Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 42 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Time
Master and Commander is to movies what Russell Crowe is to acting. With subtlety and power, it explores the complexities of men at war, even with themselves. It puts the passion into action, and the thrill into thought.
100
Variety
Rare proof that a gigantic production in contemporary Hollywood can possess a distinctive personality and its own approach to storytelling, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World proves as bracing as a stiff wind on the open sea.
90
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.
90
The A.V. Club
On a production of this magnitude, few actors have the presence to assert themselves above the cacophony, but Crowe carries the film with the rare combination of charisma and brute masculinity that has made him a star.
88
Crowe -- fierce, funny and every inch the hero -- gives a blazing star performance.
75
ReelViews
For those with any interest in 18th and 19th century seafaring or naval warfare, this is a must-see motion picture. For others, it's an enlightening and entertaining experience.
70
The New Yorker
What the novels leave us with, and what emerges more fitfully from this film, as if in shafts of sunlight, is the growing realization that, although our existence is indisputably safer, softer, cleaner, and more dependable than the lives led by Captain Aubrey and his men, theirs were in some immeasurable way better. [17 November 2003, p. 172]
70
New York Magazine (Vulture)
The director of "Gallipoli" and "The Year of Living Dangerously" has muffled the rage and darkness of his best work in favor of an antiquated pleasingness. Master and Commander is a too-comfy classic.
60
Village Voice
This is an exercise in civility -- a tasteful "Boy's Life" adventure with plenty of boys aboard to express their appreciation.
20
Film Threat
It seems as if every possible cliche and story twist from any seafaring picture of the past 80 years made its way into this flick.

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