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U-571 (2000)

PG-13 | | Action, War | 21 April 2000 (USA)
A German submarine is boarded by disguised American submariners trying to capture their Enigma cipher machine.


Jonathan Mostow


Jonathan Mostow (story), Jonathan Mostow (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
3,556 ( 815)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew McConaughey ... Tyler
Bill Paxton ... Dahlgren
Harvey Keitel ... Chief
Jon Bon Jovi ... Emmett
David Keith ... Coonan
Thomas Kretschmann ... Wassner
Jake Weber ... Hirsch
Jack Noseworthy ... Wentz
Tom Guiry ... Trigger
Will Estes ... Rabbit
Terrence 'T.C.' Carson ... Eddie (as T.C. Carson)
Erik Palladino ... Mazzola
Dave Power ... Tank
Derk Cheetwood ... Griggs
Matthew Settle ... Larson


In the midst of World War II, the battle below the seas rages. The Nazis have the upper edge as the Allies are unable to crack their war codes. That is, until a wrecked U-boat sends out an SOS signal, and the Allies realize this is their chance to seize the 'enigma coding machine'. But masquerading as Nazis and taking over the U-boat is the smallest of their problems. The action really begins when they get stranded on the U-boat. Written by Filmtwob <webmaster@filmfreak.co.za>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You won't come up for air until it's over! See more »


Action | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Comparisons are inevitable with Wolfgang Petersen's highly influential Das Boot (1981). Both films share production designer Götz Weidner. See more »


Radioman Wentz asks the lieutenant not to let the crew know he is half German, yet he hasn't changed his last name, so it is already obvious to anyone who cares that he has German heritage. See more »


Chief Klough: Those Krauts sure know how to build a boat.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The theatrical version contained some captions before the end credits, explaining that the Enigma was, in real-life, recovered by the British Royal Navy, and not by the American Navy as portrayed in this movie. The captions have been removed on the R2 DVD. See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Historically Inaccurate Movies (2015) See more »


Lover, Come Back to Me
Written by Sigmund Romberg, Oscar Hammerstein II
(performed at the wedding reception while Dahlgreen is talking to Tyler)
See more »

User Reviews

On the edge... of your seat...
24 April 2000 | by BlueEyesDanielSee all my reviews

It's 1941. The German U-Boats are wreaking havoc in the North Atlantic, sinking every Allied ship in their path and threatening to cut off the critical supply line from America to Britain that is saving the Allied War Effort. In a Special Operation Mission a US Submarine Crew, headed by Captain Dahlgren (Bill Paxton), are sent to capture the Enigma Code (the German Code that is allowing them to position there submarines without alerting the Allies) which will change the course of the war.

The main plot of the movie, thought completely fictional, works well and maintains a viewers interest. However, it is sure to raise a lot of controversial discussion as it was the British and not the Americans who recovered the Enigma Machine in World War II. Unlike standard submarine movies U-571 is full of twists and turns, especially in the first hour. Because of this U-571 is definitely a film that you have to concentrate in otherwise you'll miss a lot of vital information.

It is obvious that writer-director Jonathan Mostow has researched U-571 well as the nail-biting tension is ever present in the confines of a cramped submarine with a very stressed crew. Mostow's strongest point in this film would be his directing which keeps any viewer tuned in and on the edge of their seats. The camera work is brilliant and Mostow in several scenes keeps the viewer guessing what will come next in this nail-biting epic. The most notable sequence occurs when a Nazi Destroyer is dropping depth charges to try and kill the US Navy Crew. One second the viewer is watching a depth charge mercilessly head for the submarine and the next moment the viewer is watching the reaction of the Navy Crew. Sequences like this truly bring a realistic touch to the film.

The acting is just as brilliant as the directing. This is mostly because the cast were out at sea in a fully working submarine while filming U-571. Actors such as Matthew McConaughey are truly brilliant. Fear and stress is ever present on their faces and highly emotional times come across brilliantly. Other actors such as Harvey Keitel are brilliant but Jon Bon Jovi is the biggest surprise of the film. He does a brilliant job with this film and you're left wondering whether or not that was truly him.

My main disappointment in the film was the musical score by Richard Marvin. Don't take that the wrong way, the score was good. However, at times it could have been just that little bit better. There were scenes where the music was raging but dead silence would have had a better effect on the audience.

I was also disappointed with the end of the film. As a fan of 1981's Das Boot I don't think the ending of any submarine film could ever be as good. However, that's not to say that the U-571 was bad.

All in all U-571 is a brilliant film that is well worth seeing. You'll be left on the edge of your seat as you wonder what is coming next. Twists and turns will at times leave you a tad confused but just add to the emotion that you have for the characters. This is the sort of film you have to truly see in the cinema with surround sound, however, I can imagine that the DVD will be superb! I give it 4/5 stars.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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France | USA | Italy


English | German

Release Date:

21 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

U-571 See more »


Box Office


$62,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,553,310, 23 April 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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