Customer Reviews


507 Reviews
5 star:
 (172)
4 star:
 (138)
3 star:
 (55)
2 star:
 (41)
1 star:
 (101)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full Speed Ahead --- Truly Entertaining Flick!
Okay, so "U-571" may not be historically correct and perhaps it can't hold a torpedo to "Das Boot", but it's still a darn good piece of entertainment. In a summer full of big screen washouts, this riveting World War II drama gave me my money's worth. The sets -- mostly the interiors of US & German submarines -- were fantastic. I truly felt the...
Published on December 5, 2000 by paperbackriter

versus
91 of 106 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars See it for the action and effects
Jonathan Mostow, who so successfully created an atmosphere of tension and suspense in Breakdown, does the same fine work here in U-571. In this film, Matthew McConaughey leads a team of naval officers to steal a German encoder known as the Enigma. They take over a German sub, and attempt to finish their mission, when major problems ensue. (don't want to give anything...
Published on September 29, 2000 by Michael Dyckman


‹ Previous | 1 251 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full Speed Ahead --- Truly Entertaining Flick!, December 5, 2000
This review is from: U-571 (Collector's Edition) (DVD)
Okay, so "U-571" may not be historically correct and perhaps it can't hold a torpedo to "Das Boot", but it's still a darn good piece of entertainment. In a summer full of big screen washouts, this riveting World War II drama gave me my money's worth. The sets -- mostly the interiors of US & German submarines -- were fantastic. I truly felt the sense of dread and claustrophobia of living in a dark, cramped vessel that could be blown to bits at any time. The mission to capture the Enigma coding device aboard a German U-Boat may not have been true, but it sure was riveting. Of course, the mission doesn't go as planned and that sets up some very interesting scenarios. Especially dramatic is the scene where the submarine is being depth-charged by the German destroyer. Again, I don't care if the scene was accurate or not, I just know the intensity and suspense nearly killed me. True, some of the characters were stiff (mainly Bill Paxton) and some of the digital effects left something to be desired but, overall "U-571" is a satisfying action/war movie. The widescreen DVD print looks terrific. The sound effects are great --- loud and explosive, just as they should be. Also, the DVD edition is loaded with extra goodies such as a "Making Of" documentary, interviews with actual WWII submariners, and a feature length audio commentary. Overall a solid addition to any action fan's DVD library.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


91 of 106 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars See it for the action and effects, September 29, 2000
By 
Michael Dyckman (West Orange, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: U-571 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Jonathan Mostow, who so successfully created an atmosphere of tension and suspense in Breakdown, does the same fine work here in U-571. In this film, Matthew McConaughey leads a team of naval officers to steal a German encoder known as the Enigma. They take over a German sub, and attempt to finish their mission, when major problems ensue. (don't want to give anything away)
The best part of this movie is the effects and the tension that it created within the submarine. The special effects are amazing, the camera work is terrific as you feel the dizzy, claustrophobic sense of tension aboard this ship. That being said, it's the type of movie where you only realize afterwards what was missing.
First, there are problems of historical accuracy: Although the end credits thank the real Navy efforts to steal the German encoders during the War, it was the British, and never the American Navy, who were involved. This isn't a terrible thing, but it's crediting the wrong people. There are a number of other plot holes as well.
Second is the acting. With several exceptions, most notably McConaghey's solid performance, there is some bad casting and dry acting. Harvey Keitel ? He is listed as Chief Klough, but then why does he report to McConaughey's Lt. Tyler ? Bill Paxton is wooden, and Erik Palladino whines through his role and is annoying.
The suspense and effects are great, and it makes for a good `popcorn' movie, but U-571 could have been better.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best submarine movie since "Das Boot", August 15, 2000
By 
This review is from: U-571 (Collector's Edition) (DVD)
"U-571" is a fairly well thought out, well acted and scripted movie. It's quite gripping and has plenty of action but also explores the human side of submarines. If you have seen the classic Wolfgang Petersen film "Das Boot," the based upon a true story of a German U-boat in WWII during a war patrol and the trials and tribulations the crew experiences while underway, you will more than likely enjoy "U-571." Highly recommended, even if the historical points are quite flawed. On an up note, at the final credits, the director does give credit where credit is due and names the submarines, both British and American, that actually did capture the Enigma devices, which was a turning point in the Atlantic battle against the German U-boat fleet.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great WWII Adventure, August 23, 2000
This review is from: U-571 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
These vessels -- manned by some of the bravest sailors in WWII-- were the backbone of Germany's naval campaigns. During WWII, German U-Boats sank over 14 million tons worth of merchant men craft. They also sent 2 battleships and 3 aircraft carriers to Davey Jones's locker. Why, even the English aircraft carrier, Royal Oak; which played a predominant role in sinking the Bismark, met its fate at the hands of a valiant U-Boat crew! In his memoirs, Sir Winston Churchill even admitted that the U-Boat situation in the Atlantic Ocean greatly troubled him.
This is the back drop of this story. In its 1942. German U-boats are reeking havoc in the Atlantic; thereby crippling the allied war efforts in Europe. England, an island nation, is on the verge of being starved out of the war.
To counter this enormous problem, the allies devise a scheme to capture a German decoding machine along with supporting documentation off a German submarine. This prize would give the allies an advantage; it would tell them where the German U-Boat wolfpacks were operating. To capture one of these enigma machines, an elite submariner commando task force was assembled. This commando task force accomplished its mission. Unfortunately, while executing the mission, their own submarine is torpedoed. They now find themselves trapped on a German U-Boat -- where everything is in metrics and written in German.
This film gives you plenty of "edge-of-your-seat" suspense. The allied crew now find themselves in a strange -- but very real -- "parallel universe." Enemy vessels are now "friendly." Allied vessels -- such as destroyers -- are now deadly adversaries.
I know that comparisons with the film "Das Boat" are inevitable. However, please Don't get wrapped around that axle. "Das Boat" is a great [anti-war] movie that accurately portrays life on board a German U-Boat during the latter years of WWII. U-571 is not intended to be "accurate" or "realistic." It is intended to be a good, old-fashioned, suspense-filled WWII submarine flick -- which, it is.
This is a great action-suspense film that you'll enjoy. There will definitely be no "snooring" during this film. Definitely worth watching more than once.
As an epilogue, many vessels in the German U-Boat fleet met with watery deaths. After the allies captured the decoding machine, swift Hunter-Killer anti-submarine surface vessels found German submarines and sank them. By the end of the war, over half of the sailors that served on German U-Boats never made it back home. This is worth remembering while watching this film. END
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


103 of 133 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars U-571, What Hollywood has Become, September 30, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: U-571 (Collector's Edition) (DVD)
U-571 has tremendous special effects, but so do millions of other movies. Know what else millions of other movies have? Weak plot, weak characterization, bad acting. Know what U-571 has? The same. It's true this film is griping, and it does keep you on the edge of your seat, but other that than there's not much else going for it. Like so many other movies U-571 relies on special effects to keep it afloat, which is why in the end it survived.
It was a good story, unfortunately they rushed to get it out, slapped in some dialoge, composited some special effects, and hired Bill Paxton. Fun to watch if you've got time to waste.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


96 of 124 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well made movie, but rather unrealistic..., September 19, 2000
This review is from: U-571 (Collector's Edition) (DVD)
The movie "U571" is a well made movie. Nice pictures, very good sound.
But the point, which I critize, is, that the film is rather unrealistic. Think about the American soldiers, who learn how to use an alien ship during a fight. Moreover they are able to repair the boat and to destroy a large battle ship with only one shot.
At least, as some of other writers already said, hollywood changes historical facts for a better selling in the USA. And that should nobody do, especially with such a special topic like the World War 2.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


106 of 138 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An absolute travesty!, September 23, 2000
By 
D. Coles "S. Coles" (Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: U-571 (Collector's Edition) (DVD)
I had reasonable hopes for U-571, and while I usually never pre-judge a movie, I had a suspicion that no naval film could ever be as good as Das Boot. Sadly, this proved to be true. Sure, it was well made, but aren't most movies these days? I found it boring, implausible and just plain bad. (Don't read further if you haven't seen it and want to decide for yourself) Certain elements of the plot (if this movie could be said to have one) are exaggerated, wrong, or unlikely. Firstly, we all know about the fact the the British were the first ever Allied troops to use a German sub to capture Enigma. The captions at the end of U-571 that reveal this fact, and many others, seems like an admission to failure if ever I saw one. Second, the badly damaged German sub commandeered by the Americans manages to sink a German destroyer: with one torpedo shot. Visual effects show the ship practically vaporizing in one second! Now, correct me If I'm wrong: but surely one torpedo would merely hole the ship, letting it sink slowly. Even if it hit a weapons magazine, I doubt the whole ship would blow up in so violent a manner. Also, the fact that the Germans even had a destroyer in the film is dubious: Germans never made wide use of Destroyers in WWII. And the fact that they just happen to have depth charges ready to deploy is unlikely: why would they need to attack Submarines, since they just about held the monopoly on Submarine Warfare in 1942. And the ship had a distncly un-warship like appearance: sort of dumpy like a converted trawler.
Overall, U-571 was the worst war movie I've ever seen. It lookd to be a hastily thrown-together film that hs no respect for detail, history, military hardware and story-telling.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


54 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Idiotic Garbage, May 9, 2004
By 
This review is from: U-571 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
U571 is perhaps the most absurd war film I have ever seen. Nothing about this film is believable. IT starts out with the absurd proposition that a German sub captain and crew stood by while approached by the crew of an American sub posing as another German crew. The Germans would have made radio or semaphore contact- not to mention the fact that the Germans could see the American sub and did not notice that it was American, not German. OK, it was raining, but then another German sub comes along, sees the two subs, recognizes which one is American, and torpedoes it. Apparently the other Germans were better at sub recognition.
Then a few Americans on the captured German sub take a 4 second lesson in German sub operation and proceed to destroy the other German sub- amazing! They encounter a German plane over the Atlantic. One of the American seamen orders another to shoot it down AGIANST THE ORDERS OF AN OFFICER WHO IS STANDING RIGHT THERE. The officer does nothing to this seaman. On Das Boot, the Captain almost shoots a crewman who panics. Who could believe US officers to be so easy going?
The American controlled sub approaches a German surface vessel, where the plane comes from. Once again, the Germans don't bother with radio or semaphore contact. The American man their deck gun while the Germans sit idly by, and get their radio shot out. Apparently German warships only had 1 radio during WW2, because now they cannot tell that one of their subs has been captured. If that is not all idiotic enough, remember that this has to be some time in 1943- what is a German cruiser doing out in the Atlantic in broad daylight that late in the war?
A German prisoner overpowers one of the Americans on 571 and gets his 45. Another superhuman American charges him, gets shot, but keeps on going and gets the German. Isn't it funny how Germans drop when shot but Americans keep right on going? Earlier in the film, when the Americans board U571, most of the Germans hide in the engine room and cower when the Americans enter. Fact is that the German U Boat crews were chosen for their nerve. Theirs was the most elite service in German military of WW2, but in this movie they are mostly spineless cowards.
I did not see the rest of this film, because it was just getting too stupid to be entertaining. One might point out that this in not a historical documentary, its supposed to be entertaining, but how can something so blatantly idiotic be entertaining? This film is worse than Holywood propaganda films during the war. Not only does it portray the enemy as incompetent idiots or cowards and the Americans as superheroes, it has numerous historical inaccuracies. War films do not have to be 100% accurate, but they cannot be completely unbelievable and still be entertaining. This film should have been made as a spoof or not at all. As a serious film it is pathetic and a waste of time. I want the producers to pay me for the time I wasted watching their idiotic garbage.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


39 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Revisionism at its worst, January 14, 2002
By 
"arvsood" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: U-571 (Collector's Edition) (DVD)
I was given this as a present as most of my friends knew my fascination with naval history - especially WWII. By chance, I had just finished reading an account of the capture of the Enigma from U110 in May 1941 (a very hazardous boarding led by Sub Lt David Balme from HMS Bulldog). I was aware the film was only loosely based on these events but I as I watched I realised that any enjoyment I would have got from the film was totally ruined by the building resentment that Hollywood had totally rewritten the story to give its core audience (the American public) home grown heroes to cheer. Nothing wrong with that you might think - but why not choose any one of the many heroic feats of arms performed by the USN - esp in the Pacific Theater - where there would not be the need to take credit away from some very brave men and there would also be the opportunity to educate the public about the real sacrifices made on our behalf 60 years ago.
To those who think I am being over defensive - firstly I think, as a matter of principle, historical revisionism is dangerous and should be exposed when encountered and secondly just imagine the reaction if a British film came out detailing the capture of Iwo Jima by British Royal Marines or one showing an outnumbered Royal Navy carrier force inflicting grievious losses on the Japanese at Midway....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars o brother... hollywood needs a history lesson, November 24, 2001
By 
n.m. (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
This review is from: U-571 (Collector's Edition) (DVD)
This film, U-571, will attempt to fool you into believing that American sailors were the ones who captured the Enigma machine, when in fact it was really the British who accomplished that feat. This just goes to show that Hollywood doesn't treat history with respect. Why couldn't they just have used British actors in the film? Why does everything Hollywood produce have to be americanized? And this is increasingly devestating when a lot of people today regard films like this as history. I once read a customer review of THE PATRIOT where the film was hailed as an historic lesson. Please! Read a book! Hollywood has got to start treating history with respect. If you want to see a fantastic submarine film, see Wolfgang Petersen's DAS BOOT. U-571 is just another Hollywood blunder, that's all about getting the numbers up at the box office.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 251 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

U-571 [VHS]
U-571 [VHS] by Jonathan Mostow (VHS Tape - 2000)
$104.98 $4.80
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.