When Russia's first nuclear submarine malfunctions on its maiden voyage, the crew must race to save the ship and prevent a nuclear disaster.


Kathryn Bigelow


Louis Nowra (story), Christopher Kyle (screenplay)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Spruell ... Dmitri
Peter Stebbings ... Kuryshev
Christian Camargo ... Pavel
Roman Podhora Roman Podhora ... Lapinsh
Sam Redford ... Vasily
Steve Nicolson ... Demichev
Liam Neeson ... Capt. Mikhail Polenin
Ravil Isyanov ... Suslov
Tim Woodward ... Partonov
Lex Shrapnel ... Kornilov
Shaun Benson ... Leonid
Kris Holden-Ried ... Anton (as Kristen Holden-Ried)
Dmitry Chepovetsky ... Sergei
Christopher Redman ... Kiklidze
Tygh Runyan ... Maxim


The story of USSR's first nuclear ballistic submarine, which suffered a malfunction in its nuclear reactor on its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic in 1961. The submarine's crew, led by the unyielding Captain Alexi Vostrikov, races against time to prevent a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster which threatens not only the lives of his crew, but has the potential to ignite a world war between the super powers. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fate has found its hero.


Drama | History | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson are related to Steven Spielberg's movies: Ford starred in the Indiana Jones' franchise composed by Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) and Untitled Indiana Jones Project (2022) (the only one not directed by Spielberg but produced by him as all the rest), while Neeson starred Schindler's List (1993). See more »


The movie presents a fictionalised account of the real K-19 event, however, eight men died as a result of radiation exposure not seven. See more »


[first lines]
Capt. Mikhail Polenin: All compartments: report readiness!
See more »


Featured in The Making of 'K-19: The Widowmaker' (2002) See more »


Moonlight Sonata
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Florian Tessloff
See more »

User Reviews

Good and intriguing film about an atomic submarine, though a bit monotonous and overlong
27 July 2004 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The movie concerns a Russian atomic sub and the complications caused for a nuclear scape, as many sailors will have to sacrifice themselves to save life of crew members.

Film runtime is overlong , the flick is slow-moving and a little bit boring . Some minutes are superfluous , it has half hour of excess, however the movie is enough decent and agreeable.

The yarn is interesting and allegedly based on real deeds. There is suspense , thriller and action, though the scenario is completely set into the claustrophobic submarine.

Harrison Ford performance as a sub commander is excellent, he hands perfectly the role , Ford has gotten the best character as film producer . Liam Neeson acting as the contender official is first-rate. Facing off between two commanders is likeness to Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin in the film ¨The hunt for Red October¨.

Kathryn Bigelow direction is good and cinematography by Jeff Cronenweth is atmospheric . Klaus Badelt music is spectacular and adjusted to a thrilling film.

The movie will appeal to emotions enthusiastic and action lovers. Rating 6,5/10, above average

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UK | Germany | Canada | USA


English | Russian

Release Date:

19 July 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

K*19: The Widowmaker See more »

Filming Locations:

Gimli, Manitoba, Canada See more »


Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,778,459, 21 July 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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