K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) - Drama, History, Thriller

Hohum Score



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

IMDB: 6.7
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sam Spruell
Length: 138 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 51 out of 279 found boring (18.27%)

One-line Reviews (232)

The drama is so intense, you'll find yourself emotionally involved with the characters in the movie.

Most submarine films are boring, in which a clichéd script includes everything and anything that can happen on a sub are trotted out.

) The later part of the film is too dragged out with too many endings.

K-19: The Widowmaker isn't a bad film, but it is a little repetitive and drawn out and for those reasons it isn't entirely successful across its 133 minute running time.

I give it a bad review because the story was just boring; they milk what should be a 90 minute movie into 150 minutes.

Yet "K-19" is actually a very compelling film.

Solid, entertaining.

Worth watching .

If you have 120 minutes worth of film that only focuses on two things then you really need to make these two things compelling, exciting, intense and/or entertaining for at least the majority of the time.

Intense realism in the photography, special effects, and set design, work together to convey an almost tactile feel of life aboard the first Soviet missile submarine.

Additionally, some of the lighting, specifically the scenes filmed with an overbearing red, is so dull and washes out the actors' faces.

Nonetheless, the film is worth watching for its gripping storyline, realistic set design and the scenery-chewing performances from Liam Neeson and Harrison Ford.

Action packed with a few very dramatic moments.

The drama was intense and overall, the film was gripping and easy to follow.

This movie was, without a doubt, one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

However, when I left the theater, I didn't want to watch it again for a long while.

As another commentator says, this film isn't "Das Boot", but it is still an involving enough story with enough drama to be worth watching.

Ironically, the "Mutiny on the Bounty" plot -- with Neeson and Ford vying for control -- is probably the least exciting part of the film, probably because we've seen it in so many other films.

Intense realism aids story of the crew's victory.

The trite resolution of the conflict unmistakeably comes with buoyant music and some artless angelic comeuppance.

The film is suspenseful as well as touching and delivers superb performances as well as excellent direction.

For some reason, I find the claustrophobic atmosphere irritating and often bore of them in any case.

No plot, bad acting and an abysmal soundtrack.

The question is not what the film is about, but rather how did they manage to waste 2 and 1/4 hours of my time.

Granted, there is something a bit cliche about the one man who dies, leaving behind the love of his life...

Add some boring tension and some boring character structure as well as the routine boring army and militant dialogue which most of the human world does not understand and we will have a heavily produced boring movie over blown with boring Hollywood hype.

A film that is well worth watching and at no point has you looking at the clock even though it is over 2 hours long.

Trite, tedious and time-wasting, K19 is just another sad, shoddy example of dumbed-down American movie-making, one that in this instance is all the more odious for its arrogance in believing that the chronicle of this tragedy actually needed fictionalising.

Having dissed the film for these predictable turns, I have to say that I didn't predict the course of events after some of the officers mutinied against the captain, so maybe I'm criticising too much.

Riveting .

I won't detail the story as so many already have, but this is pretty compelling even in the slowest times, although there are an unfortunate number of those slow times.

It's action packed for the historically literate, giving a good taste of the military ideal and the meaning of honor.

Director Bigelow takes a story that involves sacrifice, death, tension, potential global destruction and turns it into an overlong, dull film for the most part.

It's a good film but its exciting story made up for its lack of depth and surfeit of anti-Soviet passion.

Forget the critics, forget about the whiney Russian sailors: this film is worth watching.

In fact the middle section of the film is riveting.

A rather uninteresting event in history, that doesn't have any particular dramatic point made into a movie.

But this was gripping.

And all the story of russians and americans, nuclear wars and those things is boring.

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, Point Break, Strange Days) made an exciting, tense drama.

Instead we get a plodding film that is so concerned with being factual and serious that it forgets to be entertaining or involving.

Very fast paced and entertaing.

Sub scenes are at times breathtaking and the sound can be deafening.

Boring, Distracting, & Cartoonish.

You simply must go see this film, but it is definitely too intense for children.

Solid performances, but predictable submarine story.

Harrison Ford progresses to one of his least action packed roles as the tough commander.

He makes any movie enjoyable for me.

They add to the intriguing historical drama, the great direction and the good cinematography, score and other technical elements to easily push K-19 up to a 10.

The result is finely acted but basically uninteresting.

The plot mainly consists of confusion & one mishap after another at a quick pace.

This Tale Of Two Captains makes an exaggerated but entertaining sub movie.

It is funny to see how most, if not all comments, except the American ones regarding K-19 really praised it and really enjoyed it.

The subs mechanical difficulties are at the heart of the film, but the underlying political pressures brought on by cold war politics are riveting.

Neither as exciting or genuine as the German epic, this is still a solid, well detailed, and sleek adventure-drama...

How is it possible to give a movie like that, credits like "boring, stupid, SUCKS, not entertaining"?

While believability dives below crush depth at numerous points, my enjoyment remained intact and I remained submerged in this adequately crafted and entertaining submarine thriller.

Putting that aside, I still found the story to be a gripping drama once it became apparent that the crippled sub could be saved only at the expense of ultimate human sacrifice.

But rather, it is so boring and and terribly acted all around (Liam Neeson is the only one that is even watchable).

(Trying to make pro-Soviet propaganda in 2002, ten years after the Soviet Union collapsed, would have been a forlorn hope indeed).

" Clearly, this catastrophic but conventional expose about a true-life incident in 1961, suppressed by the Kremlin until 1989, boasts everything anybody could hope for in a gripping disaster epic.

What an exciting film...

Aside from that, there is nothing new, exciting, out of this world thing that has never been done before.

Underrated, compelling film.

It's a gripping story with the outcome uncertain until the end.

It's long, it's boring, it's full of bad Russian accents and possibly the worst, most mundane, trivial, pedestrian performances I've ever seen from two of Hollywood's finest: Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson.

Bigelow's points of reference run less to `Thirteen Days' (itself a very fine model of taut historical action) than to `Titanic' (some of the initial shots of the submarine in dry-dock recall the initial shots of the Titanic at port and it even has its own happy proletariat dancing and drinking sequence) and `Apollo 13' (with its digitized tracking shots into the heart of a nuclear reactor and its makeshift problem-solving) but there's little of the personal involvement that made `Point Break', `Blue Steel' and the flawed `Strange Days' so compelling.

This entertaining cold war story reveals that whatever country we are from, there are people who will go beyond what is expected of them, and do what is necessary to preserve human life.


" I did notice that Harrison Ford had turned down working in Christopher Nolan's version of "Insomnia" and wondered...

Insofar as I can tell, the film was stunningly accurate in its depiction of submarine operations and grippingly realistic in its depiction of humans under intense danger while struggling with conflicting emotions and duties.

Repetitive drills?

The scenes of the reactor repair are the high point of the movie, it's worth watching for th

That is entirely different than the more subtle struggle in "K-19" which I found fascinating.

Keeps you on the edge of your seat for most of its lengthy 138 minutes .

Besides, K-19 has an unexpected political dimension.

Anyway, I would recommend this film to anyone and everyone who loves exciting military dramas, or just enjoys watching good movies.

With sub interiors filled with pointless and way too futuristic fittings (Like neon missile tube markings) This movie accurately reproduced the sub and the operating climate in which lived.

The submarine environment was recreated with a nice feel for a foreign boat and the methods and problems those men faced were compelling, even to this very experienced high-tech expert.

Film runtime is overlong , the flick is slow-moving and a little bit boring .

The movie started slow and grew to a climax.

It is a long, talky drama that never proves to be anything but a relatively forgettable, boring account of history (I'm not saying the complications this crew experienced were at all boring, its just the filmmakers didn't do a great job of making it look so).

I found the movie suspenseful, and the conclusion entertaining.

This overlaps with drawn out sequences that show Ford as similarly blunt, powerful and broken.

Once going, however, K-19 delivers an intense ride through the life of an early nuclear submariner as well as the boat in which this submariner is aboard.

The Use of Claustrophobic Chaos that the Genre Demands with added World War III Paranoia makes it a Movie Worth Watching.

At times, the story actually became quite tedious.

There was some attempt to do this with the character development between Ford and Neeson, but it was all so predictable that it never really worked to push the sub disaster into the background.

The next 30 minutes are spent with an uneventful sub shakedown.

Okay, everyone, let's say it together and hopefully a cliché cold war plot line can be finally put to rest: Nuclear weapons do not go off accidentally!

Steer clear if Cold War politics and history bore you.

Despite some extremely chilling moments, a neat look at propaganda and concepts of loyalty, the movie drags too much to be considered a complete success.

I like intense movies and this was extremely intense (to me).

They are a pair of conflicting and snappy characters, facing a catastrophic arena.

Finally, wrapped in crisis, there is the elevation to sainthood, something usually sauced with rousing music and closeups on earnest, loving faces.

What makes this movie gripping is that it was based on a true story.

I'd seen this years ago but enjoyed it way more this time around when I caught it on the History channel.

I'm no great fan of the submarine genre, so maybe my point of view is somewhat invalid, but I found this film dull.

Technically, the film does a superb job keeping focused on the intense drama of the situation.

All in all, K-19 was an enjoyable film, very much worth the watch!

What we got was a very slow film with few action sequences too far apart.

Historically Flawed But Worth Watching .

Both of those have all the elements that make a movie entertaining...

If you can get past this, you should be able to disregard further implausibility and enjoy the engaging action and moving portrayals of heroism.

One reason the movie was unpredictable is Ford's recent bad guy rolls.

Well made, but the choice of story was uninteresting .

The movie is not a dumb action flick, but a serious, intense drama, which probably explains most of the outraged comments out there.

I thought it was riveting.

But, with the slow beginning and a not so good Russian accent by Liam Neeson, I considered giving it a 6, reconsidered and gave it a 7.

The sacrifices that these men had to do is pretty riveting and some of the decisions made here are ones that a normal person could not even consider!

The best thing about Das Boot, a very suspenseful film, is that in the end all of Hitler's henchmen are killed.

NOT really a "war" movie, yet it's gripping and filled with tension.

Oddly the film is so empty of emotion when the entire movie revolves around tragedy (This is not a spoiler).

Director Kathryn Bigelow, whose credits include "Near Dark" (1987) and "Strange Days" (1995), adroitly piles one suspenseful situation atop another.

K-19 was a slow starter movie, and I thought it would be a disappointment after the first half, which was too long with not much happening.

This year, a variety of films have captured audiences attentions such as the light-hearted comedies, About a Boy and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and the action-packed thrilling adventures of Minority Report and Reign of Fire.

Given the slow start, obvious filler, and the fact that we all know how this not-so-thrilling thriller turns out, the film boils down to just so much busy-work, sub talk, scurrying around, watching gauges, etc. With the absence characters we're given to care about, there's little reason to recommend this white elephant.

He really needed some gripping dialouge to keep his character interesting.

The problem I had with this film is that it was a tad repetitive - the drills and training kept me involved for about 30 minutes, but when you're seeing the same thing for about an hour it does start to get a bit boring.

But if nothing else, the movie is a fascinating look at how close we came to widespread destruction during one of the most tense times in modern history.


Absolute waste of time .

That is the same commissar who ironically earlier indoctrinated the crew with anti-American propaganda.

Unfortunately, this film was one of the slow ones.

The problem with the film is that it gets boring, no matter how intense the situation was.

Besides it's more exciting than all the shooting, car crashing, exploding movies out there.

Forget the 'oooh i'm a professional critic so listen to me' rantings of other reviews here, just save your money and bypass this dross.

It's a cold, gray, long, boring, slow paced movie with practically no entertainment value, unless you like watching iron slowly rust.. then maybe it is for you...

unexpected and pleased...

This film starts slowly, but gradually gains momentum and emerges as a riveting docu-drama.

The case of the rental copy I have watched hypes the movie too much, and classes it as 'action' - but although the movie is actually very watchable, if a little harrowing in places, the pace is more gradually intense than action-packed!

Two big stars cannot rescue the long, boring movie supposedly about a Russian sub crew who give up their lives to save their boat, and eventually the world from war.

The fast paced plot keeps the viewer entranced in this roller coaster ride of a film.

The acting was impeccable, the action was unpredictable, and lasted for a very good while,and was hurled at you very quickly.

Why does Hollywood time and time again think that the real story, or anything close to it, is too boring to tell?

of misunderstanding, is mind boggling to me.

It was real slow and boring and the dialogue sucked.

But as the tension between Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson grew, the movie became more unpredictable.

The story becomes intense and incredible.

This is a great film which deserves much higher rating than this one because not only it shatters the typical American-fabricated stereotyped image of Russians as always the villains, but also proves that Americans film makers as well can produce gripping and suspenseful films without needing to put in an excessive dose of violence as it is the standard practice.

K-19: The Widowmaker is a very intense film and it is hard to believe the the events in this film are true.

villain or a formulaic plot.

Ford knows that the intense heat from this risks a catastrophic explosion of the nuclear missiles which would also blow out of the water the American observer ship.

The conclusion is somewhat logical, but it might seem a little contrived.

Why would Harrison Ford waste his time and mine?

Kathryn Bigalow's awesome direction provides an engrossing intensity to this 1961 piece of Russian history, which almost included a Chernobyl-like disaster, and a nuke war between the world's two super powers, at the height of the cold war era!

Kathryn Bigelow does an excellent job here, with fantastic camera work, great angles, great zoom in's and zoom out's,and keeping the film at an extremely engrossing pace!.

The actual events might have been much more entertaining I suspect.

K-19 is incredibly suspenseful and emotionally poignant.

It had an old storyline and the plot developments were about as predictable as you can get.

Klaus Badelt music is spectacular and adjusted to a thrilling film.

Nevertheless, the story is quite fascinating.

Kathryn Bigolo's direction is excellent and the tension builds at just the right pace, adding to the already intense situation of the claustrophobic setting of the submarine.

fabtastic.. splendid..breathtaking, what else i can say....

A bit slow in the middle, still, a good movie.

Kudos to Ford and Bigelow for making my Sunday afternoon enjoyable.

This is a tense and thrilling masterpiece, with 2 amazing performances from Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson!

Riveting, fast paced drama.

Still, the film's got a brain and some claustrophobically intense sequences.

It's edge of the seat excitement, made even more gripping by rounded characters you care about.

Miraculously, despite its noble depiction of our former adversaries, "K -19: The Widowmaker" manages to keep you on the edge of your seat for most of its lengthy 138 minutes.

Heartily reccomended to anyone who likes submarine drama or just a rousing film that truly shows human emotions and people in crisis.

The historical background is fascinating (Cold War tension just ahead of the Cuban crisis) and the performances are very strong.

This movies is seriously one of the worst movies of its genre.

Nice, thrilling movie .

It has also been criticized that Americans might be turned off by the Russian patriotism displayed and the anti-American propaganda.

"K-19" excellent film making,exciting adventure .

totally boring and predictive .

All in all even with some plot holes and some very exciting elements of the true story not appearing (Like a emergency surface in trials of the real boat which had is flip on its side and partially sink.

It's actually quite disturbing at times, and was rather creepy, plus it was constantly unpredictable throughout.

There are times you will be sitting on the edge of your seat and your stomach will tighten up.

There is also beautiful cinematography (some of the shots of the submarine are just breathtaking) and a plot that is easy to follow.

This is a visually constricting, riveting, tautly written, directed and performed film that you will be unable to forget once you have seen it.

" Though Captain Polenin professes that the change does not concern him, "It's never difficult to do one's duty," Polenin tells Captain Vostrikov, the tension between hard charging, mission oriented Vostrikov and the plodder, crew oriented Polenin always hovering near the surface, explodes when Vostrikov brings the vessel from crush depth to break through the polar ice in seconds.

The relationship between Vostrikov and Polenin was simply compelling.

I fell asleep during "The Hunt for the Red October" (twice), but this one kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen to these ill-fated men (I didn't read my history books, and even if I had, I wouldn't have known how accurate the portrayal was going to be).

the whole thing is a slow agony just like death by radiation...

However the film is long and plodding in places.

Glued to your seat but boring .

A (mostly) true, gripping cliff hanger .

We will get a boring Hollywood actor who hasn't been in a good role since Witness or Star Wars and assure that his name gets first credit and that we soak you for more money as you rent this movie.

Also,it can be considered a brutally effective and brilliantly constructed dramatic thriller wherein intense wartime submarine movie celebrates heroism.

This is a gripping drama even though the filmmakers have taken liberties with the real facts.

The movie starts slowly, but gets progressively more exciting as we follow the USSR's first nuclear submarine, which suffers a malfunction in its nuclear reactor during its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic in 1961 -the height of the cold war.

"K-19" is an intelligent film and I found it absorbing.

The explosions are not big enough to excite the crowd who goes for the blockbuster part, and the ambiguity of the movie is perhaps confusing.

This is one of the best films, despite its slow first hour, to study responsibility, authority, and heroism.

It's starts off very slowly but it is never boring as it has lots of engaging dialog, and an extremely engrossing story to keep your attention, plus The finale was one of the best i have ever seen!.

The beginning is slow, with Harrison Ford demanding drills aboard and changing things to meet the schedule rather than safety the requirements, foreshadowing sure disaster.

This film is action packed, from the beginning to the end.

The acting and directing is above average, but it tends to get a little boring.

I only complaint with K-19 is that it moves at a slow pace, and with all sub-marine films there is no scenery,the musical score fantastic(I plan to purchase a copy of the score on CD to listen too in my car).

This movie was originally suggested to me by my father, and at first I thought it was going to be some boring, predictable film.

All in all, a gripping drama.

Once again, a compelling true story is measurably diminished by deviations from the truth and other dramatic shortcuts.

I kept waiting for something exciting to happen and then the credits rolled.

As the captain, Ford is rather dull; Neeson is a more animated and thoughtful figure; Peter Sarsgaard as the reactor officer is winning in a naive boyish way.

There's something about submarine movies, the claustrophobic feel that hints at certain doom if conditions go awry, that make them interesting and compelling.

Intense, scary, gripping -those scenes with the sailors in the reactor .

This is a tense and thrilling masterpiece, with 2 amazing performances from Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson!.

It was such a waste to see so much money invested into a film with an actor that didn't know what he was doing.

Compelling .

Here comes K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER, not the greatest film ever made, but still entertaining.

Long after Harrison Ford was Han Solo, he was Captain Alexi Vostrikov, and long before Liam Neeson was Brian Mills, Qui Gon Jin or Oskar Shindler, he was Captain Mikhail Potenin in "K-19: Widowmaker"For sown unknown reason I don't like submarine movies, I just find them slow moving and dull (That includes "The Hunt For Red October") "U571" is the only exception.

I thought it was a very good movie, very suspenseful and interesting.

Exciting, sad and provocative, this "inspired by events" movie was far better than I expected.

And the two guys' opposing traits are magnetically intriguing.

Good facts, but boring storytelling .

Polyenin's unexpected response somewhat redeemed this); and no sub captain would make a hot-dog deep dive and rapid surfacing in an untested boat, endangering his mission, boat, and crew.

Intense acting from the leads, and the entire cast, helps to lend gravity to the story.

Gripping story.

This film is exciting and all too realistic.

"K-19" was widely dismissed at the time of it's release - it's too slow moving to be a summer blockbuster, it was the latest in a stream of submarine pictures, and audiences could not swallow the slumping Harrison Ford as a Russian.

Certainly worth watching .

A Tense And Thrilling Masterpiece With 2 Amazing Performances From Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson .

George Wallace is governor of Alabama and the Soviet Russians have had enough of the American propaganda showing that every American has a car, every family has a house, and most people really have nice clothes.

starting to finish breathtaking ....

Kathryn Bigelow isn't known for choosing the best scripts, but this one is so predictable and tedious that only someone who has never seen a movie could conceivably enjoy it.

Harrison Ford is AMAZING as always, and is amazing here, he is extremely likable, intense, was extremely convincing, had excellent chemistry with Neeson,had a cool accent and was just amazing overall!

But the problem is that the movie's subject is not much appealing for American viewers, who from inside could find it just another boring and uninteresting submarine movie.

let us get a boring lead actor with another boring lead actor, put it in a boring script and submerge it in a boring setting.

I am reminded of the movie The Enemy Below where the basic humanity of the Germans is also shown in stark contrast to the propaganda view normally portrayed during the Second World War.

It's overly long, boring, extremely unpleasant to watch(I think the cast didn't have a fun time either) and in the end I felt robbed of two hours when I could spend one watching a K-19 documentary(which would without a doubt be more accurate and fun to watch) on the discovery channel.

When the core nuclear reactor gives way and the men are faced with the threat of death through radiation poisoning, the film becomes both a gripping suspense drama and a poignant study of fear, duty and heroism.

Intense .

Of course the more literal political dilemmas that arise later on in the film are equally fascinating.

Intense plot, excellent acting, and some stereotypes .

So I slept (could hardly fall asleep) and watched the remainder the next day (today), in the evening, and I so totally enjoyed it that can't help writing this review (I am not a big review- writer in general).

Good and intriguing film about an atomic submarine, though a bit monotonous and overlong .

If you want a a very intense film see K-19: The Widowmaker!

Both Ford and Neeson deliver excellent,forceful performances and while this is no Hunt for Red October,it's still an engrossing tale,tautly directed by Katherine Bigelow, that's still worth a few hours and a few bucks of your time.

Boring, why waste 80 million on this.