Up 1,423 this week

Tales of the Black Freighter (2009)

R  |  Video  |   |  Animation, Short, Action  |  24 March 2009 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 4,365 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 32 critic

A mariner survives an attack from the dreaded pirates of the Black Freighter, but his struggle to return home to warn it has a horrific cost.


(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 32 titles
created 16 Jul 2011
a list of 22 titles
created 07 Feb 2013
a list of 37 titles
created 30 Dec 2013
a list of 34 titles
created 02 Feb 2014
a list of 35 titles
created 10 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Tales of the Black Freighter (Video 2009)

Tales of the Black Freighter (Video 2009) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Tales of the Black Freighter.

User Polls



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Under the Hood (Video 2009)
Short | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A television interview with Hollis Mason, The first Nite-Owl, about his life and the superhero community.

Director: Eric Matthies
Stars: Ted Friend, Stephen McHattie, William S. Taylor
Watchmen (TV Series 2008)
Animation | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

An outlaw superhero's investigation of a possible conspiracy against his colleagues changes all their lives even as evidence builds toward a horrific conclusion.

Stars: Tom Stechschulte
DC Showcase: Jonah Hex (Video 2010)
Animation | Short | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a ruthless brothel madame murders Jonah Hex's current quarry, the disfigured bounty hunter plans to make her pay.

Director: Joaquim Dos Santos
Stars: Thomas Jane, Linda Hamilton, Jason Marsden
Animation | Short | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Superman finds a foe who may be too powerful even for him to defeat in the murderous Black Adam. Fortunately, Black Adam's real target is the Earth's Mightiest Mortal--Captain Marvel.

Director: Joaquim Dos Santos
Stars: Zach Callison, James Garner, Josh Keaton
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Test pilot Hal Jordan finds himself recruited as the newest member of the intergalactic police force, The Green Lantern Corps.

Director: Lauren Montgomery
Stars: Christopher Meloni, Victor Garber, Tricia Helfer
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

As the home planet of the Green Lantern Corps faces a battle with an ancient enemy, Hal Jordan prepares new recruit Arisia for the coming conflict by relating stories of the first Green Lantern and several of Hal's comrades.

Directors: Christopher Berkeley, Lauren Montgomery, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Nathan Fillion, Jason Isaacs, Elisabeth Moss
Batman: Gotham Knight (Video 2008)
Animation | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A collection of key events mark Bruce Wayne's life, as he journeys from beginner to Dark Knight.

Directors: Yasuhiro Aoki, Yûichirô Hayashi, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Kevin Conroy, Jason Marsden, Scott Menville
Animation | Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Embittered by Superman's heroic successes and soaring popularity, Lex Luthor forms a dangerous alliance with the powerful computer/villain Brainiac. Using advanced weaponry and a special strain of Kryptonite harvested from the far reaches of outer space, Luthor specifically redesigns Brainiac to defeat the Man of Steel.

Director: Curt Geda
Stars: Tim Daly, Powers Boothe, Dana Delany
Wonder Woman (Video 2009)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A modern man's trespass of the island of the Amazons enables an imprisoned war god to escape and Princess Diana wins the responsibility to recapture him.

Director: Lauren Montgomery
Stars: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina
Superman vs. The Elite (Video 2012)
Animation | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The Man of Steel finds himself outshone by a new team of ruthless superheroes who hold his idealism in contempt.

Director: Michael Chang
Stars: George Newbern, Pauley Perrette, Robin Atkin Downes
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the 1950s, a new generation of superheroes must join forces with the community's active veterans and a hostile US government to fight a menace to Earth.

Director: Dave Bullock
Stars: David Boreanaz, Miguel Ferrer, Neil Patrick Harris
The Spectre (Video 2010)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

As Detective Jim Corrigan investigates a murder, The Spectre delivers horrific justice to the perpetrators.

Director: Joaquim Dos Santos
Stars: Gary Cole, Alyssa Milano, Jeff Bennett


Credited cast:
The Sea Captain (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Money Lender (voice)
Ridley (voice)
Lori Tritel ...


A mariner survives an attack from the dreaded pirates of the Black Freighter, but his struggle to return home to warn it has a horrific cost.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent and grisly images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 March 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter and Under the Hood  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally intended to be featured within the Watchmen (2009) film, but removed once the time span of the film began pushing 3 hours. See more »


The Sea Captain: How had I reached this appalling position with love, only love, as my guide? The money lender floated at my feet. Noble intentions had led me to atrocity. The righteous anger fueling my ingenious awful scheme was but delusion. Where was my error?
See more »


Edited into Watchmen (2009) See more »


Pirate Jenny
Written by Marc Blitzstein, Berthold Brecht, and Kurt Weill
Performed by Nina Simone
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great little short film whether you consider it "important" as part of Watchmen or not
28 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It was a while after I watched Watchmen that I got around to getting this companion film – essentially put together from the reading of the comic of the same name within the comic of Watchmen. Not being a massive defender of the comic, I am not petty about it nor do I wish to debate for hours about how the film works without it, how the changes in the film affect this film, how you must be an idiot if you think this, or how you must be an idiot if you don't think that – and so on. No, instead I came to the short film knowing its parallels with the main story/film and yet also keen to see how it works as a film full stop.

The answer is that it works very well because it produces a really gaudy depiction of the story with a much clearer link to the mental journey of Ozymandias and/or Rorschach – again I cannot be bothered to debate it on the message boards, for my money it works for both. The film is really well animated but not to the point that it is stylised to the point where it doesn't feel real. Instead, the gore and horror is made to feel very real and very horrible – not "owh gross" horrible in the way teen slasher films are, but it is really quite tangible how awful events are from start to finish. The story is quite simple but, because the horror is so well captured, it doesn't really matter if you watch this with Watchmen in mind or not – although of course it is meant for you to do so as well. The delivery is generally strong as well thanks mainly to the impressive delivery from Butler as the captain in narration. His haunted and nuanced voice is a great fit with the graphics – in particular the captain showing on his face what we are hearing.

It is ironic because, while I thought that the full film of Watchmen struggled because of how it stuck to the events in the book to the detriment of the heart of the book, the Black Freighter appears to have captured both. I'll let others argue it out but for me it was best to strip this out of the film and, while it works well in the comic spread out over the telling of the main story, it works equally as well here as a companion short film.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How 'Tales of the Black Freighter' parallels Watchmen mk1
Running Time? orbtronik
2 Bernies The86Drifter
Spoliers: The ending of Watchmen azazel_fallenangel
How is the people going to know about this thing? mariosanemeterio
Discuss Tales of the Black Freighter (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page