Black Sea

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Black Sea Movie Poster Image
Entertaining but imperfect sub movie has strong language.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 115 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Some moments when teamwork is required to survive and characters of different cultures come together, but these moments are fairly short-lived, and they don't add up to much. Otherwise, the movie demonstrates that greed -- both by corporations and by individuals -- is destructive.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Captain Robinson is good at leading and giving orders, but he makes some poor choices, sacrificing lives for gold. Other characters demonstrate heroism but also selfishness.

Violence

Gory, burned corpses. Stabbing with knife. Beating to death with wrench. Several deaths. Angry shouting, fighting. Explosions, crashes. Bloody wounds. Skeletons of shackled dead bodies. General anxiety, tension, and terror as a sub floods with water.

Sex

An 18-year-old looks at a picture of an ultrasound, implying that he's gotten a girl pregnant. (This despite references to him being a virgin.) Flashbacks to a character's wife wearing a bikini on a beach. Some kissing.

Language

Nearly constant swearing, including very frequent use of "f--k" and "s--t." Also "ass," "whore," "d--k," "prick," "bastard," and "sweet Jesus."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character smokes hand-rolled cigarettes on two occasions. Characters are seen drinking beer/whisky in a pub. A sailor swigs from a flask.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Black Sea is a tense, frequently violent submarine thriller starring Jude Law. Language is the biggest issue, with almost constant uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well plenty of other words. There are a few killings and several deaths, with some bloody wounds and burned corpses seen, but the majority of violence hinges on the sub itself crashing. There's also a pervasive sense of tension and anxiety. Characters smoke and drink in a background way, and there are subtle references to teenage sex, as well as some kissing. Characters do exhibit some teamwork (though it eventually falters), but the bigger message is a condemnation of greed; characters' decisions are affected by the presence of gold. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byB-KMastah February 14, 2015

A perfect matinee.

It's rather rare for me to not know of a movie's existence until about four days prior to its release, but that kind of makes sense considering what k... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Fired from his longtime job at a marine salvage company, submarine captain Robinson (Jude Law) is adrift until he learns of the existence of a sunken, allegedly gold-filled Nazi sub in the Black Sea near Russia. Because of legal tangles, no government can go after it, but a private party can. Securing funding from a shady source, Robinson assembles a crew of American and Russian sailors and divers, promising them each an equal share of the gold. But fighting among the men leads to a terrible accident, stranding the sub on an underwater ridge. They'll have to work together to get out alive, with the lure of the gold, as well as other, unseen dangers, pulling them back.

Is it any good?

BLACK SEA is a solid, mostly thrilling submarine movie ... with one big flaw (see below). Director Kevin Macdonald (of the similarly tense Touching the Void) uses clarity of space on board the sub, establishing physical relationships between characters and using them for suspense. And as in some of the great films about gold, especially Greed and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, greed begins creeping in like a disease, rotting the characters and their moral centers.

Macdonald has assembled a fine cast, with Law giving one of his sturdiest performances and character actors like Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn following his lead. But right in the center of the movie is a single character who seems to have been brought aboard the sub for no apparent reason other than to drive the plot in specific directions. The character as written is a shortcut, a device to solve certain story problems more quickly. It's an annoying betrayal in an otherwise decent movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Black Sea's violence. How much is shown? What do you think its intent was? How did it affect you? Was it realistic? Shocking? Thrilling?

  • How much, and when, do characters smoke and drink? Do they smoke or drink on the submarine? Why or why not?

  • What's the appeal of submarine movies? How is this one similar to or different from others you may have seen?

  • How does this movie treat the themes of greed? How do greedy characters behave? How do we combat greed? Who is guiltier in this movie, greedy men or greedy corporations?

Movie details

For kids who love thrills

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