Crimson Tide

Crimson Tide

Tony Scott (1995)

15 Certificate


Our Score
What does Hollywood do when there are no longer vicious Reds under the bed and no more Soviet villains to provide convenient political scapegoats? This gung-ho blockbuster from the Top Gun team (director Tony Scott and producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer) simply dusts off the time-honoured Russian menace with a script that turns post-Cold War cartwheels to explain an impending Armageddon. An American nuclear submarine, the USS Alabama, is ordered to make a pre-emptive strike on Russian "ultra-nationalist" rebels who have taken over a missile base, then receives a second, incomplete radio message suggesting it holds off the attack. The submarine's captain, Gene Hackman, is determined to remedy the explosive situation using his nuclear capability, whatever the consequences. However, his mutinous executive officer (Denzel Washington) stands between him and the horribly alluring Doomsday button. Hackman gives one of his most convincing bully-boy performances as an underwater Captain Bligh, plumb crazy with power but hitting a brick wall in the form of a resolute second-in-command. Propelled at full throttle by fast pacing and a palpable friction between the two leads, the underwater action is further fuelled by a slick score from Hans Zimmer. This is riveting stuff, an achievement that is even more remarkable in view of the movie's restricted setting - a submarine's claustrophobic confines.


A veteran US submarine captain receives an incomplete message after a Russian base falls into rebel hands, and is convinced it is an order to fire his nuclear weapons. However, his first officer refuses to take such potentially devastating action without confirmed orders, leading to a deadly battle of wills. Thriller, starring Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington and Viggo Mortensen.

Cast & Crew

Lt Cdr Ron Hunter Denzel Washington
Capt Ramsey Gene Hackman
Cob George Dzundza
Lt Peter "Weps" Ince Viggo Mortensen
Lt Roy Zimmer Matt Craven
Lt Bobby Dougherty James Gandolfini
Lt Darik Westergaurd Rocky Carroll
Ood Mahoney Jaime Gomez
Hunsicker Michael Milhoan
TSO Billy Linkletter Scott Burkholder
Danny Rivetti Danny Nucci
Lt Paul Hellerman Rick Schroder
William Barnes Steve Zahn
Seaman Grattam Ryan Phillippe
Director Tony Scott
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Buena Vista International UKGuidance: Violence and swearing. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray