For a film that promises dark claustrophobia, most of Black Sea’s action takes place on a surprisingly spacious and well lit submarine. Nonetheless, the pressure is suffocating, rising as the action gets ever deeper.

Detached from the human drama, Macdonald delivers gorgeous and exhilarating exterior shots of the submarine and the deep, dark nothingness it floats in. Inside, however, there be monsters.

It’s a highly metaphorical film, covering the recession, geopolitics and morality without drowning the story or performances. Law’s descent into greed-induced madness is particularly accomplished; seeing his wide eyes lit by gold, shimmering water-like, is mesmerising.

Black Sea has hidden depths, with great performances and plenty of plot. There’s great beauty to the rusted wreck of a vessel and the film built around it. 



CAST: Jude Law, Jodie Whittaker, Ben Mendelsohn

DIRECTOR: Kevin Macdonald

WRITER: Dennis Kelly

SYNOPSIS: In order to make good with his former employers, a submarine captain takes a job with a shadowy backer to search the depths of the Black Sea for a submarine rumoured to be loaded with gold.

About The Author


Moonlighting as a reviewer and editor, I'm more at home with recent films than golden oldies and enjoy appreciating the technical achievements as much as the escapism of the movies. Happy to try any film once, if only for fifteen minutes. I also volunteer with MediCinema - a charity which every film fan should look into if they don't already know about.