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63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

User Score
4.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 108 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Based on true events, Open Water follows an American couple on an island holiday that turns into an ordeal when they are left behind on a scuba expedition.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
  1. Worth a dozen "Blair Witch Projects," with much more harrowing psychology and pithy dialogue. It's a bone-chilling plunge into no-holds-barred storytelling.
  2. 88
    The ending -- a more devastating surprise than "The Village" could manage -- caps eighty sweat-job minutes of imaginative, jolting suspense.
  3. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    80
    A tour-de-force thriller that deftly transforms its low-budget limitations into spectacular assets.
  4. An expertly made suspense thriller based on an actual incident, but on a visceral level it's about as much fun as watching someone pull the wings off a butterfly.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Open Water is a stunt, one you either buy into or not.
  6. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    60
    This isn’t your average against-the-odds survival story.
  7. These dramatic shortfalls make us merely worried that two human beings are in danger, but not two compelling souls. There's your missing ingredient, the human X-factor.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 65
  2. Negative: 36 out of 65
  1. Apr 28, 2012
    10
    I am very disappointed of people's comments about this movie. Some even compare it with JAWS, which makes no sense, because apart from theI am very disappointed of people's comments about this movie. Some even compare it with JAWS, which makes no sense, because apart from the fact that both have sharks involved in each story, they are totally different movies. Open Water is a thriller while Jaws is a monster movie -not really horror as many affirm- which attempts to create fear...and to me it fails. I definitely like Open Water much more than Jaws. Jaws was perhaps the first blockbuster. The idea was appealing and with the aid of a mechanical shark that we only see once, creates a feeling of danger. Nonetheless, the story itself is weak, and silly. The performances are feeble. Nobody cares about the characters for they are fake. I remember when I was a child I liked Jaws but recently I watched again and almost felt asleep. There were movies great movies that also involved animals (i.e The Birds) so Jaws has no excuse. Open Water, on the other side, is pure realism! I am an Australian, thus, I always hear stories about sharks. In fact, I know people who continually dive along the Great Barrier Reef. None of them believe the JAWS is a smart movie while they agree that Open Water shows some of the dangers that they as professional divers face in real life. The smallest mistake can change their lives.

    Moreover, Open Water, goes beyond the issue of sharks. The presence of sharks is indeed an important element of the movie but the core of this film is the situation itself. It is therefore, not a shark movie! This film explores the feelings of those involved in the story and smartly takes us to their world. We see when, how, and why such feelings develop. We feel for them, understand them, and wish we had the ways to help them. Furthermore, the sporadic jokes that the characters make to each other when the the situation becomes clear, and when the tangible threat is perceived, are not stupid; on the opposite, it adds realism. Many of us, under very stressful, desperate, hopeless, and/or frightening, circumstances tend to joke about them; it is a way to cheer us up and distract from those negative feelings; same there. I also love the scene when Daniel starts screaming, what a touching moment! Great performance. It was a totally believable: a desperate yell! There was frustration, despair, anger, sorrow, anguish, desolation; all those feelings together in that particular scene. Powerful!

    Since the beginning when they are in bed and she is naked, and they are just chatting. It happens to be a very smart scene, for it actually helps to create a feeling of reality and it succeeds; hat is why I don't get why people have issues with that scene. Aren't we naked on a daily basis?. If some didn't understand certain moments or the ending, they may need to watch the movie again and more carefully. If they still don't find the answer,...well, it doesn't mean it is not there, for to many of us the movie is as clear as crystal. Finally, If you haven't watched it, please do it, and take into account what I say, so open your mind to the experience...I don't think you will regret it...and if you do, at least you gave it a go.
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  2. erics
    May 13, 2006
    10
    Not great, but better than 99% of "horror" movies out these days, and it deserves credit for that. The realism and clever filming is what Not great, but better than 99% of "horror" movies out these days, and it deserves credit for that. The realism and clever filming is what makes this movie, as opposed to endless blood and gore. I can't help thinking that the people who call Open Water boring are only entertained by pointless, idiotic movies like House of 1000 Corpses, making them by definition shallow idiots. Expand
  3. TomM.
    Jun 1, 2007
    9
    I've always believed that after reaching a certain age or level of maturity, the thriller-chiller genre becomes tired and contrived for I've always believed that after reaching a certain age or level of maturity, the thriller-chiller genre becomes tired and contrived for most of us, monotonously offering the movie-goer the same old wine in the same old bottle. Not this one! "Open Water" delivers big time. It is genuinely scary and captivating, especially when one discovers that the film is based on an actual occurrence. Not only that, the soundtrack is also intriguing, to say the least. Expand
  4. JojoD
    Aug 15, 2009
    4
    It was slow until they became stranded. That's when we got to see the dynamics of their relationship, It kept getting better until it It was slow until they became stranded. That's when we got to see the dynamics of their relationship, It kept getting better until it sank like a stone at the end. Collapse
  5. Jul 3, 2012
    2
    How did this movie earn a Saturn Award? The acting was awful. Never did the actors manage to convey the feelings that any normal people wouldHow did this movie earn a Saturn Award? The acting was awful. Never did the actors manage to convey the feelings that any normal people would feel in this terrifying situation. Expand
  6. FabienL.
    Nov 28, 2005
    2
    Bad home movie combining bad video, bad actor, bad story, bad everything. Quite consistent.
  7. StanS
    Jan 9, 2008
    0
    I understand that i probably am missing the point of this movie, but to me it was simply a boring movie. I don't understand am i I understand that i probably am missing the point of this movie, but to me it was simply a boring movie. I don't understand am i supposed to be afraid am i supposed to wonder what happens next i don't know all i was thinking of is when will it end. Expand

See all 65 User Reviews

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