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76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 96 Ratings

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  • Summary: Meet Oliver Tate, a precocious 15-year-old whose worldview is exceedingly clever but largely delusion. He has two big ambitions: to save his parents' marriage and to lose his virginity before his next birthday. (The Weinstein Company)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. 100
    One of the most irresistible films of the year so far.
  2. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 5, 2011
    90
    Writer-director Richard Ayoade has the knack. A fresh and inventive cinematic voice, he's taken a subject that's been beaten half to death and brought it miraculously to life in his smart and funny debut feature, Submarine.
  3. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 3, 2011
    88
    The excruciating and the hilarious mingle nearly to perfection in this marvelously visualized and deeply felt British film.
  4. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    May 31, 2011
    75
    It cheats a little, using a mix of amateurish extreme close-ups and striking Welsh industrial vistas to substitute for real technical proficiency, but also applies more formal consideration than most films, namely teen-centered comedies, ever do.
  5. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Jun 16, 2011
    75
    The film's humor comes in part from the gap between what Oliver says and what the audience sees.
  6. Reviewed by: Ray Greene
    May 29, 2011
    70
    An auspicious, controlled and altogether droll debut film that resembles Wes Anderson's "Rushmore" without being derived from it.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jun 1, 2011
    25
    The movie knocks itself unconscious trying to be offbeat, but instead of cinematic heart, the director self-indulges in cinematic art, drowning the whole thing in freeze frames, slow-motion and color-coding, owing everything he knows to the worst of Jean-Luc Godard and Wes Anderson.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 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 givingNormally 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
  2. 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 theIf 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
  3. Feb 24, 2015
    9
    While some may complain that the style is over the top, I find that it fits perfectly for the quirky characters. However the real star of theWhile some may complain that the style is over the top, I find that it fits perfectly for the quirky characters. However the real star of the show is the performance of Craig Roberts and the cleverly written and well delivered dialog. Expand
  4. 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 ArcticIts 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. Expand
  5. 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 easyThis 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! Expand
  6. 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 thanIt'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
  7. 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

See all 17 User Reviews

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