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movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: U-571

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Harvey Keitel
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 118 Minutes
Release Date: April 2000
Genres: Action, War

*Also starring: David Keith, Jake Weber, Thomas Kretschmann, Jack Noseworthy, T.C. Carson, Jon Bon Jovi, Bill Paxton

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

Brace yourself, the first popcorn picture of the season has arrived! "U-571" has everything you could want in an action-adventure. Set against the backdrop of World War II, when Hitler launched a devastating U-boat assault against the Eastern seaboard of the United States, it revolves around a daring mission to capture an Enigma machine, a top-secret Nazi radio coding device. But the crux of the story involves a young executive officer, played by Matthew McConaughey, who proves his leadership ability in a crisis situation when his submarine crew is deployed to answer the distress call of a stranded German U-boat. Their assignment is to masquerade as a resupply ship and, wearing German uniforms, board the damaged vessel and seize its Enigma encrypting device. "Get the damned trophy and get the hell outta there," orders the captain. But everything that can go wrong does, as the cleverly constructed script poses several dilemmas and one complication after another. Directed and co-written by Jonathan Mostow ("Breakdown"), it's a taut, exciting tale of historical fiction, a composite of actual events, not revisionist history, which an important point which is made clear in the closing credits. Matthew McConaughey shows remarkable emotional dimension, ably supported by Harvey Keitel, Bill Paxton, David Keith, Jack Noseworthy, Erik Palladino, Tom Guiry and Jon Bon Jovi. And cinematographer Oliver Wood captures the claustrophobic emotional stress of being in the path of deadly torpedoes and depth charges and, even more terrifying, the helpless, eerie silence of expectation. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "U-571" is an action-packed, explosive 8. If you're into ferociously suspenseful, high-tension thrillers: go, go, go!

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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