501 user 157 critic

Sahara (2005)

0:31 | Trailer
Master explorer Dirk Pitt goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War battleship known as the "Ship of Death" in the deserts of West Africa while helping a WHO doctor being hounded by a ruthless dictator.


Breck Eisner


Clive Cussler (novel), Thomas Dean Donnelly (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
3,725 ( 445)
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jude Akuwudike ... Imam
Mark Aspinall Mark Aspinall ... Lawyer
Rakie Ayola ... Mrs. Nwokolo
Christopher Bello Christopher Bello ... Train Driver
Nicholas Beveney Nicholas Beveney ... Gunboat 1 Officer
Empotoe Bosage Empotoe Bosage ... Pick Up Truck Guard
Robert Cavanah ... Captain Tombs
Penélope Cruz ... Eva Rojas (as Penelope Cruz)
Clint Dyer ... Oshodi
Matthew Flynn ... 1st Lieutenant, Ironclad
Paulin Fodouop Paulin Fodouop ... Modibo (as Paulin F. Fodouop)
Ouahbou Houcine Ouahbou Houcine ... Tuareg Village Boy #1
Emmanuel Ighodaro ... Kazim's Officer Asselar
Lennie James ... General Zateb Kazim
Maurice Lee Maurice Lee ... Zakara


Master explorer and former US Navy Seal Dirk Pitt and his wisecracking buddy Al Giordino goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War ironclad battleship known as the "Ship of Death" that protects a secret cargo is lost somewhere in the deserts of West Africa. But while the two cross paths with a beautiful and brilliant U.N. scientist Dr. Eva Rojas who is being hounded by a ruthless dictator. She believes that the hidden treasure may be connected to a larger problem that threatens the world around them. Hunting for a ship that no one else thinks exists, Dirk, Al, and Eva must rely on their wits and their daring heroics to outsmart dangerous warlords, survive the threatening terrain, and get to the bottom of both mysteries. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Adventure has a new destination. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Richard Jordan had previously played Dirk Pitt in Raise the Titanic (1980).. See more »


When the guard is closing the vault's door, his weapon changes from a G36 to an UMP and then back to a G36 again. See more »


[first lines]
Sailor Who Drops Gold: Sorry, captain.
Pilot, Ironclad: It's all right son, just keep moving. That's the future in your hands.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A Clive Cussler Dirk Pitt Adventure See more »


Referenced in Hierarchy (2009) See more »


Arranged by Orchestra Africa Djembé
Performed by Orchestra Africa Djembé
Courtesy of Sunset France
See more »

User Reviews

Silly adventure movie fun... with a heart
14 April 2008 | by vip_ebriegaSee all my reviews

My Take: James Bond meets Indiana Jones with silly yet exciting action, crackling wit.

Although it was credited as a "Dirk Pitt Adventure", SAHARA seems more in kin with James Bond and Indiana Jones than Clive Cussler. I haven't read any of Clive Cussler's books, but I'm absolutely certain that this would be Cussler's visualization. It is, indeed, a B-level adventure film, complete with heroes in top gear (complete with winning grin, no less), the sexy heroine, the sidekick, and the bad guys who want to rule the world (or simply get whatever it is they want). Not to mention the series of stunt play and gunfights done the old-fashioned way. This is the look (and feel) of an action picture they no longer make, which provides most of its appeal. I enjoyed SAHARA on the level many think it doesn't work, and that's being a traditional old-fashioned brainless adventure. It's not great at the field, but at least it has its heart on it.

Its tag line states "Adventure has a new name", it's without question or doubt that Dirk Pitt, Cussler's brainchild hero played here by Matthew McConaughey, will be a new James Bond or Indiana Jones. The charisma given to him is good but obvious. He's calm over tension, and never loses his cool even at extreme measures. The other supporting characters have nothing in them, their there, but practically, their hardly anybody but characters in a movie. If characters in adventure movies could be quite as interesting as those featured in the INDIANA JONES series, couldn't we deserve to get the same on other entries in the genre, including knock-offs.

Still, what you've come to expect from SAHARA are here anyway. The implausible plot involves the quest for a lost Ironclad in the middle of the Sahara desert (!) by the dashing Dirk Pitt (McConaughey), his sidekick Al (Steve Zahn) and a daring Dr. Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz), who trek through the blazing desert landscape with camels, vans, boats, you name it. Along the way, they are trailed by the bad guys and get into situations that could only mean more action movie fun. What's in store? Helicopter chases (my favorite!), gunfights, boat chases and even a train chase with camels (who even knew that you can still come up with a fun action movie sequence with camels!). If you don't think this stuff is any fun, you may wanna have to check with your doctor in case your sugar's a little low.

Is SAHARA any great? No it isn't. But did I get exactly what I wanted from it? It surely does. Even if this genre, which includes films like NATIONAL TREASURE, will never live up to its superior INDIANA JONES ancestors, they will still nonetheless offer the action and adventure it promises. And in that level, SAHARA delivers.

Rating: *** out of 5.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Russia]


UK | Spain | Germany | USA | France


English | French | Arabic

Release Date:

8 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sahara See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »


Box Office


$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,068,372, 10 April 2005

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:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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