6.4/10
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99 user 157 critic

Black Sea (2014)

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In order to make good with his former employers, a submarine captain takes a job with a shadowy backer to search the depths of the Black Sea for a submarine rumored to be loaded with gold.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Llewella Gideon ...
Job Centre Worker
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Chrissy
Gus Barry ...
Martin (aged 12)
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Kurston
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Lewis
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Peters
Sergey Kolesnikov ...
Levchenko
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Sergey Veksler ...
Baba
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Storyline

In order to make good with his former employers, a submarine captain takes a job with a shadowy backer to search the depths of the Black Sea for a submarine rumored to be loaded with gold.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Brave the deep. Find the gold. Trust no one. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some graphic images and violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

23 January 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mar Negro  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$37,675 (USA) (25 January 2015)

Gross:

$1,171,559 (USA) (19 March 2015)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The small Canon EOS C500 made the shots in the Ukraine possible according to director 'Kevin MacDonald')qv): "We could use the C500 handheld. A lot of the film is handheld. But we also used it on a dolly and on the crane, in one or two instances. So it was perfectly easy and flexible to use in that regard. There are a few shots in this film that Christopher Ross and I took on a 'recce'. We went to Ukraine; to Sebastopol, which is the Russian naval base that's in the Black Sea. We just really went to have a look, because we were hoping to go back and shoot there for real. But we ran out of money and weren't able to go back. Luckily Chris and I had taken the Canon C500... really just because we wanted to have a play around with it, as an opportunity to test it together. We took some shots out of the window of a bus and some landscape shots, which actually we've used in the final film. Chris was operating it on his own - he found that relatively straightforward, even with the Codex 4K recorder. It does eat up memory like you wouldn't believe but we shot some really beautiful images on the Canon. So that's one of the great advantages. It's a camera that you can take along on a 'recce' with you; a camera which can just sit in a backpack and, if you suddenly see something and think 'ah that's fantastic; I'd like that in the film. I'm never going to see that again' - a sunset, an animal or whatever it is - you can whip it out and there you go; you've got it." See more »

Goofs

Twice the command: "Amidships Rudder" was given. It should have been: "Rudder Amidships". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Liam: And we want you to know that this has nothing - nothing at all - to do with your performance, which is exemplary by the way.
Captain Robinson: [sighs looking out the window]
Liam: Look, the business has changed. Marine salvage has changed. We don't need a submarine pilot anymore. We don't even need a sub. Now, you've never been on contract, so redundancy, well, it's out of the question. But I spoke to Bob Toris personally and he has insisted that Agora make sure that there's something for you. And I'm ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Legendary Sevastopol Hymn
Written by Vano Muradeli and Pyotr Gradov
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Submarine heist that entertains & thrills adequately, logic be damned.
9 December 2014 | by See all my reviews

As submarine movies go, Black Sea is probably the best one this year. That it may be the only one certainly helps. Kevin McDonald (The Eagle, The Last King of Scotland) has delivered a Boy's Own adventure under the sea that is part thriller, part drama and could easily have been a Desmond Bagley novel forty years ago. And that's no bad thing.

When submarine pilot Captain Robinson (Jude Law) is made redundant, he seeks solace in the company of a pint and some former colleagues. One of them mentions a missing German U-boat that was lost in the Second World War, laden with gold bullion from Russia, Robinson sets a plan in motion to seize the gold and end their financial woes. With an investor in place, a rusted submarine and a motley crew comprised equally of Brits and Russians, Robinson heads into the depths of the Black Sea for a deep water heist, but a tin can filled with greedy, desperate, jealous men doesn't bode well…

There is nothing remarkable about Black Sea. It lacks the tension of Das Boot, doesn't rewrite history quite as horribly as U571 and doesn't quite hit the (dated) adventure of The Hunt for Red October, but it is an enjoyable romp of angst, betrayal and underhand tactics that fills an evening quite adequately.

Screenwriter Dennis Kelly (Utopia) either doesn't understand the law of physics or has decided to bend them anyway but the screenplay rattles along quite nicely, building the drama, adding the odd explosive scene and even managing one or two very funny quips. He establishes a crew of embittered men on opposing sides without making any of them too much of a caricature. There are a few missing beats and some clunks as logic and reason tumble down the gangway but, for the most part, Black Sea holds the attention and entertains. There is little to surprise but, as long as the viewer isn't too bothered by historical or scientific accuracy, there is nothing to really disappoint.

Jude Law makes for an enjoyable, grizzled hero though he isn't given enough to add depth to his character. The soft flashbacks and memories of his estranged wife and son are intended to add meat to his bones but there isn't enough in them to make us really care and they are more distracting than affecting. We understand and care more about Tobin's (Bobby Schofield) emotional predicament through a brief exchange between captain and junior than the entirety of flashbacks from Robinson.

Black Sea has the feel of a movie dumped on the world because it is too light to feature in the summer blockbusters, too small (of budget) to compete against Hollywood's big studio flicks and doesn't even pretend to have any merit when it comes to awards season. For a low budget British adventure thriller it serves perfectly well on a cold, damp, winter's evening for a certain type of cinemagoer who is already sick of the barrage of Christmas schmaltz and family fare at the multiplex.

If you want entertainment with a smidgen of mystery, a dollop of action and a hint of thrills, Black Sea does the job adequately.

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