Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 42 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Chicago Sun-Times
Like the work of David Lean, it achieves the epic without losing sight of the human, and to see it is to be reminded of the way great action movies can rouse and exhilarate us, can affirm life instead of simply dramatizing its destruction.
100
Wall Street Journal
Just as Aubrey's authority springs from skill and knowledge, so does the film's power. They don't make movies like this any more because few people know how to make them.
100
Chicago Tribune
As magnificent as a high-masted 19th-century British warship, as explosive as a Napoleonic-era ocean battle seen above the cannon's mouth... probably the best movie of its kind ever made.
100
This is a rip-roaring adventure combining edge-of-your-seat battle scenes with vivid historical details and more fascinating characters than most action movies dream of. Add heartfelt acting and Russell Boyd's atmospheric camera work, and you have the adventure movie of the year.
91
Entertainment Weekly
A story in full billow; it sails through stretches of bloody battle, anxious waiting, wine-soaked relaxation, and marvelous scientific discoveries by the remarkable Maturin (Paul Bettany, well matched again with his ''A Beautiful Mind'' costar).
90
Few actors can be as convincing as leaders of men, and to see Crowe as Capt. Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is to see a consummate performer doing what he does best.
90
The Hollywood Reporter
The epic adventure, set during the Napoleonic Wars, boasts at least two artists at the top of their respective games -- namely filmmaker Peter Weir and actor Russell Crowe.
88
Crowe -- fierce, funny and every inch the hero -- gives a blazing star performance.
88
And novel insights notwithstanding, this is a plain old good movie, too.
88
Philadelphia Inquirer
An intimate epic of infinite grace.
88
New York Daily News
As gorgeous and gripping as it is faithful to the spirit of Patrick O'Brian's celebrated series of historical novels.
50
San Francisco Chronicle
For all the movie's coarse grandeur -- for all the blood in its battle scenes and the grim historical accuracy of its depiction of antediluvian medical procedures -- the story of Master and Commander feels like something intended not for adults but for children.

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