Tony Scott Retrospect – Crimson Tide (1995) – Encore Review


“I expect and demand your very best. Anything less, you should have joined the Air Force. ” – Capt. Ramsey

Number of Times Seen – At least 10 times (Theater in ’95, video, DVD, 9 Oct 2016 and 20 Jun 2020)

Link to original reviewHere and

Brief Synopsis – On the eve of a nuclear war, a submarine captain and his second in command get into a heated argument about procedure when they are cut off from being able to communicate with the rest of the fleet.

My Take on it – I’m going to be a guest at the end of the month on a podcast that will be reviewing the body of work of Director Tony Scott, so I plan to watch and review over the next 8 days, 8 of his most popular films in order of their release dates.

This is #5!

This is such an amazing thriller that works so well no matter how often one watches it.

I saw it for the first time 25 years ago when it came out ad have loved it every time that I’ve watched it since then.

The film is such a great thriller largely due to the fact that they utilize the claustrophobic atmosphere on a submarine to raise the tension level quite high.

The cast is superb with Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman both giving stellar performances in the lead roles.

Each of them have such a commanding presence here that it makes it even more difficult for the viewer to take sides in this conflict between men.

The dialogue is spectacularly written and helps keep the story moving at such a great pace.

We also get a clear idea of the kind of lives that these men need to lead in order to live on the edge of combat situations while also needing to make some very tough decisions while attempting to safeguard the lives of their crew and the nation as a whole at the same time.

The film’s music by Hans Zimmer is amazing and enhances the story so much due to its ability to raise the tension level of the story little by little until it reaches a point where it is about to explode.

The film also has a superb supporting cast that includes George Dzundza, James Gandolfini, Ricky Schroeder, Matt Craven, Viggo Moretensen and Rocky Caroll who all add so much to this story along the way.

Tony Scott directs this film in a great way because he allows the audience to feel the claustrophobia that these characters experience as the story gets more and more tense as the rage builds up in a very plausible and realistic fashion throughout.

Bottom Line – Amazing thriller that uses the claustrophobic atmosphere on a submarine to add so much more tension to the story. Washington and Hackman are both superb in this movie and easily make the viewer question which side to take when these two characters begin their conflict with one another. The dialogue is amazingly written and allows us to get an idea about the kind of lives these men live and how close to the edge they must come to when making decisions for their crew and for the nation at the same time. The music by Zimmer enhances the thrilling effects of the film so well and raise the tension little by little until it reaches a boiling point.  The supporting cast is also amazing with Mortensen, Craven, Dzundza, Gandolfini, Schroeder and Caroll all doing wonderful jobs with their characters. Scott directs this thriller superbly and makes the audience feel as if they are right inside this claustrophobic submarine with the characters as the tension and rage begins to build in this very plausible and realistic kind of situation. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Along with Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Glory (1989), Independence Day (1996), and The Dark Knight (2008), this is one of only five films whose purely orchestral soundtracks won the Grammy Award for Best Score despite not being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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