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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling fun at its best!
Pure joy for fans of old fashioned sea adventure and entertaining, if stereotypical, peg-legged, eye-patched pirates shouting "Arr!", this movie does not pretend to be anything else than it is - great fun based on popular legends and beliefs rather than the facts on pirate lives. And so much the better! Non-stop action, fantastic score, breathtaking sceneries...
Published on October 22, 2000 by Mr Vess

versus
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Nearly as Bad as Everyone Made it Out to Be
Cutthroat Island may not be the best movie ever made, but I really feel that it was judged too harshly. The few who went to see it were expecting a serious, melodramatic action/adventure. When that wasn't presented, it was deemed a dismal failure. The advertising might be to blame for this, but whatever the reason, this film has to be taken with a grain of salt. I could...
Published on May 22, 2002


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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling fun at its best!, October 22, 2000
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This review is from: Cutthroat Island (DVD)
Pure joy for fans of old fashioned sea adventure and entertaining, if stereotypical, peg-legged, eye-patched pirates shouting "Arr!", this movie does not pretend to be anything else than it is - great fun based on popular legends and beliefs rather than the facts on pirate lives. And so much the better! Non-stop action, fantastic score, breathtaking sceneries and props, adequately fun script, and, yes, even good acting (to my surprise, Geena Davis actually managed to deliver a good performance!). Frank Langella is almost as good a pirate as Walter Matthau was in Roman Polanski's equally underrated pirate classic. Hearing various bad comments about the movie, I had low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised to find out that the bad reviews and comments were simply unfair. Apparently, critics these days follow one another in "their" opinions rather than actually watching the movies, and people are looking for violence and blood of "Dobermann" kind rather than simply entertaining if unrealistic movies like "Cutthroat Island" (actually, the movie seems to have been researched quite nicely - it's the first time I've seen Hollywood use actual "squad" wine bottles in a pirate movie instead of modern-shaped ones!)
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great swashbuckling fun!, September 14, 2001
By 
D. Roberts "Hadrian12" (Battle Creek, Michigan United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cutthroat Island (DVD)
This film features everything a good pirate flick should: stormy seas, a spectacular naval battle, a sexy pirate captain (Geena Davis) and buried treasure complete with a treasure map written in latin (the preferred language of pirates).
This is one of the few times I've seen Davis in a leading role; normally, she is a supporting actress. She pulls it off quite well, although in a couple of scenes her acting is a bit wooden. Frank Langella stands out as an old-salt, ruthless pirate while Matthew Modine is great as the movie's comic relief.
What really makes this movie worth buying, tho, is just how well done it is. The 17th century sets are lavish - you feel as tho you are back in the period in which the movie takes place. The soundtrack is riveting, and I found the sound of the DVD quite excellent. Not sure if they did anything different than they do with other DVDs, but it sure seemed like the audio was a notch above most DVDs - esp in the storm sequence.
This is the kind of movie that critics make a living off of by slamming. What does this mean for the rest of us? Why, it means that it's a fun time to be had by all! And may the movie critics goto Davy Jones locker...
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun for a rather mediocre movie, January 8, 2002
By 
Matthew S. Schweitzer "zohoe" (Columbus, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cutthroat Island (DVD)
Cutthroat Island is not a great movie by any means. But it is a lot of fun if you enjoy pirate treasure, sea battles, sword fighting, a great soundtrack, and wonderful period costumes. The script is pretty weak and much of the acting is wooden. Worse yet, it seems that no one learned anything from Errol Flynn's The Sea Hawk because they once again include a rather annoying monkey as comedy relief. But what they do right is what makes this movie worth watching. The film wonderfully recreates the 17th century Caribbean world of the pirates and is probably the most realistic looking realization of this time and place to date. The actual portrayal of the pirates themselves owes more to "Treasure Island" and "Peter Pan" than "The American Sea Rovers", but there is definately something compelling in the romantic myth of the golden age of piracy. The pirate movie has suffered in recent years and Cutthroat will probably do nothing to revive it, which is really a shame as they, like the western and sci-fi adventure, are the best incarnations of modern myth to be found today.
The story revolves around the quest of Captain Morgan Adams, the sexy yet honorable pirate queen, to avenge her father's murder and outwit her evil pirate nemesis and fratricidal uncle, Captain "Dawg" (who makes these names up?). Taking command of her late father's ship and now in possession of part of a map to locate her father's lost treasure, Morgan sets out to win the vast riches for her and her hardy crew. On the way she engages the services of the roguish "Doctor" Shaw, manages to obtain the remaining pieces of the map, then goes on to brave mutinies, betrayals, storms at sea, exploding cannonballs, bad dialogue, and cliched bad guys in a worthwhle romp through an era gone by, when men and women sailed tall wooden ships, killed many people for profit, and drank themselves into oblivion on the high seas.
I gave Cutthroat Island one more star than it probably really deserves simply for being a really guilty pleasure. So grab your bottle of rum and cold steel cutlass and check it out!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Nearly as Bad as Everyone Made it Out to Be, May 22, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Cutthroat Island (DVD)
Cutthroat Island may not be the best movie ever made, but I really feel that it was judged too harshly. The few who went to see it were expecting a serious, melodramatic action/adventure. When that wasn't presented, it was deemed a dismal failure. The advertising might be to blame for this, but whatever the reason, this film has to be taken with a grain of salt. I could tell from the start that it wasn't meant to be taken all that seriously; it was more of a tongue and cheek endeavor. The screenplay clearly shows a sense of humor, and personally, I thought it worked well.

In addition, it should be noted that it has an impressive number of action scenes that are quite entertaining, and despite what the critics may have said, there is a solid storyline. I never once felt that the story was lacking, and it remains true to the spirit of pirate films. While there are details that make the story unique, the basic structure is typical: a dueling group of pirates on a treasure hunt. That leads me to this question: Why did people think it would be totally different? If you're going to see a pirate film, expect to see swordfights, sailing ships, and a treasure hunt.

If nothing else attracts you to this film, you should see it just to hear the music. The soundtrack, composed by John Debney, is wonderfully lush and exciting. Each note brings the film to life if only a little bit more, and it really conveys a swashbuckling theme. There have been so many soundtracks that have failed to highlight the tone of the films they were scored for; this is not one of them.

If there are any drawbacks, I guess it would be that in some scenes the acting is not what one would call "superb." But, there are only a few moments like that, and the other scenes make up for them. And as I said, this film is not meant to be taken too seriously. If you have the correct mindset, the few moments of poor acting can easily be forgiven.

I have definitely seen worse movies than Cutthroat Island. I think people should lighten up and not be so critical. Not everything is hilarious, but not everything is depressing either. Give this film another chance and make sure it gets the recognition it deserves as a fun-filled, enjoyable, swashbuckling, high-seas adventure.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best in film score history . . . ., May 4, 2005
This review is from: Cutthroat Island (Audio CD)
...but widely ignored. Some have said that The Passion of the Christ established John Debney as a force to reckon with in the drama score category. What about action? The guy is only hired to do comedy and very few action films. CutThroat Island is an epic score, the only one I know John Debney has done. The film was a disaster at the box office. Had it been a success, maybe John Debney would have two oscar nominations counts instead of one.

In the single disc version, one gets about 71 minutes of music. From "Main Titles" to "end credits" John Debney keeps your ears happy and your room shaking - depending on your speakers' volume level.

The main title of the score is one that will stay in your mind for a long time. Its repeated in most of the tracks on the album and it never gets tiring. It starts off with low brass before the strings swell the music into a loud fanfare.

There are a few other themes in the album. Track 3: The Language of Romance introduces the beautiful love theme played by the flute. Another theme used three times in this album is a cue for a victorious moment. The militaristic cue is introduced at the end of track 6 and given steriods for the triumphant finale in track 18. The last track is basically a suite of the main themes of the album - as it should be. Overall, great soundtrack.

[COMPLETE SCORE REVIEW]

If 71 minutes isn't enough, not to worry. The COMPLETE SCORE was released on 2 CD late March [...]. This version contains over 2 hours of music!

The second CD contains Track 17 and 18 of the single disc version. I have never seen the movie so I didn't know how long the action sequence lasted. Tracks 17 and 18 of the single disc version are added to one very long track - over 17 minutes! - to make probably the greatest single action, epic piece ever written! Track 8 of CD 2: "The Battle/To Dawg's Ship/Morgan Battles Dawg/Dawg's Demise/The Triumph." You have to listen to this track to truly understand why I won't be able to shut up about it. The second disc also includes 5 bonus tracks, some of them are alternate versions of some of the original cues (e.g. without choir).

This is an incredible score and a must have for anyone that truly appreciates musical art. (Oscar, how did you ignore this one?) Buy it. Buy both versions. They will undoubtly be worth more in the future. You won't be disappointed! CutThroat Island is truly a masterpiece!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A swashbuckling pirates tale!, August 7, 2002
By 
This review is from: Cutthroat Island (DVD)
When the piratess Morgan Adams (Geena Davis) loses her father, she becomes captain of his ship and crew. As her first act as captain, she decides to search for the treasure on Cutthroat Island. But the actual map for Cutthroat Island is in three pieces, one of which she got from her father. The other two are with her uncles, the cowardly Mordachai (George Murcell) and the evil Dawg Brown (Frank Langella). So Morgan, with the help of her crew and the somewhat untrustworthy thief, William Shaw (Matthew Modine), she sets off to take all the maps and find the treasure of Cutthroat Island.
A very entertaining movie filled with action, adventure, and piracy on the high seas, "Cutthroat Island" is a pure adventure movie. The plot is pretty mediocre, allowing as much action and suspense to be put in the story. It's your typical pirate story though, pirates must find, understand, and figure out the map leading to a mysterious island with hidden treasure of unthinkable riches. But throwing in a tough, hard-bitten, and beautiful piratess was a pretty nice touch, including a thief to provide some comic relief.
Geena Davis surprises me again with her talent in being able to play many different roles from a ghost in "Beetlejuice", a baseball player in "A League of Their Own", a mother full of heart in the Stuart Little movies, and now a piratess in "Cutthroat Island". She gets to give plenty of punches plus handle the cutlass with ease as she fights pirates, the military, and her uncle. She's definitely very cool! As for Matthew Modine, I had never seen him in any movies before but I found him astoundingly funny though he gets plenty of action. He in a way reminds me of Cary Elwes as Wesley in "The Princess Bride" with his sarcastic humor and boundless enthusiasm. Oh, it was also a special treat to see the young and sweet Christopher Masterson as Bowen. Though his role was small, he was excellent as a cabin boy with his obvious admiration and loyalty to his captain. He's probably more known as Chris Masterson, starring in "Dragonheart: A New Beginning" and also starring in the series, "Malcom in the Middle".
So if you're in the mood for a movie with giving off lots of action, energy, suspense, and swashbuckling, make time to watch "Cutthroat Island". Rated PG-13 for the action and fighting and also for some innuendo.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compare this one to that Jonny Depp movie., May 22, 2005
By 
Matthew Wynn (Beaverton, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cutthroat Island (DVD)
Do you ever notice how when people talk about Pirates of the Carribean, they'll say that it was VASTLY superior to Cutthraot Island? I dare anybody to take those two movies and watch them back-to-back... then tell me what made POTC the superior film aside from the fact that the critics told them it was okay to like and Cutthroat Island okay to bash. As pirate movies go, there are a lot of similarities between them all, when they were made and the quality of effects seem to be the distinguishing factor. I was unimpressed with POTC (not so much bad as just highly overrated), I actually thought that Cutthroat Island was an alright movie when it was released(not GREAT, but enjoyable). Most of the naysayers saw the movie around the time when it first came out, but this movie was a little ahead of its time. I'm not saying that it was revolutionary, but keep in mind, 1995 was before the popularity of the Tomb Raiders and the Alias', basically before the widespread acceptance of female action leading roles and thus an easy target of ridicule.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally A Non-Stereotypical Female Lead!, February 28, 2000
By 
"jazelle" (Moline, Illinois) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cutthroat Island [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I thought this movie was great. Matthew Modine needs a few more acting classes but other then that I loved it. I really liked that Morgan Adams(Geena Davis) was a brave and capable pirate. Normally women are limited to prostitute and housewive roles if there are any woman at all in a movie. Frank Langella as Dog was incredible! The action sequences were sweeping and beautiful. I definatly recommend this movie.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Love...who can explain it?", February 14, 2005
By 
This review is from: Cutthroat Island (DVD)
I'm not sure if it's still true, but at one time Cutthroat Island was considered biggest box-office loss of all time. Sometimes when a film isn't a success the reasons why are obvious. Sometimes a film comes out at the wrong time. Sometimes a film is too radical to have mainstream appeal. And sometimes...I have absolutely no idea why a film isn't a success.

This film is a great movie in the modern sense. By that I mean that the dialog is cheesy, the plot is predictable, the characters are lovable and the budget is massive. In some movies you wonder where all the money for the special effects went. Not this time. In this spectacle of celluloid you will witness the destruction of entire towns, and see a ship literally blown into toothpick-size pieces! As you would hope for, there is a ton of action-filled sword-fights and silly romance as well.

With awesome sound effects, a rousing musical score, and lavish cinematography, perhaps the real deciding factor in a person's feeling of love or hate toward this one will be Geena Davis' portrayal of the Mogan Adams, possibly the toughest female ever to sail across the silver screen. Visibly doing most of her own stunts (some of which look incredibly dangerous, if not outright painful), pretty much all of the drama, comedy, romance, and action is centered on her. Personally, I find her performance charming and her stunt-work through the numerous action sequences inspiring.

I think everyone should see this film at least once, if only for the stunts, explosions, sword-fights, and wonderfully cheesy dialog. Pirate movie fanatics should order a copy immediately and prepare to set sail!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're in the mood for a Pirate Movie.... this is it!, October 14, 2005
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This review is from: Cutthroat Island (DVD)
I love this movie.

Geena Davis is great as an action hero, (here and in "The Long Kiss Goodnight) I love the whole corny Pirate story, just like in "Pirates of the Caribbean , only when this was made it seemed everyone (critics) thought it wasn't cool enough to make a pirate movie, and that a woman wasn't a credible action hero. My, how times have changed in ten years. This is a fun movie... it is not meant to change your life, just a fun Pirate movie. I could use more movies like that.
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Cutthroat Island
Cutthroat Island by Renny Harlin (DVD - 2007)
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