K-19: The Widowmaker

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K-19: The Widowmaker ★★ 2002 (PG-13)

Cold War tensions abound in this aptly claustrophobic submarine suspenser involving the Soviet Union's first nuclear ballistic sub, which suffers a reactor malfunction during a test voyage in the North Atlantic. Ford plays the tough Russian captain, who takes command from the more-popular Neeson, and must deal with rebellion in the ranks in order to save his sub and crew, and prevent an all out World War. Sarsgaard is the panicky, inexperienced reactor officer who's every nuke sub captain's nightmare. Strong performances by the lead actors almost overshadows their flimsy Russian accents. Bigelow shot on a set built to scale, with parts salvaged from an old diesel sub. Loosely based on a military incident that happened in 1961 but wasn't publicly revealed until the 1990s. 138m/C VHS, DVD . US Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard, Joss Ackland, John Shrapnel, Donald (Don) Sumpter, Tim Woodward, Ravil Isyanov, Christian Camargo, Steve Nicholson; D: Kathryn Bigelow; W: Christopher Kyle; C: Jeff Cronenweth; M: Klaus Badelt.