Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: June 30, 2000
5.8
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Mixed or average reviews based on 57 Ratings
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SpangleApr 18, 2017
The Perfect Storm is exactly what I expected and was actually better than anticipated. Telling the story of the convergence of two storm systems: a nor'easter and Hurricane Grace, The Perfect Storm is a harrowing real life disaster film.The Perfect Storm is exactly what I expected and was actually better than anticipated. Telling the story of the convergence of two storm systems: a nor'easter and Hurricane Grace, The Perfect Storm is a harrowing real life disaster film. Focusing in on the Andrea Gail, a fishing vessel, and the problems she encounters as her crew battles valiantly against the storm with their loved ones awaiting them on land, it does not take a genius to figure out that things will not work out for them. With excellent special effects and thrilling sequence after thrilling sequence on the boat and in the air, The Perfect Storm is exactly what a disaster movie should be: entertaining. As it is based on a true story, the film tries to add weight to it and sort of works, but mostly just feels hamfisted and too manipulative, especially at the end.

That ending is really what drags this one down, which is a shame. Introducing us to Captain Billy Tyne (George Clooney), Bobby Shatford (Mark Wahlberg), Murph (John C. Reilly), Bugsy (John Hawkes), Sully (William Fichtner), and Andre Pierre (Allen Payne), who are the six men aboard the Andrea Gail, The Perfect Storm really tries to develop its characters. It shows their loves and their lives before they set sail one last time to their grave at the sea, while constantly cutting away from the scene at sea to show how their loved ones are handling it all. In particular, there is a special emphasis on Bobby's girlfriend Christina (Diane Lane), who eagerly awaits his return with his mother. Yet, the film's cloying and manipulative punches at the end border on offensive and always absurd. As their ship goes down and the men realize their fate is a bleak one, two things occur. One, Murph remarks how hard his son will take his death. Two, Bobby tells Chris he loves her even without being able to say goodbye. In the aftermath of the sinking, Chris reveals that she had a dream with Bobby where he relayed the exact message he said to her while at sea. Considering that these are real people, to be playing this angle up is honestly very sad to see. The final words from Bobby being the most head-smackingly stupid moment of this film.

That said, man those waves are cool, eh? This is a disaster movie, so it is tough to not just look past the issues with the characters. The scene at the bar and the gathering of the crew wet my pallet just enough to make me care about these people, as well as the fact that it is real. At all points, I was rooting that they could get back to shore with their load of 60,000 pounds of fish. After the crew had gone through so much together and struggled mightily to find fish, this gold mine of fish felt hard earned. I wanted to see them be reunited with their families and be able to leave the business having made a very good score. However, there is no such moment. Where the characters may be paper thin, this is a film that wears its heart on its sleeve, which bleeds openly when these men continue to fight against the massive odds before them.

Yet, the star here is the special effects. Coupled with an excellent score from James Horner, The Perfect Storm has a great cinematic quality with excellent scope and ferocious thrills. No matter how many times it shows the boat hitting massive waves or showing the Air Force rescuing various people, the film is always laced with tension. Director Wolfgang Petersen shows that he still has it throughout this film as, in lesser hands, one can only imagine how awful this film would have turned out. As it stands, it is a film that leaves you riding the edge of your seat for the entire second half of the film and, as a result, really meets my requirements for a film of this type. It is a thrilling piece of cinema with great special effects that does an excellent job showing both the danger and the camaraderie of the moment with these six men putting their differences behind them to unite and confront mother nature. Though a battle they will not win, this does not mean the small victories and battles along the way are any less thrilling to watch unfold.

Celebrating the brave men that sacrifice their lives to save others or to provide for their families, The Perfect Storm is one of those disaster movies that do not really get made too often nowadays, which is a shame. Wolfgang Petersen delivers a film that tries develop some characters and manipulates our emotions too heavy-handedly, but it is also a film with a great cinematic feeling to it that allows it to rise above its inadequacies. Thrilling, old school style filmmaking that is blessed with modern effects, The Perfect Storm is not well rounded, but its thrills, spills, and real life chills allow it to remain a solid and thoroughly entertaining disaster film.
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5
homer4presidentMar 29, 2015
It is a shame how this movie turns a real nightmare into a dull Hollywood spectacle full of visual effects but with little character development, and it even makes the biggest mistake of showing more people caught in the storm instead of onlyIt is a shame how this movie turns a real nightmare into a dull Hollywood spectacle full of visual effects but with little character development, and it even makes the biggest mistake of showing more people caught in the storm instead of only focusing on the crew of the Andrea Gail. Expand
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5
MovieGuysJul 6, 2014
The Perfect Storm is a an overlong, pointless washout that never connects with us emotionally. It takes forever to get going, and each scene is dragged out until the viewer reaches wits end. Even after all of that, the movie never rewards usThe Perfect Storm is a an overlong, pointless washout that never connects with us emotionally. It takes forever to get going, and each scene is dragged out until the viewer reaches wits end. Even after all of that, the movie never rewards us for our troubles, instead giving us cliché after cliché in the script and very static characters. It may have great special effects, but they're wasted in this movie. Expand
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5
TokyochuchuMay 18, 2013
The Perfect Storm is a fine disaster movie. It suffers from all the usual schmaltz, but when the waves start ramping up, so does the excitement. That said, a bit more character depth and a few less extraneous characters (like the helicopterThe Perfect Storm is a fine disaster movie. It suffers from all the usual schmaltz, but when the waves start ramping up, so does the excitement. That said, a bit more character depth and a few less extraneous characters (like the helicopter or sail boat crew) would have served this movie better. Expand
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5
Spielberg00Sep 30, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The thing that really irks me about THE PERFECT STORM is that I had read that it was a disaster film (and it's made pretty much clear in the title), but the actual disaster didn't get started for a whole forty minutes, which almost brought me to the point of thinking that "Perfect Storm" was some kind of metaphor. The basic layout is as follows: 1-30 minutes - characters are introduced with enough relationship statuses, innuendos, overly charismatic drama to create an entire soap opera; 31-40 minutes - the characters leave their spouses/fiancées, board the ship, but continue with the non sequiturs and double entendres that make you groan, "Enough already!"; 41-120 minutes - over an hour of TITANIC-esque intensity and dazzling (but terrifying, considering this is based on a true story) disaster scenes--which is exciting, but it makes you think, "We go from soap opera...to disaster?", because the beginning does NOT make sense to the rest of the film; 121-128 minutes - the film is coming to an end, with slightly less intensity, but thankfully no "return of the soap opera"; 129 minutes - the film's over, folks, you can go home now. That's the gist of this mediocre movie. It's just what you expect of a shipwreck film. Expand
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