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K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER

 
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At Theaters: 7/19/2002 On Video: 12/10/2002
Rated: PG-13 Length: 2 hr. 6 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 439902
Studio: Paramount Pictures Corp.
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Notes: 
Storyline Heading
Captain Alexi Vostrikov is ordered to take over command of the nuclear missile submarine K-19, pride of the Soviet Navy. He was to prepare the K-19 for sea but problems with the K-19 arise that may lead to a core meltdown. In a daring act of heroism, Vostrikov must choose between his orders from the Kremlin and the lives of his men.

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DETAILED STORYLINE
.
Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama - This is NOT an action packed thriller from start to finish. The ads for it make it seem more thrilling than it actually is. It does have several very exciting moments, but it also has long periods of interaction between the crew and captain. The movie focuses on the men and how they come together to save each other. It gets pretty emotional several times. Even though it's not action packed I still believe action fans will not be disappointed.

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Cast and Crew Heading
Harrison Ford WHAT LIES BENEATH, RANDOM HEARTS
Liam Neeson GUN SHY, THE HAUNTING
Peter Sarsgaard THE CENTER OF THE WORLD, BOYS DON'T CRY
Dir/Prod: Kathryn Bigelow STRANGE DAYS
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Production Notes Heading
About The Production
Recreating History
The Real K-19 Disaster
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: One Hell is all the profanity.
SEX/NUDITY: Sailors butts are shown when mooning other sailors.
VIOLENCE: None
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some mild drinking at a going away party.
ACTION: Several great action scenes, but it's not an action movie.
COMEDY: Only a couple of mildly funny remarks.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Good

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

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Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Average "What's really needed is a story with some sizzle, but Bigelow, in ''K-19,'' can't seem to decide whether she's making a shoot-the-works underwater rouser, like ''U-571'' or ''Crimson Tide,'' or a lofty historical message movie that hits us with the breaking news that the arms race was, in every sense, a poisonous game.''

James Berardinelli, Internet Critic  Full Review
Good "K-19 will not go down in the annals of cinema as one of the great submarine stories, but it is an engaging and exciting narrative of Man confronting the Demons of his own fear and paranoia. This isn't so much a tale of the fight against nature, but the fight against a dangerous technology that is imperfectly harnessed and understood. It also causes us to reflect on the follies of human rivalry.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Good "K-19 draws out the suspense about as far as possible, and Bigelow, whose credits include "Point Break" and "Strange Days," is an expert technician who never steps wrong and is skilled at exploiting the personal qualities of Ford and Neeson to add another level of uncertainty.''

TV Guide Online  Full Review
Average "(The director) makes much of the difference between the leadership styles of the two fictitious captains — Vostrikov puts the Party before his men and faces a near mutiny — but the truly heartbreaking sacrifice of a few extraordinarily heroic men is lost under the ponderous score and a series of even heavier speeches.''

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 206 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M)
9
Very High
100%
13-19Teens (F)
6
High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
19
High
95%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
24
Very High
88%
30+Adults (M)
79
High
96%
30+Adults (F)
69
High
96%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

I believe my prediction below was correct. Most opinions are in the "Very Good" to "Excellent" range. There are actually more "Fantastic" opinions than I thought there would be, which is always good.

Also, as I predicted, there are a fair number of lower opinions of "Good" and "Fair." From the comments it appears the lower opinions may be due to the lack of non-stop action, which some may have been expecting.

Even though this is a submarine movie and should appeal more to the guys, the ladies actually enjoyed it more. This may be due to the fact that it's more of a human drama than an action movie and guys usually prefer action and the ladies usually prefer human drama. Even though there are some slightly low opinions I still HIGHLY RECOMMEND K-19! As long as you go in knowing it's not non-stop action.

Cinema Review Prediction: (before moviegoer opinions are collected)
This is an excellent movie, but it's not likely to be considered one of the great submarine movies of all time. The previews make it appear to be an action thriller and it is occasionally. But most of the time it's a tense drama of self sacrifice with several emotional moments. Still, I'll bet even hard core action fans will enjoy K-19.

I predict most adult moviegoers will be extremely pleased with K-19. Their opinions will probably be in the "Very Good" to "Excellent" range with a fair number of "Fantastic's." Because it's not exactly what the previews make it out to be there will likely be a few lower opinions of "Good" and "Fair."


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
Inspired by a true story, the film follows the heroism of Captain Alexei Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) who, at the height of the Cold War, is ordered to take command of the nuclear missile submarine K-19 away from its original commander Captain Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson). Vostrikov's mission is to quickly ready the ill-prepared sub for her maiden voyage -- no matter what the cost.

But Vostrikov, Polenin and K-19's loyal crew can never imagine all that is expected of them. Neither can they fathom what the price of failure might be for them and for the world when a nuclear reactor malfunctions, threatening a core meltdown and an explosion that will certainly kill all aboard. As they glide beneath the Arctic seas, it is the crew's collective bravery and Vostrikov's daring embrace of his duty toward his country and his men which will ultimately save K-19. . . and stave off what surely would have been a nuclear disaster.

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