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"U-571"
(2000) (Matthew McConaughey, Harvey Keitel) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild *Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Minor Extreme None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Minor None Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: After capturing a German U-boat during WWII, a small team of American sailors find themselves stuck on the partially disabled submarine and must then face perilous encounters with various German military vessels.
PLOT:
It's 1942 and the crew of the S-33, a vintage WWI submarine is called back from shore leave. It seems that a German U-boat has been crippled in the North Atlantic and the U.S. Navy wants to intercept it and find her top-secret encryption device that has enabled German forces to communicate without American eavesdroppers deciphering their messages.

Commanding the S-33, which is now being retrofitted to look like another U-boat so that the crew can safely approach the mostly disabled German sub, is Lt. Commander Mike Dahlgren (BILL PAXTON) and his executive officer, Lt. Andrew Tyler (MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY). He's not happy with the CO who's just thwarted Tyler's hopes of commanding his own vessel under the assumption that Tyler's not prepared to make the tough decisions such a commander must make.

Nonetheless, Tyler knows his duties and thus joins fellow officers Lt. Pete Emmett (JON BON JOVI) and Ensign Larson (MATTHEW SETTLE) in getting the enlisted men, including Chief Klough (HARVEY KEITEL), radioman Wentz (JACK NOSEWORTHY), the cook Eddie (T.C. CARSON), Trigger (THOMAS GUIRY), Mazzola (ERIK PALLADINO), Tank (DAVE POWER), Griggs (DERK CHEETWOOD) and Rabbit (WILL ESTES) on board and ready for action.

Despite Dahlgren being the CO, the mission is under the command of Lt. Hirsch (JAKE WEBER) and his assistant, Marine Major Coonan (David Keith). They brief the officers about the plan's mission of finding the U-boat, boarding her as disguised German sailors, taking prisoners and obtaining the encryption device.

Things, of course, go horribly wrong when the plan is enacted, with the S-33 being destroyed and most of the American and German sailors being killed. From that point on, Tyler, Klough and a small handful of the remaining crew take control of the partially disabled U-boat and must then contend with several perilous encounters with various German military vessels.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into highly charged action/adventure films, WWII stories, or are fans of someone in the cast, they very well may want to see it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For war violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY plays the sub's executive officer who finds his mettle tested when he must assume command of an enemy sub and use his wits and knowledge to save himself and his crew. He smokes a few times.
  • BILL PAXTON plays the sub's initial commander who doesn't believe Tyler has what it takes to be such a commander.
  • HARVEY KEITEL plays Tyler's right-hand man, the stern sub Chief who keeps the other enlisted men in line.
  • JAKE WEBER plays a government operative who overseas the mission and then freezes under pressure, but eventually proves his worth later in the story.
  • DAVE POWER plays the engineer who tries to keep the U-boat running by fixing its assortment of problems in a short amount of time.
  • T.C. CARSON plays the sub's cook who joins in running the ship once the initial mission goes awry.
  • JON BON JOVI plays another officer onboard the sub.
  • JACK NOSEWORTHY plays the sub's radioman.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief look at the content found in this PG-13 rated, action/adventure film. Being a story set in WWII and focusing on submarine crews battling each other and sinking other vessels, the film is filled with an extreme amount of violence (many people are killed in various fashions and navy vessels are destroyed), but little of it's graphic or bloody (as compared to say, "Saving Private Ryan").

    A great deal of it, however, is suspenseful and may be tense (in an adventurous sense) to some/many viewers. Since it's set in wartime, the opposing sides obviously have extreme cases of bad attitudes toward each other. Profanity is rated as moderate due to more than 10 "s" words being used, along with other profanities and colorful phrases.

    Beyond that, some drinking and smoking occur, as do a few non-explicit sexually related comments. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Sailors and others, including Klough and Tyler, drink champagne, beer, cocktails, or straight liquor at a reception.
  • Dahlgren and others make a toast with some sort of beverage, but it's unclear whether it's alcoholic or not.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see several dead people on board a sub.
  • We see some blood on several dead sailors' shirts after they've been shot.
  • A man's face is a bit torn up while we see him floating in the water.
  • A man has some blood from his nose after being attacked.
  • A man's shirt is bloody after he's been shot and another man has some blood come from his mouth.
  • We see a dead body floating upward through the water.
  • Several sailors have some bloody scrapes on them.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Being set during WWII, there are naturally bad attitudes among the opposing forces toward each other.
  • The German U-boat commander orders one of his men to fire a machine gun into a boat of unarmed people who want to surrender to them (he does so because they're ordered not to take prisoners and letting them go would allow them to give away the U-boat's location).
  • Some of the American sailors don't give Tyler the respect he deserves as their commander and/or second-guess his orders.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A German U-boat and its crew try to hide from the destroyer above them that's dropping depth charges at them (in a several minute sequence that is quite suspenseful). The resulting explosions also cause damage inside the sub (including a person being engulfed in flames) and many tense moments for the crew.
  • The German commander orders one of his men to open fire on a boat of unarmed survivors in a small boat who are surrendering to them.
  • Tensions rise as the Americans row over to the disabled U-boat disguised as Germans, hoping not to be detected.
  • After a gun battle at night on the sea, the American forces slowly make their way through the German sub, looking for the enemy and occasionally having encounters with them.
  • The Americans must take the partially disabled German sub, submerge it and then avoid another German sub that's after it (in another action-oriented tense/suspenseful scene), as well as the torpedoes fired at it.
  • As a German fighter circles and then appears to be set up for a strafing run on them, the crew must decide whether to shoot at it or hope that the pilot falls for their ruse of pretending to be Germans.
  • The crew must contend with a small boat of Germans who approach them from a destroyer and must then dive under the water as the destroyer shoots at them.
  • The crew anxiously waits as many depth charges explode around them. They then dive deeper and deeper, until they reach and then pass a dangerous depth where they could implode. The submarine then begins to spring some serious leaks and begins sinking deeper into the ocean. (This is another tense and suspenseful scene that goes on for several minutes).
  • A sailor has to dive under a flooded compartment of the sub to find an air leak.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Torpedoes/Depth Charges/Machine Guns/Handguns/Grenades: Used to destroy other vessels and/or kill various people.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sh*t-canned," "Holy sh*t," "Crapping" (in subtitles), "Bastards" and "Piss."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A German sailor lunges out at Tyler.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 14 "s" words, 1 slang term for breasts ("t*t"), 12 hells, 4 damns, 4 S.O.B.s, 2 asses (1 in subtitles), 2 craps (1 in subtitles as "crapping"), 14 uses of "G-damn," and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "Jesus," "Jesus H. Christ" and "Mary, mother of God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Called back from shore leave and his wedding, a sailor complains that they didn't give him five minutes "to consummate my marriage."
  • A sailor briefly talks about some woman being "hotter" than several famous women, that he could tell "she was interested" (presumably in sex, although that's only suggested) and that he used the fact that he was going to be in a submarine (after telling her another similar vessel imploded under too much depth) presumably to make her more interested in him.
  • The Americans act like Germans while nearing their sub, telling them that they've brought pornography and dirty letters with them (neither seen nor read).
  • SMOKING
  • Tyler smokes a few times (and a man gives him a cigar that he doesn't smoke), while Eddie smokes once and various other sailors also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • WWII and service on submarines.
  • How Tyler didn't allow his initial promotional disappointment affect his ability to serve and then later prove his worth.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A German U-boat fires a torpedo that strikes and destroys a ship (we don't see the impact but do see the resulting fireball and damage).
  • Depth charges explode near a submarine, eventually damaging it and causing mayhem inside, including a sailor catching on fire.
  • A German sailor opens fire on a boatload of unarmed people with a machine gun, killing all of them (we mostly see the man firing the machine gun and a brief view from some distance of the bullets hitting or hitting near the boat).
  • American and German forces fire upon one another with machine guns, resulting in many people being killed. Other than a little blood running from one person's mouth, it's a relatively bloodless encounter.
  • The Americans shoot a machine gun down inside the German sub and then drop a grenade that explodes (we don't see the interior view). More people are then shot inside the sub.
  • A torpedo hits a submarine and blows it up, eventually sinking it and killing many people (many inside it, others from the explosion and some who drown).
  • A torpedo hits another submarine and destroys it underwater, presumably killing all onboard it.
  • Klough grabs a sailor who's being disrespectful to Tyler and his command.
  • Tyler punches a sailor for giving orders that were counter to his and was thus risking the crew's lives.
  • A handcuffed German prisoner hits and kicks an American sailor several times.
  • A man shoots another man several times. The two then struggle with the wounded man trying to strangle his attacker. We hear another shot and then see that the second man has apparently shot the first, although he dies from his initial wounds.
  • The Americans fire a shot that destroys part of a destroyer and catches it on fire. The destroyer then fires at the submarine and drops depth charges toward it as the sub dives below the surface.
  • Many depth charges explode all around a submarine.
  • A man hits another man with a wrench (or similar metal piping).
  • A destroyer opens fire on a submarine.
  • A torpedo destroys a large ship, presumably killing everyone on board.



  • Reviewed April 11, 2000 / Posted April 21, 2000

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