April 8th, 2005



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Still of Matthew McConaughey and William H. Macy in SaharaStill of Matthew McConaughey in SaharaBreck Eisner at event of SaharaStill of Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn and Penélope Cruz in SaharaStill of Matthew McConaughey and Penélope Cruz in SaharaStill of Matthew McConaughey in Sahara

Master explorer Dirk Pitt goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War battleship known as the "Ship of Death" in the deserts of West Africa while helping a UN doctor being hounded by a ruthless dictator.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 5.9/10 (42,120 voted)

Critic's Score: 41/100

Director: Breck Eisner

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Penélope Cruz, Steve Zahn

Master explorer and former US Navy Seal Dirk Pitt and his wisecracking buddy Al Giordino goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War ironclad battleship known as the "Ship of Death" that protects a secret cargo is lost somewhere in the deserts of West Africa. But while the two cross paths with a beautiful and brilliant U.N. scientist Dr. Eva Rojas who is being hounded by a ruthless dictator. She believes that the hidden treasure may be connected to a larger problem that threatens the world around them. Hunting for a ship that no one else thinks exists, Dirk, Al, and Eva must rely on their wits and their daring heroics to outsmart dangerous warlords, survive the threatening terrain, and get to the bottom of both mysteries.

Writers: Clive Cussler, Thomas Dean Donnelly

Matthew McConaughey - Dirk Pitt
Steve Zahn - Al Giordino
Penélope Cruz - Eva Rojas
William H. Macy - Admiral Jim Sandecker
Rainn Wilson - Rudi Gunn
Delroy Lindo - Carl
Lambert Wilson - Yves Massarde
Lennie James - General Zateb Kazim
Robert Cavanah - Captain Tombs
Jude Akuwudike - Imam
Mark Aspinall - Lawyer
Rakie Ayola - Mrs. Nwokolo
Christopher Bello - Train Driver
Nicholas Beveney - Gunboat 1 Officer
Empotoe Bosage - Pick Up Truck Guard

Taglines: Dirk Pitt. Adventure has a new name.


Official Website: Official site [Germany] | Official site [Russia] |

Release Date: 8 April 2005

Filming Locations: Delta del Ebro, Tarragona, Cataluña, Spain

Box Office Details

Budget: $130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $18,068,372 (USA) (10 April 2005) (3154 Screens)

Gross: $68,642,452 (USA) (31 July 2005)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The cast had camel-riding lessons during which they would have to ride the camel at full gallop for 90 minutes alongside a moving train.

Revealing mistakes: Eva catches herself after slipping during the well-descent. In the next shot, she is seen gripping two handles inside the well to steady herself.

[first lines]
Sailor Who Drops Gold: Sorry, captain.
Pilot, Ironclad: It's all right son, just keep moving. That's the future in your hands.

User Review

A fun time for all

Rating: 8/10

I'm extremely perplexed at the lukewarm and especially the bad reviews this one is getting from the professional critics, because my husband and I both found it a very enjoyable romp. Yes, you have to suspend your disbelief during some of the action sequences, but I don't remember people complaining about the lack of realism in the Indy Jones or "Romancing the Stone" series. The dialogue (especially the buddy banter and William H. Macy's character) is amusing, the plot easy to follow despite its complexities, and the action virtually nonstop. I also found it refreshing for the sidekick to look like a doofus, but actually more than hold his own during crunch time.

I can only assume the negative reactions are from fans of the book (I have never read any Clive Custler, so it may well depart from it in tone or otherwise.) But judged solely on its merits as a light-hearted adventure movie, it more than met my expectations.


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