User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 84
  2. Negative: 5 out of 84

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  1. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    If you haven't established a philosophy for yourself yet, you will when you watch this movie. As the young man speaks the opening quote of the most realistic words I've probably ever heard, you will stay put in your seat, and sucked into finishing it. The movie is perfect- realism, detail, breaking the fourth wall (as minimally as possible), romance, humor, disaster, struggle of adolescence, bullying- I simply loved it. Plus, if you have a Netflix account, it is on there and has been for quite a while. I watch this movie at least once a month. Expand
  2. Feb 24, 2013
    9
    Submarine delves into the delicate situations that a typical adolescent teen will most likely face as they approach the age of raging hormones and thinking they have the most difficult life imaginable, and of course, losing their virginity.
    For the Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), he often imagines himself outside of his own body, and with an opening segment of how he thinks (or how he wants
    to believe) that people would react to his death, this sets the tone for this fantastic coming-of-age film which is dangerously funny but subtly charming from debut director Richard Ayoade.
    Of course, no teen melodrama is compete without the female presence, and Oliver longs after the broken Jordana (Yasmin Paige) who is, in most ways, the female counterpart of our young protagonist.
    The film deals primarily with how an adolescent judges and acts upon common situations, whether it be in their own home or of course at school, and as Roberts narrates in a very detailed and logistic manner, we come to understand his characters life, his mother and fathers failing marriage, his awkward yet romantic relationship with Jordana and his struggles with trying to be accepted in school.
    Submarine is told in a very fast-paced and artistic style, with the story-telling left to the talented actors and actresses in the form of Roberts, Paige, Noah Taylor and Paddy Considine.
    The film avoids the usual routine of teen movies with the over- abundance of sexual frustration, the film does deal with this head on, but does so in a quirky and unorthodox away that is beneficial not only to the likeable leads, but also to the pacing of the stories and its originality.
    Craig Roberts turn as the disgruntled teen is the standout of the film, he captures our imagination as to what crazy but meaningful things we have experimented on or considered in our younger days, and just how fast our mind can work when we are thrown into awkward or uncomfortable situations, he talks fast but gets the point across, and his analysis of scenarios that occur in his life are clever, but they don't try to throw in your face, thus making this film spontaneously funny, sometimes in the 'we maybe shouldn't laugh about that' moments, but his voice makes it seem ok to do so.
    A well written, thoughtful and superbly acted film, incorporating dark comedic moments with artistic and unique filming that brings something fresh and intriguing to the teen drama.
    Expand
  3. Jul 25, 2012
    9
    I found it quite an artistic interpretation of adolescence. It was stylistic, used to the symbolism of certain ideas and values through art. Considering this stylistic form, you wouldn't be able to compare it to other films like this, neither arty films, like 'The Tree Of Life', though. It has a uniqueness that plays well with having a young-ish director, not to mention the intelligent, cute, perhaps subtly naive look of the protagonist - he made the film feel psychological, as when you're an adolescent, things can seem overwhelming, where you often don't know what's going on and you try and maintain control anyway by doing weird things. As of this, the film was neither too dumb or too clever. It strives for the best, despite the irony of losing a little control over trying to feel like an art form - a few scenes didn't make sense - but I guess that combining genres like these can make them look and feel quite beautiful. Expand
  4. Jun 24, 2012
    7
    It's not that it's unsatisfactory - quite the contrary, it has a different approach from the current movies that deal with this same subject, planking a more reflective and somewhat emotional in contrast to the standards of today's youth who cherish the "fied here and now". However you can see a lot of immaturity in the direction and script, especially in the latter it is based, a lot of literary works of renowned intellectual only to tell the difference before the rest of the protagonist of his own track age - a fact that also makes the film takes an air of "cult" which, in my opinion, has not - and makes the movie lose some of its originality. The movement of cameras sometimes tires a little too. Exaggeration of a rookie aside, there are positive sides as the undisputed loyalty to the thinking of young people today - until I saw in some of the crises of the unsafe Oliver, in his paranoia and assumptions without rhyme or reason. The soundtrack is flawless - her voice, lyrics, everything in her talent fits perfectly with the movie and the character. And the photography has gone far from what I was expecting. Anyway, it's a good movie, unruffled and distinct, even with some exaggerations coming from an inexperienced filmmaker. Independent and faithful to the public of Generation Y. Expand
  5. May 21, 2012
    9
    A genuine and beautiful story. I was hooked on this film from start to finish, and Richard Ayoade did not disappoint. The ending had me wanting more and longing for a sequel. This was fantastic work, and it has not gone unnoticed, or unforgotten.
  6. Apr 6, 2012
    8
    This is a subtly hilarious movie very artistically filmed and thought out. Oliver is a hilariously introverted character that was fairly easy for me to relate to because of my shyness. He narrated a whole lot in this movie and normally I would say that is a bad thing but it definitely worked to Submarine's advantage. Watch this movie!
  7. Jan 21, 2012
    8
    An original and inventive movie that draws heavily from the likes of Wes Anderson. The acting is great, particularly the lead who successfully portrays a character who is conceited but also likeable. The movie manages to incorporate a range of emotions without the audience noticing any tonal shift, a difficult thing to achieve. It's not perfect of course. The two story lines seem to be competing for screen time rather than naturally co-existing and it can be difficult to get to the heart of the central character. The director, Richard Ayoade, nonetheless shows potential and looks set for future success. Expand
  8. Sep 5, 2011
    8
    It's been quite some time since quirky, deadpan comedy has been done so well. It's clever, funny and very British. The film is far more than the conventional take on being a social outcast. Craig Roberts imbues Oliver with a fierce intelligence and a unique take on the world. His self-aware and often comically profound voiceover recalls Audrey Tautou in Amelie. Every character in the film is interesting, and every actor's performance memorable, from the tragic figure of Oliver's seemingly boring dad (Noah Taylor), to his prim mother looking for more excitement in her life (Sally Hawkins) to Oliver's emotionally introverted love interest Jordana (Yasmin Paige) and humongous tool of a life guru Graham (Paddy Considine). Submarine has a lot to say about life, covering every subject from love to divorce and depression, but always discussing these subjects in a profound and comic way. Alex Turner's specially composed songs for the film's soundtrack also comfortably marry with Submarine's indy credentials. The film may drag a little in the final act, but Submarine is undeniably an extremely impressive feature debut from Richard Ayoade, and I eagerly await his next outing as a director. Expand
  9. Aug 16, 2011
    7
    Richard Ayoade brings a fresh approach to an otherwise indifferent story of a 15 year old boy trouble with his parents relationship as well as his sexuality. The actors are spot on and particular mention should be made out to the surprisingly funny Paddy Considine. It is not conventional but definitely worth a watch.
  10. Aug 10, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. You can't see the submarine in the fish tank that looms in the background of the Tate dining room, but it's there, a submarine transported to the eighties from 1963, straight out of a cornflakes box that a Yorkshire mother bought for her childish adult son. It belonged to Billy Fischer, also known as "Billy Liar", but now it's fifteen-year-old Oliver Tate(Craig Roberts) who must shoulder the burden of navigating the aquatic vessel through the adolescent waters bubbling under at home and school. The secondhand sub comes saddled with the baggage of a less-than-stellar history. Its new owner offers only a slight improvement over the submarine's predecessor. Both pilots, antiheroes to one degree or other, display a tendency to crack under heavy duress, creating an occasion for simulated violence, but whereas Billy imagines gunning down his loved ones in cold blood, Oliver's malevolence is more of the self-inflicted variety. While not an outright fibber like Billy, a would-be scriptwriter for a famous comedian, Oliver, at the very least, is a flagrant hypocrite. Jordana, described by the protagonist as a "moderately unpopular girl", bullies the even-less popular Zoe, who finds herself ostracized from her peers for being fat. Uncharacteristic of the underdog archetype, Oliver participates in the hectoring, because being a lout, he sees, brings him closer to his dream girl. When Zoe falls into the pond, it's as if she was assassinated, since the girl is no stranger to Oliver. She once played a prominent role in his short life, being on the receiving end of his first kiss, which puts her "murder" on par with the known people that Billy opens fire on with a hail of imaginary bullets, discharged from a gun manifested as rage. Oliver, an unaware dissembler, loans out "The Catcher in the Rye" for Jordana to read, even though he has become the sort of phony that Holden Caulfield rails against in the Salinger novel. Clearly, Oliver still sees himself as a victim, a hero of the underclass. On their first date, he takes Jordana to a matinee showing of "The Passion of Joan of Arc"(like Alvy taking Annie Hall to "The Sorrow and the Pity"), the 1928 silent classic about the purported French heretic who was burned at the stake by English decree. But what side is he on? Good or evil? In the Schlesinger film, the kingdom which Billy rules in his head, Ambrosia, etymologically speaking, is of Greek/Roman origin, suggesting the possibility that he models himself after Mussolini(the Italian dictator who killed innocent people for real), and not some benign prime minister. Like Billy, the young Scot, as aforementioned, leads a rich fantasy life, imagining his own celebrated demise, casting himself as a martyr of Wales, the Butler of Swansea, akin to Joan. In one scene, Jordana, a budding pyromaniac, burns the skin on Oliver's leg, but the boy lacks the fealty of a saint, as evidenced by his willingness to make a sacrifice out of Zoe for personal gain. It's Oliver who does the "burning", even Jordana, when in her time of need, he stays away from the hospital, where the girl's mother may be dying of cancer. Both Billy and Oliver use family obligations as an excuse for disappointing their women. In "Billy Liar", the titular character gets off the train to London, he thinks, to console his parents, grieving over the death of the family matriarch, but the truth of the matter is that the borderline sociopath(the grandma is one of his imagined victims) would rather live in Ambrosia's dreamscapes than the real world with Liz. Oliver, possessing some of the same issues as Billy, relies on the perceived eventuality of a parental divorce as the basis for his no-show, putting dad's depression before Jordana's crisis, when in reality it's cowardice, the pressure of living in a submarine, perhaps the very same one that Billy needs for his Ambrosian navy, which keeps the potentially homicidal boy(he had plans on poisoning her dog) away. But when it comes to growing up, the girls have it harder. In a fish tank, it's not the submarine you notice; it's the fish. At the outset of Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank", Mia, a 15-year-old everyteen trying to survive in the Essex Council Estate, may or may not be subjected to the male gaze of her mother's new beau. Passed out in their bed, Connor carries Mia to the room she shares with her younger sister, and for good measure, strips the girl down to her underwear. This act, vague in its intent, turns out to be replete with sexual intentions, after all, when Connor seduces the child on a living room couch, later on. The filmmaker not only indicts the statutory rapist as amoral, but the moviegoer, too. In the opening scene, we meet Mia, an aspiring dancer, performing in a room where the window is shaped like a fish tank. How are we looking at her: as a dancer or as a sex object? When she auditions as a stripper at a club, the answer becomes obvious. Expand
  11. Jul 31, 2011
    8
    Easily one of the finest movies I've seen so far this year. It has a distinct style and an effectively told story thanks to its economic screenplay, flavorful direction and shrewd editing. The story becomes a bit more emotional as the movie progresses; as it takes issues in the story (such as teenage angst, marriage and mortality) more seriously and deals with them with greater depths. However, the filmaker was able to maintain the quirkiness and light humor throughout the film, with very little effort. This movie is surely not for everyone, but it sure was good. Expand
  12. Jul 27, 2011
    8
    Its corky, funny and completely original. A touching and sensitive look what a high school teenager goes threw. The sound track by Arctic Monkeys does this film no harm either and gives it a push forward.
  13. Jun 6, 2011
    8
    Reminds me a bit of Rushmore, but it doesn't feel like it's trying as hard as that film did. And the actors are much more accessible than Anderson's cast was. Love the music and the pacing, and the male lead is terrific. Hope to see him on the big screen again soon. Some HUGE laughs in the movie as well.
  14. Jun 5, 2011
    9
    Not perfect by any means, and the main character is odd and destructive to the point of not being relatable - but it's still effortlessly charming for the most part, especially towards the start and the end. Ayoade has better things to come. Definitely not for everyone
  15. Jun 5, 2011
    10
    Normally I wouldn't give movies like this a 10, more of an 8 but due to the pretentious-steaming-pile-of-you-know-what people out there giving it a 0 I hae to try an balance it. Also Richard Ayoade is brilliant in everything he's done. Most notably 'The IT Crowd' and 'Garth Mergingi's Dark Place'. Please if you haven't seen it an only know the premise don't give it a rating. Your screwing with peoples bread and butter when you do. Expand
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jul 16, 2011
    63
    Does well in capturing the cruelty of school life and the assorted "types" who inhabit schools there and here. But it's more twee than clever, more affectionate than romantic and more promising than satisfying.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 16, 2011
    88
    As an homage to an influential director, Submarine blows "Super 8" out of the water.
  3. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Jun 16, 2011
    83
    Submarine pulls off a nice little feat: It's a reference-heavy coming-of-age indie flick that feels fresh despite being, well, a reference-heavy coming-of-age indie flick.