Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
PG-13 | 14 November 2003 (USA)
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World Trailers

After an abrupt and violent encounter with a French warship inflicts severe damage upon his ship, a captain of the British Royal Navy begins a chase over two oceans to capture or destroy the enemy, though he must weigh his commitment to duty and ferocious pursuit of glory against the safety of his devoted crew, including the ship's thoughtful surgeon, his best friend.

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Reviews
SunnyHello

Nice effects though.

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SnoReptilePlenty

Memorable, crazy movie

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BelSports

This is a coming of age storyline that you've seen in one form or another for decades. It takes a truly unique voice to make yet another one worth watching.

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Kayden

This is a dark and sometimes deeply uncomfortable drama

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Silent_Cal

Peter Weir is an underrated director, one whose name never seems to come up in lists of great filmmakers. Perhaps it's because he's never made a truly "great" movie, the kind that both impresses critics and seduces huge audiences, though most of his films, like "Witness" and "Dead Poets' Society", have become classics. Or perhaps it's because Weir's movies tend to be quiet and subtle, and avoid easy categorization.Take "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World", ostensibly the first entry in a series inspired by the novels of Patrick O'Brian. It's an historical adventure set in 1805, but it's neither an escapist blockbuster like the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, nor an epic romance like "Titanic". Though nearly two and a half hours long, most of its action takes place aboard the HMS Surprise, a tiny British frigate sailing alone across the vast oceans. The drama is bookended by sharp, suspenseful battle scenes, but between those scenes the story focuses on its characters and their life aboard the ship.The protagonists, played by Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany, are old friends, both brilliant in their own ways: Crowe is the charismatic captain, leading his crew on a chase around the world; Bettany is the ship's surgeon, counselling his companion and offering insights into the natural world around them. Their differing philosophies lead to some arguments, but ultimately both men see the wisdom in compromise.Contrary to the prevailing fashion of the time, "Master and Commander" is filmed in a warm, almost naturalistic style that eschews displays of digital grandeur in favor of immersive verisimilitude. You can feel the ship rocking on the waves and hear the creak of its masts and the rustle of wind in the sails; you settle into the rhythm of shipboard life and naval traditions, the grog and clubbed hair, the songs and toasts at the dinner table. When the action arrives the camera puts you in the midst of it, with the rumble of the cannons and the heavy clouds of black powder smoke.The most remarkable scene in the whole film is a detour to the Galapagos Islands, set to the sound of Bach's first Suite for Unaccompanied Cello. The scene is a respite from the man-made conflict, a moment for everyone to catch their breath. It's simple, timeless, and quite beautiful in its quiet appreciation for the wonders of nature.It's this scene that makes the film more than a seafaring adventure: despite its historical setting, it grounds the story in the present, reminding us that the world is greater than nations or individuals, or the wars we contrive.

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benibn

Lack of handling and to much talking in the movie. Looks like an cheap movie in action.

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generationofswine

What you have here is Crowe still thinking that he's the greatest actor that ever lived.That all takes away the fun of a movie that had the potential to be a high seas epic like, say, Captain Blood.Peter Weir lets Crowe go crazy and you can almost taste the ego dripping out of the pours of every seen, so much so that he doesn't allow Paul Bettany to shine and he's a good actor in his own right, as is James D'Arcy and again, Crowe seems to want to hog all the acting glory there too.Honestly, its hard to sit down and watch a man try to upstage everyone in every scene, especially when they are actors that could hold their own against Crowe...if Crowe allowed that to happen.So, you get to sit back and watch ego and that gets boring.It's a shame, the script and directing were there, it could have been a great film if we didn't just see ego shine.

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carolinebaldock

Peter Wier's Master and Commander is a great tribute to his attention to detail and his feel for the period. His casting created a crew that was totally credible with faces that truly matched the period. All the acting is superb and the story told true to the spirit of O'Brien. As a fan of these books and a trans Atlantic traveler in tall ships I applaud Peter's attention to detail and his enthusiasm for the brief. It has to be my favourite film of all time. I have just found the extended version of the film with commentary from Peter and details of how the film was made. Incredible. So good. Thank you Peter, for giving us sea life from that period. The story was based on the Hunting of the Essex, so all based on truth. Wonderful. A great director.

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