User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 502 Ratings

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User Reviews

  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. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. AntjeE.
    Feb 10, 2004
    10
    A great movie and great actors.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. [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.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. KIMCARTER
    Feb 13, 2004
    10
    Fantastic, breathtaking, riproaring adventure! I loved it!
  24. 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.
  25. 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
  26. 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.
  27. JerryB.
    Apr 23, 2004
    9
    Will be known as a classic long after some of it's competition is forgotton.
  28. 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.
  29. 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
  30. 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
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.