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Academy Award® Winner
The crew of a WWII U.S. submarine is ordered to board a German U-boat and obtain a decoder box. Following an unexpected turn of events, this group of American sailors become trapped in the enemy's...  View more >

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Apr 28, 2000
While not completely accurate with regards to depth charge capabilities, the rest is not only accurate but very gripping. Bill Paxson plays a great sub skipper who has witheld a promotion recommendation from Mathew MC Connahay (SP?).

As fate would have it Mc Connahay gets his chance to be a sub skipper on the German boat that they are trying to retrieve the decoding machine from. Having been given orders to board and take the disabled German Uboat by storm, all goes well until a real German supply ship show up and quickly sizes up what is happening and starts firing on both the American sub as well as the German Uboat.

That is when it gets interesting as the Americans are trapped aboard the Uboat. They must now figure out how to evade both the Germans and Americans until they can get far enought away from the German Navy so as to not have to worry about being sunk by them. (The Germans wanted to sink their boat to preclude the decoder from falling into enemy hands just before the invasion of Normandy and the Americans didn't want the Germans to know that the Allies had the decoder).

The suspense is gripping and the sheer terror of being hundreds of feet under water while being depth charged is vividly portrayed. Acting by a crew of no names is compelling. You are actually aboard the sub pulling for everyone as they try to fix leaks and maintain manueverablilty. Get your popcorn early because you will be holding your breath a great deal later on in the movie.

The movie closely portrays the true story of U505 but does not end the same way. U505 can be seen in Chicago today. To see where you can see U571 you must get your fanny into your favorite movie seat and buckled down for steep 'DIVE Dive Dive'!!! Enjoy!
[--- See Now! ---]by  
May 6, 2000
[--- See Now! ---]by  
May 11, 2000
I really enjoyed this movie. The story was lacking just a little, but that is hardly noticable with the good acting and the excellent special effects making up for that deficiency. 3 stars from me.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
May 14, 2000
"U-571" was an excellent movie. It was about some American's who are sent to bomb a Nazi submarine. In the meantime their submarine blows up while nine American soldiers are aboard the Nazi ship. They find themselves stranded on this ship with one American/German boy that can decode all that is written in German.

The movie ends differently then I had pictured. It was very suspensful all during the movie. It was also very brutal. There were many acts of violence and it made me really think of how hard war actaully was. It was also very graphic, so make sure that you are able to handle the war theme. But besides that and overall it was an excellent movie.
May 15, 2000
This is the best example of a taught action suspense thriller that I've seen in quite some time. From beginning to end, you are drawn into the story and you never have a chance (or the desire) to glance at your watch.

Matthew McConaughey does an excellent job as the sub commander wannabe that aches for his own command, but isn't judged to be up to the task of deciding the fate of a crew. Bill Paxton and Harvey Keitel support the story well without having their performances overshadow others. Even the wisecracking Dr. Dave Mallucci from E.R. turns in a pretty good performance.

This is definitely one of those movies that you should see on the big screen, and in a theater with digital sound. You need the large picture to encompass your field of vision, and the sounds of the creaking and groaning of the submarines as they descend into the black depths of the sea are best heard when everything is quiet, and then you hear the hull giving way ever so slightly on one side of you...

There were moments in U-571 when I found myself fully drawn into the action and reacting to the events on the screen. That is the ultimate test of a movie's ability to immerse the viewer in the experience.

If you haven't seen U-571 yet, do yourself a favor and see this film!
May 15, 2000
U571 is definitely in the 'Good' category. Worth seeing on the big screen.

Although not even in the same league as 'Das Boot' I found it to be an enjoyable afternoons entertainment with some splendid action.

Having said that, I find that only so much action can realistically take place under water in a WWII sub and was left wishing that the director had taken more time to let us get to know the characters more fully.

Numerous historical inaccuracies were also quite irritating though credit should be given for the factual notations at the end of the film.

Not brilliant, but I will still watch it again on video and probably add the DVD to my collection when it's released.

Watch it on the big screen.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
May 20, 2000
From the over blown musical score to the dead-pan acting, this flick is nothing but a re-make of every submarine movie ever made. The director should have shot the film in black and white - and then it would be a perfect copy of those overly patriotic propaganda pieces of the 1940's. At one point in the cliche ridden plot, you could hear the audience gasp "I've seen this scene before!"

The movie isn't bad - it just doesn't offer anything new. Perhaps younger audience members are more appreciative of this re-worked clap-trap, because they do not have the any experience with movies of the 1940's 1950's and 1960's. To prove the point, this was the actual dialog of the twenty-somethings behind me in the theater.

Kegger One, "Why do they call it "U571?"
Kegger Two, "Cause its about submarines."
One, "Then shouldn't it be called "S571."
Two, "No, man, the "U" means underwater."

My point being not only is their command of history a tab bit shallow, but their understanding of the German language is also . . .

People of this age and ilk will enjoy the movie once they get a grasp on what is happening. Afterall Kegger One went on to say, "So this really isn't a commedy, is it?" But for any one who has ever read a history book or has the History Channel on cable - wait for the video rental.
[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
May 25, 2000
If you want to see a great submarine movie, rent "Das Boots" or better yet the director's cut of that same movie.

As for "U-571", the best word that can describe is "cheesy". Or at least that's what can only describe what comes out whenever some character in this movie opens their mouth.

It also had every cliche in the book through in.

Additionally, it defies physics. The hammering the submarine takes is totally unbelievable. Deep charges were literally exploding mere feet away from both sides of the sub and yet it only took on a little water! For the hammering it received, the sub should have been mere pieces of scrap metal by the end of the movie.

Like more? The following is what you are already told in the previews but with just a little common sense added.

The damaged Nazi sub is floating off of the coast of Nazi-occupied France. They even show its location on a map. Yet an American sub from the east coast of AMERICA is able to get to it BEFORE any Nazi sub can. But that's Hollywood for you. U-571 is based on a true story. A BRITISH story! Not an American one! I guess Hollywood thought us Yanks wouldn't be interested in seeing a movie about British sailors. :-P

Again, forget this movie. Rent the director's cut of "Das Boots" and enjoy a truly great submarine movie.
[--- Good ---]by  
Jun 9, 2000
This movie is a " been there done that " type of story. Sure there have been previously numerous submarine movies, however this one I found more enjoyable then most.

The reason is that with the sound systems available in the theatres now, it places you inside the sub while it was under attack. This is what I believe makes this movie, THE SOUND. So my reccomemndation is that if you do not have a theatre sound system at home, you HAVE to see it on the " big screen." If you have a theatre sytem at home, I say wait for video, spend your money on Erin Brockovich.
[--- Good ---]by  
Jun 28, 2000
This underwater movie is about the us navy on a secret mission to steal some enigma codes from a german u-boat in the altantic. the good thing about this film is that there are some unpredictable scenes which would be half the best thing about this film, the other half best thing is it's sound quality.

This is the type of movie that can sereously put you on the edge of your seat due to its sound quality, this movie has a high amount of deep bass in it witch can easily be a good jump scene, it has an incredible amount of loud sound effects especially the machine guns and the barrel type explosives used almost countless times, it's best only if watched in the cinema unless you have a good home cinema and wait for it for rental.

There are hardly any boring scenes so there always something exiting going on.
the acting is okay but probably the worst thing about this film is that it's been known that this is a true story but in real official fact it was the British royal navy that had did the job of stealing the enigma codes. so it could of been better if the actors had all british accents-so its more realistic.
[--- Good ---]by  
Jul 23, 2000
Don says: The U.S. Submarine S-33, a relic left over from WWI, is on a top-secret mission. Disguised as a German U-boat and manned by a crew of greenhorn sailors, it sets out to intercept a stranded German submarine and capture a top secret Nazi encoding machine that looks like a typewriter.

This was truly an unbelievable movie. The characters were weak and watered down. Their actions and reactions were un-military. The dialog was stiff, contrived and unconvincing. The pace was erratic. There were holes in the story line big enough to sink a … Battleship? I didn’t believe a word of it.

For instance, the Germans couldn’t make their own sub, the U-571, go putt-putt. But after losing their ship, the S-33, the brilliant Americans jumped on board the U-571 and had it cruising along in no time. And while the enemy above was chasing our dauntless crew of gifted mechanical marvels, the crew couldn’t speak above a whisper. If they did, they risked giving away their position and suffering the deadly consequences. But those big diesel engines kept pounding in the background. I guess the Germans had their big diesel engine detectors turned off. Dah!

The whole situation hardly seemed fair. You had a gigantic German battleship with big guns and an unlimited supply of depth charges going up against American sailors in a badly damaged submarine with one torpedo. Those poor Germans never had a chance. Hello? Is there intelligent life out there? Or did someone fall asleep at the word processor? If this movie is really based on facts, as it claims, I now know why the Germans lost the war. They wasted all their ammunition on this one lousy, crippled up submarine.

But if you are into explosions with beautiful billowing fireballs and water – lots of water, or you just like so-so, mediocre war movies, this may be what floats your boat. So, I won’t spoil the movie for you by divulging the biggest, most unbelievable hole in whole movie. It’s right near the end. You’ll have to see it for yourself. I like explosions, so I give it a C- .

Dixie says: I don’t like war movies. But I do like Matthew McConaughey and Bill Paxton. And what happened to David Keith? Just when he is developing a strong, interesting personality, (unlike all the other cardboard cut-out characters in this movie), they kill him off. I think someone really missed the boat on that move. I give it a C+.
Aug 5, 2000
Very good war movie. Highly dramatic.

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