K-19 may not hold a lot of water as a submarine epic, but it holds even less when it turns into an elegiacally soggy Saving Private Ryanovich.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
A tense, swift drama of mechanical catastrophe and dueling egos.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
- Guardian [UK]
Though this saga would be terrific to read about, it is dicey screen material that only a genius should touch.
Mike Clark - USA Today
More intellectually scary than dramatically involving.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
Gets stuck in a no man's land between the real and the fictional.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
It's not your Dad's submarine melodrama, and, for the most part, it's exciting stuff.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Bigelow hits all her marks and more within the narrow parameters.
Dennis Lim - Village Voice
If you enjoy the tense claustrophobia of submarine thrillers, K-19 fills the bill.
Bruce Westbrook - Houston Chronicle
While the film deals with serious issues based on fact, its emotional tone is too solemn. All hands aboard K-19 seem to have deluded themselves into believing that they're making an American Das Boot.
Philip Wuntch - Dallas Morning News
At its best, it almost makes you feel proud to have been a Soviet communist, -- even if you weren't.
Steven Rosen - Denver Post
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
[Bigelow] is an expert technician who never steps wrong and is skilled at exploiting the personal qualities of Ford and Neeson to add another level of uncertainty.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
'K-19' isn't a movie that will necessarily charge up the kind of audience that embraces the overblown plot gimmicks of 'The Sum of All Fears' or the stylized paranoia of 'The Bourne Identity', but Bigelow makes 'K-19' an effective and moving thriller.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
Never before have I seen a men-of-war film more notable for its psychology than its spectacle.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
Jeff Strickler - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Apart from its exhaustingly repetitive attention to the contrasting Ford and Neeson characters, the movie has virtually no interest in the secondary and tertiary characters whose heroism, jitters, sacrifice and suffering are at the heart of the story.
Susan Stark - Detroit News
- Arizona Republic
What could have been a movie packed with historical significance and nail-gnawing underwater tension ends up little more than a lumbering public-service announcement for the human spirit.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Obediently follows the verities of the submarine movie and its true story origins but without the imagination needed to refresh the genre.
Robert Koehler - Variety
It's almost impossible not to be moved by the movie's depiction of sacrifice and its stirring epilogue in post-Soviet Russia.
Jonathan Foreman - New York Post
The movie's centrepiece is as close to tour-de-force suspense filmmaking as you'll see anywhere this summer.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
The movie, from director Kathryn Bigelow, can't keep track of what course it wants to steer.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Joins Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot at the top of a very short list of the best submarine movies ever made.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
K-19 will not go down in the annals of cinema as one of the great submarine stories, but it is an engaging and exciting narrative of Man confronting the Demons of his own fear and paranoia.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
This submarine drama earns the right to be favorably compared to Das Boot.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
A salute is in order for Bigelow, a director who knows how to navigate macho terrain without losing her human compass.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Pleasantly old-fashioned for the most part, K-19 frankly spends more time than is necessary on these preliminaries. It becomes another, better movie when the nuclear crisis begins.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Why did movie moguls think that this was the right moment for a tale of unflinching loyalty to the Soviet Union?
Stanley Kauffmann - The New Republic
...takes its place among a small group of undersea motion pictures. Unfortunately, it takes its place at the end of the line.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
A brutally effective, brilliantly constructed dramatic thriller.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
K-19 makes an American audience care about Communists trapped between a rock and a hard place deep beneath the sea.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Looking Closer
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
Kathryn Bigelow's K-19 sinks to a watery grave.
Rob Nelson - City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Manages to find another way to become a big-budget Hollywood summer production that shamelessly panders to the lowest common denominator.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
... A taut, skillfully-executed thriller anchored by two rock-solid leading men.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Occasionally trying on accents that are reminiscent of a 'Rocky and Bullwinkle' cartoon, Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson have rarely been saddled with such awkward roles.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
O sotaque de Ford e inconstante e Bigelow tenta forcar demais o drama. Vale pela historia.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
- Empire Magazine
It's a military maxim that there is no room for egos on a submarine. Which prompts the question if there's any more room for another military movie set below the waves?
Harry Guerin - RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
This movie has all the hallmarks of a well-made, dramatic film that takes itself just a little too seriously.
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
The movie is solidly paced and well acted but lacks the emotional connection that might have made it a classic.
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
- Film Threat
A cold war thriller told from the Russian point of view which gives it the appearance of having more credibility and dark truth than if this were an American story.
David Grove - Film Threat
Henry Sheehan - NPR's Fresh Air
Soviet submarine drama tells a great true story, but lacks depth.
James Rocchi - Netflix
There's a distance and lack of focus. Too many scenes descend into guys randomly barking complex technical terms at each other.
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
... may bear a few scars of its Hollywood production, but it's an effecting and hard-hitting drama.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
'Interesante y disfrutable trabajo gracias a que prescinde del clasico elemento estadounidense patriotero y manipulador.'
Jorge Avila Andrade - Moviola
An adventure that respects its audience, and does a fine old genre proud.
Margaret A. McGurk - Cincinnati Enquirer
K-19 exploits our substantial collective fear of nuclear holocaust to generate cheap Hollywood tension.
Josef Braun - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
The movie's true hero -- or heroine -- is Bigelow, who once again proves herself one of the very best action directors around.
Jason Best - BBC
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Not the greatest sub movie but a very good one
Stefan Birgir Stefansson - sbs.is
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
If you can ignore the first hour you'll be privy to a gut-wrenching and thought-provoking experience.
Andrew Howe - eFilmCritic.com
Harrison Ford logra una actuacion magnifica (una de las mejores de su carrera).
Luis Martinez - Cinenganos
Except for the peculiar setting, this is a routine drill.
D.K. Holm - DVDTalk.com
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
Bigelow creates a sombre, claustrophobic atmosphere that doesn't let the suspense play as gleeful escapism...[it] actually confronts death seriously.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Seriously, I had sweaty palms almost the whole film.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
[Bigelow] unwisely does her most frantic directing during the early drill scenes, only to slow the movie down during the reactor clean-up sequences.
Ben Kenigsberg - East Hampton Independent
Aside from being a nearly flawless submarine thriller, Kathryn Bigelow's K-19: The Widowmaker is an extraordinarily courageous movie
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
K-19 can't match [Kathryn Bigelow's] best work, but since it's her first film in nearly seven years, I'm not inclined to be picky.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Ford's Russian accent is so slight and intermittent it sounds more like he has a tickle in his throat, while Neeson's Irish brogue gives his speech a split personality.
Kim Linekin - eye WEEKLY
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
I admired the movie to a degree, but I couldn't escape the feeling that K-19 should have been more than it is.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
An untested bucket of bolts that was such a jokeavitch, it's no stretch to say that it was a sinking coffinavitch.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bigelow handles the nuclear crisis sequences evenly but milks drama when she should be building suspense, and drags out too many scenes toward the end that should move quickly.
Paul Clinton (Boxoffice) - Boxoffice Magazine
Bigelow, the only female action thriller director around is one tough chick with a camera, proving she can run a tight ship even if she is the only woman on board.
Prairie Miller - Long Island Press
uses fluid tracking shots and intense close-ups to register the details of the life-and-death scenario and to keep the tension ratcheted up tight
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
One of the greater all-around flicks of the year...
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
K 19 stays afloat as decent drama/action flick
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
This is Ford slumming in conventional trash.
Bob Grimm - Reno News and Review
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
Lovers of overblown thrillers might very well be disappointed by the deliberate pace and restrained style, but the result is a serious, substantial and satisfying film.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
This is the best submarine movie to come out since "The Hunt for Red October." It is superior to "U-571.'
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
- Orlando Weekly
Bigelow's crackling camerawork and belief in the story's drama makes this far more interesting and rewarding than your standard submarine action movie.
Chuck Rudolph - Matinee Magazine
Just as K-19 begins to nosedive into an abyss of military-saga formula things begin to heat up. Literally.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Director Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days, Near Dark) does justice to their secret story, conveying claustrophobia with conviction while showing us that patriotism, sacrifice and duty are valued on both sides of a war, cold or otherwise.
Bob Ross - Tampa Tribune
Chilling opus and a really good movie, even if it's a little heavy on drills.
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
An intense and occasionally powerful film that is unfortunately conventionally executed and stumbles in its overblown climax and denouement.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Christopher Kyle is apparently the Will Rogers of screenwriters %u2013 he never met a cliche he didn't like, and he put all of them in this script.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
With or without ballast tanks, K-19 sinks to a Harrison Ford low.
Michael Clawson - West Valley View
[A] really strong work from start to finish.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
...good filmmaking but the sustained clenched jaw aspect may be a turn off for some.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
'... So waterlogged by cliches not even the effortless authority of Harrison Ford or the carefully inflected sympathy of Liam Neeson can keep it afloat.'
Jonathan R. Perry - Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Another movie 'inspired by true events' that nevertheless includes all the cliches of a Hollywood genre.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
The secret is now out, but I doubt if we saw the true story.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
An above-average and affecting descent into both heretofore unknown Soviet naval history and the always popular submarine-in-peril genre.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
It's simply incapable of overcoming its leading man's leaden performance.
Nick Schager - Matinee Magazine
Emily Blunt - Blunt Review
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Harrison Ford's strong performance is sabotaged by the film's unnecessary political gibes and a schmaltzy tacked-on ending.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
- Boston Phoenix
A thoroughly compelling submarine thriller about character under pressure.
Marshall Fine - Journal News (Westchester, NY)
An inspiring revelation of the lengths to which honorable people go to prevent the outbreak of war at a time when nuclear weapons have rendered that prospect suicidal.
Bruce Feld - Film Journal International
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
K-19 works well enough as a simple story of survival, and as a way of recognizing the forgotten sacrifices of anonymous cold warriors. But it's working some pretty tired narrative territory.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
A thriller without a lot of thrills.
John Anderson - Newsday
Bigelow is an energetic director and does a solid job of maintaining the geography of the submarine, the chronology of the drama and the big picture in which the ship plays such a crucial part.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
As intelligent as it is suspenseful.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
It's no Das Boot, Crimson Tide or The Enemy Below. But it's no embarrassment, either.
Roger Moore - Ottawa Citizen
Ford deserves to be remembered at Oscar time for crafting this wonderful portrait of a conflicted soldier.
Larry Carroll - Countingdown.com
At no point during K-19:The Widowmaker did this viewer feel enveloped in a story that, though meant to be universal in its themes of loyalty, courage and dedication to a common goal, never seems to leave the lot.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
Despite the star power, and despite the persuasively rendered specifics of setting, mood and period attitudes, K-19 too often feels like a slow, stately cruise through familiar territory.
Joe Leydon - San Francisco Examiner
Exciting enough for the majority of its 138-minute running time to make for, at the least, a marginally arresting cinematic experience.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
A passably interesting, Tom Clancy-style thriller.
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide
As an exercise in logistics and adversity, K-19 is compelling, but as a story about human decisions and moral issues, it's full of holes and cliches.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
Part fact and part fiction, K-19: The Widowmaker is both a compelling psychological drama and a suspenseful thrill ride.
Louis B. Hobson - Jam! Movies
Plinking balalaikas, syrupy strings, and, in the moments of greatest peril, angelic choirs, like a Carol Burnett Show parody of a WWII-era propaganda film.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
This u-boat doesn't have a captain.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Russian sub, nuclear meltdown, Harrison Ford & Liam Neeson as dueling captains - the Cold War was a lot hotter than we thought!
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
There is not a single element in K-19 that deserves to even be mentioned in the same breath as Das Boot... except maybe the CG... because there was no CG when Das Boot was made.
David Poland - Hot Button
The story hits too many notes we've heard before.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
John Venable - Supercala.com
A highly fictionalized, painfully cliched tale.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Impressive and powerful, but lacking that special something to make it a must see.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
The film doesn't sink, but it springs a few substantial leaks.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
- Christian Science Monitor
Comes off as a fabrication of reality created by the Hollywood cash factory, and appears to be in pursuit of nothing nobler than big summer box office returns.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
Kit Bowen - Hollywood.com
This is one of the most machocentric and masochistic movies ever made by a woman.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
Decent and certainly not a terrible chore to sit through, the film offers some memorable moments.
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Bigelow is known for making good, visceral movies, but here she adopts a kind of dignified watchfulness, and that feels right for the material.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
This isn't a bad movie, just an uninspired one.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
A very depressing movie of many missed opportunities.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
Within the clutter of accents and heavenly choirs -- Klaus Badelt's score is at times a bit much -- lurks a good story. And, in midsummer, that's often all we can ask for.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
The first hour is tedious though Ford and Neeson capably hold our interest, but its just not a thrilling movie.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
It's a terrifically dramatic story, but in Bigelow's hands it never feels 'Hollywood.'
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Despite its exciting moments, the film is too long.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
[An] action potboiler on the bottom rung of memorable sub warfare's cinematic deck ladder, with RSRD in the middle and Das Boot at the top.
Jack Zink - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Director Kathryn Bigelow glides her camera through K-19's claustrophobic corridors, expertly building tension.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Brian Orndorf - Modamag.com
Though a capable thriller, somewhere along the way K-19 jettisoned some crucial drama.
Ross Brooks - Citysearch
The inevitable outcome doesn't deter the drama.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Fits safely within established movie parameters
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
A taut historical thriller in the tradition of Das Boot.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Remember The Hunt for Red October, in which Sean Connery played a Russian sub captain without modifying his Scottish burr in the slightest? He's my hero.
Mike D'Angelo - Time Out New York
... sunk by a host of problems, including Harrison Ford's one-note performance, Christopher Kyle's heavily cliched script and Kathryn Bigelow's slack direction.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
For a film based on real life, "K-19" feels an awful lot like a standard action flop.
Steven Snyder - Zertinet Movies
In the end, it's fear of the bomb that drives this boat.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
Sleek and suspenseful.
Glenn Lovell - San Jose Mercury News
Action thrillers don't get more powerful and intense than this! It's claustrophobic, chilling and compelling.
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
It's a satisfying summer blockbuster and worth a look.
Margaret Berry - Filmcritic.com
K-19: The Widowmaker is a great yarn.
Paul Clinton (CNN.com) - CNN.com
A taut, sobering film.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
I found the story gripping and the direction exceptional.
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
As if to prove a female director can make a movie with no soft edges, Kathryn Bigelow offers no sugar-coating or interludes of lightness. Her film is unrelentingly claustrophobic and unpleasant.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Lumbers along as turgidly as the injured boat itself...Bigelow never manages to infuse the narrative with the sense of urgency it needs.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
First Sergei, then Lena, now Kathryn. Who knew?
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
While the center of the film is both thrilling and horrifying, what will resonate for anyone old enough to remember is the cautionary thing left unspoken ...
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Remains curiously less compelling than Spock's big scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
The director chose to keep rubbing it in our faces that these men suffered and were heroes. This over-indulgence was completely unnecessary...
Danny Minton - KBTV-NBC (Beaumont, TX)
Plenty of bad accents and more than a few submarine movie cliches jump aboard this true tale from the 1960s. But the story of brotherhood found within a nuclear-armed Russian sub on the brink of disaster keeps itself above see-level. Barely.
- E! Online
K-19: The Widowmaker delivers Hollywood heroics, stock characters and heavy-handed sentimentality in a handsome but repetitive production.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
K-19 has some rusty spots, though it maintains enough balance to stay on course with a suspenseful dive.
Gerry Shamray - Sun Newspapers of Cleveland
K-19: The Widowmaker is derivative, overlong, and bombastic -- yet surprisingly entertaining.
Tor Thorsen - Reel.com
a largely compelling, suspenseful adventure that is almost torpedoed by a coda that's both drawn-out and completely unnecessary.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
As an historical account, K-19 is impressive and intelligently delivered, but as a movie, it's missing a handle.
Gregory Weinkauf - New Times
Not quite on par with Das Boot, but it's the first film in a long time worthy of comparison with Wolfgang Petersen's 1981 masterpiece.
Jeffrey Bruner - Des Moines Register
Message movie or an action-packed submarine spectacular? Alas, it's neither.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
A worthy but ponderous submarine movie.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
K-19 is so unnervingly square that it seems eerily like Party-sanctioned Soviet filmmaking.
John Powers - L.A. Weekly
As commander-in-chief of this film, Bigelow demonstrates a breadth of vision and an attention to detail that propels her into the upper echelons of the directing world.
Luanne Brown - Chico Enterprise-Record
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
...gripping and handsome execution, (but) there isn't much about K-19 that's unique or memorable.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
If your dentist offers you red wine after he x-rays your teeth, he's probably seen 'K-19.'
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Part of me was hoping the film would be about someone's attempt to climb the world's 19th biggest mountain instead of underwater vehicles.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
It fails to create an emotional link to the true story it is based on because it allows empty dialogue and over-indulgent action to overwhelm the horror of the true sailor's reality.
Alex Keen - Trades