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White Squall
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Reviews & Ratings for
White Squall More at IMDbPro »

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43 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie

10/10
Author: myworld918 from United States
3 June 2005

I am sure many people who rated this poorly would rate "Bad Boys" a phenomenal work of art. This movie, if watched with more than just an eye for special effects, tells the story of people finding themselves and becoming a family of sorts. The world in which we live has far too little depth of character. Yes the movie was condensed in a few parts but unless you intended it to be a 3 month long movie some parts had to "wind up on the cutting floor" as one poor soul commented. People just watch movies nowadays rather than "live" them, understand them, try to find out what the message was. This movie showed soul, it moves me every time I watch it.

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28 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Not one of Ridley Scott's best, but it deserved better

10/10
Author: Edward Turner (tedurner@yahoo.com) from England
17 January 2000

With masterpieces like Alien, Blade Runner and the underrated, but superb, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, I am quite a big Ridley Scott fan. White Squall is something of a let down in comparison, but it certainly deserved more than a measly $10 million US gross at the box office. As you would expect from a Scott film it boasts his trademark lavish production quality and stunning photography. The sequences at sea at some of the most spectacular ever filmed as Scott revels in the rolling waves and lurching ship, convey the ferociousness at sea, even in fairly calm conditions like no other film I can recall. The story however is less successful and is essentially (and unusually unoriginal for a Scott movie) a Dead Poets' Society at sea, as a motley crew of young boys, played by a talented and convincing set youngsters, do a lot of growing during the course of the voyage under the watchful eye of an Ahab-esque but eventually sympathetic Jeff Bridges. The final scene most definitely resembles that of Dead Poets' Society. (Captain. My Captain). However the film as a whole never bores and makes for compulsive viewing at times particularly the superb storm of the title, that is both moving as well technical tour de force.

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27 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Dramatic come of age story by Ridley Scott

7/10
Author: jeroenberndsen1 from holland
17 July 2003

White Squall

A group of boys joins a sailing vessel to finish their last year of High school on board of the Albatross. They have to learn to work together and act as a team, which at first, is not as easy as it may seem. As time goes by they really become one group and get very close.

This plot may not be to original, and could be stereotyped as cliche. However, as the story unfolds, it still stays fun too watch and jeff bridges as the bold sailor, hard but fair, trying to make men out of different kind of boys, each one coping with his own problems, keeps you interested.

Though (for some people too) dramatic, me and my girlfriend really enjoyed this movie. I can imagine some people having difficulties with the dosis of emotion in this pic. It didn't bother me, i like it when it's well proportioned and not too cliche, except for maybe the final scene, in my eyes White Squall lives up to this.

I think this is an enjoyable movie, when you're just lying back on the couch relaxing and let it flow over you. No difficult story, but it has great shots and pretty good acting and most of the characters are reasonably developed.

7,5 (for making us cry)

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Inspirational and touching

8/10
Author: jmorrison-2 from Farmington Hills, MI
5 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well-done movie, with inspirational message, and a hopeful, touching finale.

Jeff Bridges is a sea captain, owner and manager of a sea-going school-ship for boys. He runs the school with somewhat of an iron fist, while also allowing the boys room to grow to be men. It is this quality that will later cause him trouble. He also has no patience for fools, or boys trying to deal with their resentment of Daddy. In one memorable scene, he banishes a dangerously troubled boy who spears a dolphin for no other reason than he is confused and angry. It is this banishment which appears to be the thing to finally reach this boy, and he will later bravely shake off his father's influence and stand up for his captain and shipmates.

Most of the movie traces their travels, studies and experiences in exotic ports. Finally, they run into a severe storm, some kind of meteorological anomaly, which devastates the boat, and takes the lives of some of the boys, and Bridges's wife. The scene of Bridges seeing his wife, alive, through the skylight of the sinking ship, powerless to help or rescue her, is excruciating and memorable.

Bridges is taken to a court of inquiry to determine his responsibility in the loss of lives. It is during this courtroom drama that the boys of the school stand up and become the men Bridges' guided them to be.

Generally, men will get this movie, with it's subtle references to choosing and traveling your own path, making choices of honor, being responsible for your actions, being brave and standing for whats right, no matter what. A scene where they are boarded by Cuban sailors drives this home to the boys very effectively.

A surprisingly effective, touching movie, with solid performances all around.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Great film

8/10
Author: i_wanna_b_bad87 from United Kingdom
29 June 2005

I love this film, it about a bunch of boys who either get sent on this ship to get disciplined by their parents or some just choose to escape their lives, They take it for granted tho, they don't realise how much hard work it will be. The ship and their captain take them on a journey, a journey that will probably change their lives forever, facing their fears and coming to grips with their lives, they learn a lot and pull together as a team. A truly moving story and another great film by Ridley Scott. From struggles to strengths, this is an inspiring film to watch with many good actors, Jeff bridges is really good for this role playing a tough, wise teacher for the boys. I love this as it is based on a true story, it makes it even more moving.

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23 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

A few good perfectly stormy A&F models

Author: jayson-4 from United States
6 September 2002

Well, maybe it isn't that bad. Some moments are touching, others genuinely harrowing. And Jeff Bridges always comes up with something surprising. But, "true story" though it may be, "White Squall" is overwhelmed by its obvious schematic and Ridley Scott's signature gloss. Each young crewmember has a stamped-on singular defect, Scott Wolf's tomcruisy precociousness is particularly grating, and for all the magnificent ocean scenery and blather about boys being forged into men, we're shown precious little of the day-to-day grunt/teamwork that's at the core of the whole business. Add to this the greatest assemblage of immaculate white t-shirts and bronzed, hairless torsos since Abercrombie met Fitch, and a potentially gritty, moving story lies trapped in amber.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Well acted and often moving

7/10
Author: phadrs from Sacramento, California
16 November 2002

I quite agree that it is a Dead Poets Society set at sea. It is a mistake to classify it as an Action Movie. It's about building trust and group reliance with some action scenes. The development of mutual respect between the boys is quite believable The acting is excellent in all cases. As a Jeff Bridges fan, I was surprised I'd never heard of it before it appeared on late night TV. The last looks exchanged between the captain and his wife are about as good as they get. Not a really great movie but I found it well worthwhile as a non-fan of action movies.

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie!

10/10
Author: Zeljko Vujkovic from Croatia
11 December 2005

This movie for me is incredible! Since I like Sea and sailing boats a lot this movie is just right movie for me (like Master And Commander with Russel Crowe)and I believe for many others who likes Sea and sailing. This movie presents happy and sad story at the same time. I am delighted with characters of boys and others, with they relationship and killing the dolphin was something terrible. Everyone of boys has own big problems and we can describe that on the way what Chuck said: "Some of us are here for discipline, some for escape. And the rest don't even know why. I'm not sure where I fit in, but I can see a small piece of myself in each of them. I think I'll have friends here, and I hope this will be home." Very beautiful what he said, right? Ohh yes, and sound effects in movie are excellent in my opinion. I was enjoying the movie with great pleasure!

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Mediochre unless watched while half asleep

7/10
Author: andyroo77 from United Kingdom
16 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this film at 12:00am last night (tuesday 15th Nov) as it was the best of a bad lot. With nothing else on the box I thought I'd give it a go. And how glad am I that I did? Slightly glad. But not desperately.

To be honest I thought that it was a reasonable film; adventures on the high seas have to do something to become different from the rest. The use of a freak weather event may seem like an oceanic take on day after tomorrow, as I thought it would be reading a summary ahead of watching, but actually the weather took up a very short amount of time. A lot of this film was devoted to the rite of passage that the boys/ young men go through before they reach the "white squall" itself, and this allows for the typical moving goodbyes to trapped loved one as the ship sinks.

This is just one of the reasons that I didn't give this a higher rating. The corny moments did make me squirm, and the moment when Frank (one of the young men) rings the ships bell in court sent the "corn-o-meter" off the chart and caused, to be honest, a feeling of an anticlimax. There was of course the sterling speech from our hero narrator, which we come to expect when a friend/mentor/good guy is up against a court, but the inclusion of the bell ringing did perhaps sway me towards an even lower rating before I reminded myself of the good moments of the film.

There are some very believable performances all round, and I did especially like the old grizzly English teacher, with his insatiable love for his subject. Jeff Bridges does give a good performance and the young narrator, Scott Wolf (did anyone else think he looked a little bit like a very young Tom Cruise) did a good job as well.

All in all, it's a good film to be watching at 12 o'clock at night, but it does sink into mediocrity as soon as dawn breaks and you can find something worth watching. Not a must see, but not awful by any accounts.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

the weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed...

7/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
15 June 2006

I would say that "White Squall" deserves more credit than it got when it was released. Portraying several young men and their captain (Jeff Bridges) going sailing and encountering a devastating storm, the movie really holds you. Never getting preachy about friendship and never turning into a silly action flick, it's a movie that knows how to tell a story. Another good addition to Ridley Scott's filmography. And that one scene with the Dutch school girl...hubba hubba! On another note, this movie was my introduction to Ryan Phillippe, who plays one of the young men (although his name didn't enter my vocabulary until I saw "I Know What You Did Last Summer"). Also starring are John Savage, Jeremy Sisto (Billy on "Six Feet Under"), Ethan Embry and Zeljko Ivanek. Certainly worth seeing.

I have to admit, I would never want to go sailing. Too many bad things seem to happen.

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