April 21st, 2000



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Still of Matthew McConaughey and Erik Palladino in U-571Still of Matthew McConaughey and Jake Weber in U-571Still of Matthew McConaughey in U-571Still of Bill Paxton in U-571Still of Jon Bon Jovi in U-571U-571

A German submarine is boarded by disguised American submariners trying to capture their Enigma cipher machine.

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 6.5/10 (39,850 voted)

Critic's Score: 62/100

Director: Jonathan Mostow

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel

In the midst of World War II, the battle below the seas rages. The Nazi's have the upper edge as the Allies are unable to crack their war codes. That is, until a wrecked U-boat sends out an SOS signal, and the Allies realise this is their chance to seize the 'enigma coding machine'. But masquerading as Nazi's and taking over the U-boat is the smallest of their problems. The action really begins when they get stranded on the U-boat.

Writers: Jonathan Mostow, Jonathan Mostow

Matthew McConaughey - Lt. Andrew Tyler
Bill Paxton - Lt. Cmdr. Mike Dahlgren
Harvey Keitel - CPO Henry Klough
Jon Bon Jovi - Lt. Pete Emmett
David Keith - Maj. Matthew Coonan
Thomas Kretschmann - Capt.-Lt. Gunther Wassner
Jake Weber - Lt. Hirsch
Jack Noseworthy - Seaman Bill Wentz
Tom Guiry - Seaman Ted 'Trigger' Fitzgerald
Will Estes - Seaman Ronald 'Rabbit' Parker
Terrence 'T.C.' Carson - Steward Eddie Carson
Erik Palladino - Seaman Anthony Mazzola
Dave Power - Seaman Charles 'Tank' Clemens
Derk Cheetwood - Seaman Herb Griggs
Matthew Settle - Ens. Keith Larson

Taglines: You won't come up for air until it's over!


Official Website: Universal Pictures | West Video / Videoguide Company (russian) |

Release Date: 21 April 2000

Filming Locations: Cinecittà Studios, Cinecittà, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Box Office Details

Budget: $62,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $19,553,310 (USA) (23 April 2000) (2583 Screens)

Gross: $79,068,995 (USA) (16 July 2000)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

This movie represents one of a select group of a few World War II submarine movies which have won the one single Academy Award in a technical category, that's just only the one Oscar in either special effects or sound editing. These movies include Crash Dive; The Enemy Below; Torpedo Run and U-571. The non-WW II sub-movie, The Hunt for Red October also won just the one Oscar as did the WW 2 part sub-movie 49th Parallel, but for Best Original Story.

Continuity: When Hirsch is briefing the crew of the S33 he is pointing things out on a chart. When you first see the chart table the only thing on it is a brown folder. In the close up you see the folder and a photograph of the Enigma machine. In the next shot you see the complete table again but only the folder is on it again. Hirsch then pulls the photos out of the folder.

Lt. Hirsch: Mr. Tyler.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: Yeah.
Lt. Hirsch: If you can't take out that destroyer, the danger is not that some of us may die. It's that some of us may live. These men have seen and heard things that must not be revealed to the enemy - our secrets, such as our radar capabilities, and our understanding of German encryption. If we fall into German hands alive, we will be tortured without mercy. Either you succeed in sinking that ship, or you see to it that none of us survive to be captured.

User Review

Mel Brooks does Das Boot

Rating: 3/10

This movie is another one in a long line of pro-U.S. war films. You know the kind. Those are the films where north american soldiers are the only ones capable of any wit, wisdom, intelligence and courage.

Unfortunately, by now the rest of the world is a bit brighter, and we know that, really, Ben Affleck didn't save Great Britain from the Germans. There is an undeniable and deep love and respect for all veterans and U.S. soldiers that lost their lives in Europe during both World Wars from the rest of the world, the kind of respect that only comes from defending an ideal with their lives. It's Hollywood who is keen on destroying those heroes' reputation by making them seem so superior as to be ridiculous.

In summary, this film is a parody of the amazing "Das Boot". It's quite obvious that the same things will happen in any submarine: depth charges, marine battles, etc. But U-571 makes everything seem sweet: there is no claustrophobia, the crew gets along pretty well, they kill every german in sight, and even a destroyer. Das Boot shows a destroyed boat, terribly strained relationships, a sense of quiet desperation and resignation. Where U-571 plays glorious fanfare, Das Boot counters with powerful silence. Where Das Boot puts grime, U-571 substitutes pretty faces. Where Das Boot has realism, U-571 doesn't.

But most insulting of all, where englishmen should have been, U-571 cleverly substitutes them with U.S. soldiers. Oh, the nerve.

Bottom line: this movie makes for a great surround sound demo disc, or a nice coaster. Hollywood is still clueless when it comes to making war movies. If a future historian only had U.S. war movies to base history upon, he would decidedly declare the rest of the world sub-human idiots, and the U.S. civilization as a more evolved race.

A theory Hollywood debunks quite nicely.


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