Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 467 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Based on author Patrick O'Brian's series of Aubrey/Maturin novels, the film is set during the Napoleonic Wars. Crowe is Captain "Lucky" Jack Aubrey, renowned as a fighting captain in the British Navy, and Bettany is ship's doctor Stephen Maturin. Their ship, the H.M.S. Surprise, is suddenly attacked by a superior enemy. With the Surprise badly damaged and much of his crew injured, Aubrey is torn between duty and friendship as he pursues a high-stakes chase across two oceans, to intercept and capture his foe. It's a mission that can make his reputation – or destroy Lucky Jack and his crew. (20th Century Fox) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. 100
    Isn't just a fabulous seagoing spectacle. It's one for the ages.
  2. One of this year's best films--a classic, even, like a C.S. Forester "Hornblower" story on steroids.
  3. 100
    Like the work of David Lean, it achieves the epic without losing sight of the human, and to see it is to be reminded of the way great action movies can rouse and exhilarate us, can affirm life instead of simply dramatizing its destruction.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    And novel insights notwithstanding, this is a plain old good movie, too.
  5. 75
    What makes Master and Commander so bracing and transporting -- what makes the movie feel unlike any adventure film you've seen before -- is the precise detail and care with which Weir places us aboard the HMS Surprise.
  6. The director of "Gallipoli" and "The Year of Living Dangerously" has muffled the rage and darkness of his best work in favor of an antiquated pleasingness. Master and Commander is a too-comfy classic.
  7. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    It seems as if every possible cliche and story twist from any seafaring picture of the past 80 years made its way into this flick.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Sep 6, 2010
    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 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
  2. Dec 18, 2011
    First time i've ever experienced disappointment in the judgement of users, what on earth is wrong with you people. This movie is wonderful. It is a beautiful insight in the life on vessels of war during early 17th century. It's aesthetic atmosphere, approach and authentic reality is clearly way above the understanding of most mc-users. But i know it's wonderful and inspiring. And the only god damn **** reason people vote 0 is to have an impact. This movie doesn't deserve 0 rating. My god are people damn idiotic and narrow, i can't believe it Expand
  3. Oct 22, 2011
    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 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
  4. PeterB.
    Feb 23, 2006
    I have now seen this movie 3 times, and I still have not lost interest in it. The movie is on the corny side, however it maintained its dignity, and remained believable. Alot of action and good old fasioned maritime gore. Great sound track!! Expand
  5. Feb 13, 2013
    Really outstanding with great authenticity. The attention to detail is brilliant as is the acting. At times you experience the great discomfort of seafaring but always with a confidence that you are in safe hands, even during huge seas. Very watchable and most enjoyable. Expand
  6. RichardG.
    Jan 25, 2004
    There is a difference between "action" and "adventure", and I for one don't recall this movie being hyped as an action flick. But, it is an adventure in the classic sense of the word, and certainly by the 18th century standards it seeks to illustrate. The movie is true to the books, which have a rather deliberate pace and are intended to give us sense of how life was during that period. O'Brian's work never has appealed to everyone and this movie does not either. Perhaps the producers miscalculated the commercial potential of the O'Brian series, but that does not make this a bad movie.... Furthermore, this movie has nothing to do with pirates, Disney, or the Carribean, so comparisons to that movie (which I also enjoyed, but for different reasons) are senseless. Expand
  7. TerryB.
    Dec 8, 2003
    This was as about as exciting as watching the splinters explode in the flick. The screenplay was terrible, the acting was disappointing, and there was no feeling for any of the characters. If you must see this sh.t take NoDose before you enter to see this NONaction boring film. Complete unadulterated crap. Expand

See all 309 User Reviews