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Black Sea Blu-ray Review

Black Sea 3D packshotDirector: Kevin Macdonald

Starring: Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, David Threlfall, Michael Smiley, Grigory Dobrygin, Jodie Whittaker

Certificate: 15

Extras: A Dive into the Black Sea, Feature commentary with Kevin Macdonald

From the initial opening sequence and just hearing the words ‘Nazi gold’ and ‘submarine’, I figured we’d be settling down to a war-time underwater drama but BLACK SEA actually offers up an intense thriller with a sterling cast that’s set in the modern day and it’s refreshingly unique.

After submarine Captain Robinson (Jude Law) is given redundancy by the salvage company he’s worked for 11 years, he learns from a laid-off friend that an old Nazi U-boat is sat at the bottom of the Black Sea with rumoured gold sat inside it’s rusting body. He gathers a team of rag-tag men from across the world – that have a very specific skill set – and then they dive deep into the depths but along the way both the situation, and an on-board sociopath, means a fight for survival is on.

You can feel the slight ripples of the Neeson era, like NON-STOP and TAKEN, as those thrillers have been more impressive than you initially expect. There’s certainly more than a few twists and turns along the way but BLACK SEA is very precise and has an edge over the others with it’s own claustrophobic nature that gives it a distinctive intensity.

It’s encouraging to see Jude Law taking on a different kind of role and, quite frankly, nailing it and not with the worst Scottish accent in the world either. He makes for a good angry action man and alongside a cast of the some of the best character actors around including Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, David Threlfall, Michael Smiley AND Grigory Dobrygin – plus a little cameo from Jodie Whittaker – as they make for an easily watch-able collection of misfits.

It’s worth nothing that when they’re outside the sub, alongside the wonderful camera work throughout, the underwater cinematography is minimal but, most significantly, believable. I recalled ALIEN with the close-up shots as they investigate the unknown and although there are no facehuggers coming to get you, it’s remarkable that they manage to keep the tightness and focus throughout and still hold the authenticity.

BLACK SEA is a powerful, concentrated thriller as director Kevin Macdonald takes us down into the dark, tests every character under extreme pressure and is absolutely worth a watch.

[usr=4] BLACK SEA is available on Blu-ray and DVD now from Universal. 


Dan loves writing, film, music and photography. Originally from Devon, he did London for 4 years and now resides in Exeter. He also has a mild obsession with squirrels and cake. The latter being more of a hobby. Favourite movies include HIGH FIDELITY, ALMOST FAMOUS, ROXANNE, GOOD WILL HUNTING, JURASSIC PARK, too many Steve Martin films and Nolan's BATMAN universe. He can also be found on

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