grams and Mystic River). I loved how the film jumped right into the story and made it work (a very tough thing to do). Another triumph was the story being about the relationship between friends and not the hatred between enemies (as the enemy wasn't really seen until dead). If the film was this great, I can't imagine how great the books must be. Expand
  40. PeterC.
    Jan 4, 2004
    10
    I simply cannot put the beauty of this film into words. This is truly one of the great films of 2003. Russell Crowe, Peter Weir and his crew, I salute you! Well done gentlemen...
  41. ChrisL.
    Jan 4, 2004
    10
    Who on earth would even think of comparing Pirates of the Caribbean to Master and Commander? Pirates is a childish film made by a children's studio. It is pure garbage. Who cares if it made more money? The Phantom Menace is one of the worst films I have ever seen and it made $1 billion. Look at Master and Commanders reviews compared to Pirates of the Caribbean. There is no contest. Who on earth would even think of comparing Pirates of the Caribbean to Master and Commander? Pirates is a childish film made by a children's studio. It is pure garbage. Who cares if it made more money? The Phantom Menace is one of the worst films I have ever seen and it made $1 billion. Look at Master and Commanders reviews compared to Pirates of the Caribbean. There is no contest. Master and Commander is a work of cinematic art. Expand
  42. SeanT.
    Jan 8, 2004
    10
    I definitely agree with the person who thought this was a work of art. Who cares if people at some theater walked out? These days, the average movie-goers seem to have the attention span of a donkey. It is truly sad that this film won't do better at the box office than it is doing. People would rather spend money on trash like Charlie's Angels 2 or 2 Crap 2 Furious. They're I definitely agree with the person who thought this was a work of art. Who cares if people at some theater walked out? These days, the average movie-goers seem to have the attention span of a donkey. It is truly sad that this film won't do better at the box office than it is doing. People would rather spend money on trash like Charlie's Angels 2 or 2 Crap 2 Furious. They're probably the same people who would walk out on a great film like this. Expand
  43. MaxP.
    Feb 2, 2004
    10
    Some of you people must be crazy or something. This movie is FANTASTIC. One of the most beautifully shot films of all time. I know a ton about the history of this time period and this film is as authentic as it gets. Master and Commander deserves every single of the 10 Oscar nominations that it got.
  44. AnnP.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    I'm an avid O'Brian fan. I thought the movie did a masterful job of capturing the essence of his novels. Life aboard a frigate, difficult relationships arising from long periods away from home in close quarters. Battle scenes well done. Crowe a perfect Aubrey. Bettany an excellent Maturin though not physically what O'Brian had intended, his relationship with Aubrey felt very real.
  45. TinaB.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    A brilliant, well-acted, intelligent movie that doesn't miss but is for someone that wants a lovely film to savor; not have slammed at them or have the frenetic pace of an MTV music video. The action isn't always in battle scenes, but in the human drama itself, which is brought so beautifully about in not only the relations of the men on this small vessel, but the platonic A brilliant, well-acted, intelligent movie that doesn't miss but is for someone that wants a lovely film to savor; not have slammed at them or have the frenetic pace of an MTV music video. The action isn't always in battle scenes, but in the human drama itself, which is brought so beautifully about in not only the relations of the men on this small vessel, but the platonic friendship of the characters wonderfully played by Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The performances were worthy of Oscar nominations but were passed upon. Crowe IS Jack Aubrey in every way, but so subtle -- the acting comes incredibly easy to him. All in all, a great movie. Expand
  46. PeBe
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    This Film is fantastic. A wonderful adventure and so authentic.
  47. MarileeR.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    I'm still wondering how a movie can get all the nominations Master and Commander did and not one for the lead actors. Mind-boggling.
  48. ErinI.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    Master and Commander .... Magnificent .... Sensitive ..... Brilliant in its' subtlety ..... Superbly cast .... Artfully directed .... Bravo!
  49. CarolA.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    This film will become a classic for all the "right" reasons. I've seen it almost a dozen times and each time come away with something new. I continue to be impressed with the skill of Crowe, Bettany and the entire cast. I can't wait for the DVD in April.
  50. KathyC.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    Weir has done a magical job in adapting Patrick O'Brian's work for the screen. The casting is perfect, from Russell Crowe as Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Maturin, down to the secondary characters. The cinematography is ravishing and the details of shipboard life during the Napoleonic Wars is accurate without overwhelming the story itself. A phenomenal accomplishment in all ways.
  51. BrianaM.
    Apr 30, 2004
    10
    When i first saw the movie, like 10 minutes into it, i was completely bored. I was about to fall asleep. But i kept watching. I began to see the plot getting more and more suspensful every minute. Sure, there where quiet times, but the led to even more action. The movie shows courage, honor, and determination, things that we should all have in life but many dont. As if the movie When i first saw the movie, like 10 minutes into it, i was completely bored. I was about to fall asleep. But i kept watching. I began to see the plot getting more and more suspensful every minute. Sure, there where quiet times, but the led to even more action. The movie shows courage, honor, and determination, things that we should all have in life but many dont. As if the movie wasn't good enough they had a lot of HOT actors. Max Pirkis, the captains son and Max Benitz, Mr. Callaway. Expand
  52. GlennA.
    Sep 4, 2005
    10
    Loved it.
  53. H.S.
    Sep 18, 2006
    10
    Perfect Movie!
  54. BrianS
    May 20, 2008
    9
    People expecting Pirates of the Carribean will be disappointed. M&C is an enthralling, highly realistic depiction of the times and the people, the tactics, and the lives of sailors aboard an 1800s warship. The people saying the movie is "boring" need to come to grips with the fact that they will only ever like American action movies and leave more rewarding movies to people with the People expecting Pirates of the Carribean will be disappointed. M&C is an enthralling, highly realistic depiction of the times and the people, the tactics, and the lives of sailors aboard an 1800s warship. The people saying the movie is "boring" need to come to grips with the fact that they will only ever like American action movies and leave more rewarding movies to people with the patience to appreciate genuine adventure and realism. I wonder if they also thought Das Boot was boring, as this was basically "Das Boot with sails" and I could hardly come up with a better compliment than that. Expand
  55. KevinC.
    Nov 14, 2003
    10
    Stunning on every level. In a year of non stop disappointments finally a film that delievers. Living proof that a hollywood blockbuster can be sweeping and exciting, while not appealing to the lowest common denominator that presuposses a certain degree intellegence from the audience. Perhaps an early pick for film of the year.
  56. SteveO.
    Nov 15, 2003
    10
    Stunningly beautiful. A true work of art.
  57. GaborS.
    Nov 20, 2003
    10
    Unbelievable movie, with great actors. I think they should have added more great speeches into the movie, but it is still amazing. Music is excellent.
  58. JonnyC
    Dec 6, 2003
    10
    Simply stunning. Believe the hype. 10/10, 4 stars, A+
  59. Chimp
    Jan 10, 2004
    10
    The second best movie of the year, behind LOTR. Russel Crowe once again proves to be a true genius at acting, and the movie has a great supporting cast, especially Paul Bettany. Perfectly directed, i felt as if i was a sailor on board the ship. It added a nice contrast too, because the super-climactic and exciting ending battle was just two ships at the far, far, far side of the world, The second best movie of the year, behind LOTR. Russel Crowe once again proves to be a true genius at acting, and the movie has a great supporting cast, especially Paul Bettany. Perfectly directed, i felt as if i was a sailor on board the ship. It added a nice contrast too, because the super-climactic and exciting ending battle was just two ships at the far, far, far side of the world, but yet they were fighting with everything they had. I have enjoyed the past 3 major movies Russel Crowe made immensely, especially Gladiator(no this isnt better than that, but close). I cant wait until his next movie. Mr. Crowe, I salute you. Expand
  60. CarolL.
    Jan 22, 2004
    10
    No one has mentioned the wonderful music score which was a big part of making this movie an awesme adventure film. Russell Crowe was apt cast as the Master and Commander.
  61. JenniferC.
    Jan 4, 2004
    9
    Loved it from start to finish! Great film all around!
  62. BenA.
    Feb 18, 2004
    7
    This movie is pretty solid. Nothing, I'd say, is done poorly. In fact, most everything is done extraordinarily well. It just doesn't come together into a masterpiece, but it falls a few feet short. It is a decent movie, had it been released earlier, I would have welcomed this movie with open arms, but in the crowded competitive end of the year movies, this one just isn't This movie is pretty solid. Nothing, I'd say, is done poorly. In fact, most everything is done extraordinarily well. It just doesn't come together into a masterpiece, but it falls a few feet short. It is a decent movie, had it been released earlier, I would have welcomed this movie with open arms, but in the crowded competitive end of the year movies, this one just isn't the best. I suggest you see it at a second run theater in March when all the movies out in theaters suck. FOR SURE see it in theaters, though. Expand
  63. AlanL.
    Feb 5, 2004
    9
    Filmmaking at its finest. Great film.
  64. SarahD
    Feb 5, 2004
    10
    One of the best sea epics ever made. Great film from start to finish.
  65. AndrewG.
    Feb 5, 2004
    9
    I am so glad they re-released this film. I missed it the first time it was out and now I had the pleasure of seeing it. All I can say is that this film deserves all the praise its getting from the critics, fans and Academy Awards.
  66. LorraineS.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    Magnificent, pure, viewing experience. Without a doubt one of the best directed movie with a great performance by Russell Crowe. It is flat amazing that he has not received a nomination for Best Actor.
  67. Stephanie
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    This movie certainly didn't try to be a " Gladiator " on water ... The purpose of Peter Weir was to describe the life of sailors on a ship of the Royal Navy and he masterfully made it . Viewers which found it too slow were mistaken by a movie trailer which promised a lot of actions . Patrick 'o' Brian would be proud of this adaptation , with wonderful landscapes ( The This movie certainly didn't try to be a " Gladiator " on water ... The purpose of Peter Weir was to describe the life of sailors on a ship of the Royal Navy and he masterfully made it . Viewers which found it too slow were mistaken by a movie trailer which promised a lot of actions . Patrick 'o' Brian would be proud of this adaptation , with wonderful landscapes ( The Galapagos ) , thoughtful script by John Collee and some actors at their best of their talent ( Russell Crowe , Paul Bettany , and a very moving newcomer , Max Pirkis ) Expand
  68. ChristineN.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    Awesome! The Best this year!
  69. DeenaN.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    Wonderful and engaging! One of the best this year! Russell Crowe is amazing as Jack Aubrey!
  70. ChrisN.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    Wonderful. Peter Weir has brought O'Brian's vision to the screen. Russell Crowe is awesome as Captain Aubrey!
  71. RhodaM.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    Exceptional film, Russell Crowe and Paul Betany were outstanding. Peter Weir did a great job, and the cineamotography was beautiful.
  72. AnnaS.
    Feb 8, 2004
    8
    Beautifully made and acted adventure with an intelligent script and incredible cinematography. An absorbing and exciting delight!
  73. SusanW.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    Tremendous adventure with great character development and superb acting all around, especially wonderful Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey, if ever he was born to play a role, this one is it. This role should of garnered Crowe his 4th Oscar Nomination, shame on the academy for bypassing him this year.
  74. Marianne
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    Like meeting old friends. Very close to the books, I loved it from the first scene to the last.
  75. PhyllisJ.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    Great seafaring epic!
  76. MaryB.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    This film has everything - Good Story (from Patrick O'Brian) Great Acting - Russell Crowe- Beautiful & authentic Scenary, Galopogos Islands ,Ocean battle, Music etc.etc.etc.
  77. XSueMontgomery
    Feb 8, 2004
    9
    Russell Crowe takes command of this film from the beginning! There would not be a best pic ture nom or best director without Russell Crowe!
  78. ConnieK.
    Feb 8, 2004
    10
    After having read all 20 volumes of O'Brian's saga, I was interested in Weir's interpretation. No movie replicates a book (much less 20 volumes), but having seen M & C, I am at peace with the thoroughness and sensitivity with which Weir accepted this challenge. Crowe and Bettany nailed the subtleties of the relationship, so I"ll forgo physical comparisons. These two men After having read all 20 volumes of O'Brian's saga, I was interested in Weir's interpretation. No movie replicates a book (much less 20 volumes), but having seen M & C, I am at peace with the thoroughness and sensitivity with which Weir accepted this challenge. Crowe and Bettany nailed the subtleties of the relationship, so I"ll forgo physical comparisons. These two men truly invaded the spirits of their characters and became them. The visual effects were breathtaking (especially since they were not CGI), and would love to see it in IMAX, but only if a dryer would be available to deal with the virtual drenching we would experience. Hollyweird has lost all integrity and credibility IMHO, so I won't go further than to say, thank whatever spirits guide the souls who take chances and believe in the intelligence of their audiences to make such powerful yet subtle movies......huzzah to Peter Weir, Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, as well as all the other lads, not to mention the producers and companies who were willing to take the leap of faith with them. We who are your kindred souls salute you and beg for more! Expand
  79. VickiW.
    Feb 8, 2004
    9
    This film made me feel I was actually experiencing a whole other world aboard that ship. I was drawn into the characters, the relationships, and the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and will add it to my collection of classics!
  80. Evi
    Feb 8, 2004
    8
    Definitely a human tale trying to fit so much into a 2+ hr movie. The acting was superb. Russell & Paul Bettany were snubbed.
  81. AudreyL.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    This almost perfect movie will be enjoyed by fans of Russell Crowe, Patrick O'Brian and the growing number of Paul Bettany fans. The entire cast is outstanding and every shot is stunning. The music used, both classical, traditional and original is perfect with the action. Many people worked to make this beautiful story of adventure and friendship that will be enjoyed by discerning fans.
  82. KarenQ.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    This movie is a superb collaboration from the director, Peter Wier to all the actors involved. It truly gives an authentic picture of what life was like on a British naval war ship. Russell Crowe carries the film by becoming the epitome of Jack Aubrey. I have read all 20 of O'Brien's books and Crowe is Aubrey. With every look and expression and subtle nuance, Crowe is an amazing This movie is a superb collaboration from the director, Peter Wier to all the actors involved. It truly gives an authentic picture of what life was like on a British naval war ship. Russell Crowe carries the film by becoming the epitome of Jack Aubrey. I have read all 20 of O'Brien's books and Crowe is Aubrey. With every look and expression and subtle nuance, Crowe is an amazing actor and worthy of high praise for this movie. Paul Betttany as well deserves praise for his portrayal of Stephen Maturin. I love this movie and have seen it five times already. I can't say enough about how much I enjoy it. Expand
  83. JJC
    Feb 9, 2004
    9
    The ONLY problem with M&C was the way it was marketed. The comments on this site support that opinion. The only person in my entire family who didn't enjoy M&C had Chainsaw Massacre on her "must see" list. LOL! Master and Commander is an art film at its' very finest. Fox Marketing misled through comments such as "Gladiator on the high seas.." Those of you who rated it low .. Not The ONLY problem with M&C was the way it was marketed. The comments on this site support that opinion. The only person in my entire family who didn't enjoy M&C had Chainsaw Massacre on her "must see" list. LOL! Master and Commander is an art film at its' very finest. Fox Marketing misled through comments such as "Gladiator on the high seas.." Those of you who rated it low .. Not your fault .... You were not the correct target audience! The target audience saw it for what it was ... a masterpiece! JJ Expand
  84. DreamaA.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    I saw this movie four times with four differant people,no one was disappointed.I loved this movie,i felt as if I were living it,not just watching it.Russell Crowe never fails to deliver the goods and I for one will be first in line when it comes out on video.
  85. BrigitteG.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    Perfect movie ? Directing ? reality Visual Effects ? Produktionsdesign ?costume design ? cinematography ?a wonderful music and a beautiful Mr. Crowe and Max Pirkins.
  86. LorenA.
    May 10, 2004
    8
    Why didn't the Acheron just turn around?!? Yah-HA, HA, HA! Why didn't it just TURN AROUND???? Hee, hee, hee! Because it's a sailing ship, you moron! It has no engine! Once it is downwind of you, it can't catch you! Oh, PUH-leeez! Why didn't it just turn around???? Ha, ha, ha, ha.
  87. HB
    Apr 16, 2006
    7
    Good movie, if you like sailing and history. There is not much happening for the city-dweller.
  88. RickyB.
    Jul 23, 2008
    10
    If you believe this is an action film then you are missing the point. this movie is the study of a man. a man who must balance duty and desire with humanity and relationships. Delve into Cap'n Jack ane you will see that this is almost a chick flick.
  89. S.M.
    Nov 14, 2003
    10
    As intelligent and captivating as the books. Weir and Crowe nail this spot on and give us the seat right next to them. You are there every moment of the film - right on board ship with the other 197 souls.
  90. MikeA.
    Nov 14, 2003
    10
    Magnificient!!! Crowe is a shoe-in for his 4th Oscar nom...as well as Weir, and Best Picture. Truly a masterpiece. I'm amazed at those who cannot see the same thing I do about this classic film!!!
  91. PaulaW.
    Nov 14, 2003
    10
    Master and Commander is pitch-perfect in every way: rich in historical detail without flaunting it, powerful and grimly realistic in the battle scenes, beautifully acted and filmed from the serenity of the Galapagos Islands to the hellish quarterdeck of a warship under fire. The script is like a symphony in the way it captures the ebb and flow of life on a ship. The delay from the Master and Commander is pitch-perfect in every way: rich in historical detail without flaunting it, powerful and grimly realistic in the battle scenes, beautifully acted and filmed from the serenity of the Galapagos Islands to the hellish quarterdeck of a warship under fire. The script is like a symphony in the way it captures the ebb and flow of life on a ship. The delay from the original June release date, which had Fox so worried, was worth it to get the animation exactly right. This is a very strong contender for best picture of 2003. Expand
  92. NiceiceD.
    Nov 15, 2003
    7
    The first half of the film is fairly mediocre, but the second half is glorious.
  93. JamesC.
    Nov 19, 2003
    9
    I loved it Except the end where it leaves it open for a sequel.
  94. LindaR.
    Nov 27, 2003
    10
    This was a great movie. I can't see how anyone can give it less than a seven! The action was superb, and it wasn't short on plot at all. This is the first good movie that came out this year since since Pirates of the Caribbean!
  95. DanS.
    Dec 13, 2003
    10
    Incredible. Crowe proves once again that he is the quintessential actor of our time. Almost upstaging him, however, is Paul Bettany, creating a layered and strong supporting character. The music is phenomenal, the story even better. This is the movie to beat this fall.
  96. KebB.
    Dec 4, 2003
    10
    What planet are these readers/users living on!! This is a thinking person's action flick. With so many mindless movies out there this one stands out even more. Compares favorably with my all-time favorite movie (also a Weir flick) "Witness".
  97. JohnJ.
    Dec 6, 2003
    10
    Beautiful film. Well worth the money!
  98. ClarkeR.
    Dec 6, 2003
    9
    So far, my favorite film of the year, and probably my favorite war film of all time. Succeeds on all levels: cinematography, sound design, soundtrack, flawed yet heroic characters brilliantly portrayed, gripping action, and a subtle, non-hollywood plot arc that a brain-dead generation raised on television may find boring.
  99. CheetahFiftyeight
    Dec 7, 2003
    9
    A beautiful film -- the cinematography, costumes, acting were outstanding. I think many reviewers gave poor grades because they thought they were going to see a simple-minded action flick. This was a study in leadership and Russel Crowe is probably the only actor today who could pull this off so brilliantly.
  100. DanC.
    Jan 15, 2004
    9
    I'm suprised to see how many detractors this film has. I'd give it a 9.5, but there isn't one.
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.