Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

I thought Paul Bettany and Jude Law were the same person until I was 21


Release date: November 14, 2003
Director: Peter Weir
Language: English

Who should watch this movie: Fans of the 2012 Les Miserable film adaptation 

When should you watch this movie: When you can’t decide between action or drama 

The sell: I’m not a big fan of war movies, with the notable exception of this one. Master and Commander takes place entirely on a British naval ship in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars. The story revolves largely around the ship’s captain (played by Russell Crow), who is obsessed with chasing down a particular French ship, which has been evading him for some time. Director Peter Weil uses expansive open ocean as the backdrop to a deeply interpersonal narrative. Though there are a few altercations (with some very cool gun-boat sequences), there are also moments of brevity and joy shared by all members of the crew. The effects are very 2003, but the soundtrack and the performances do enough lifting to make it bearable. I could write a full essay about the juxtapositions of scale in this movie, but I won’t right now.

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