For whatever reason, the submarine thriller has proven to be a hugely popular subgenre dating back decades, with plenty of great movies taking place in cramped conditions under the sea and wringing every last drop of claustrophobic tension and edge of your seat action from what’s essentially a bunch of dudes standing around barking orders at each other as things get increasingly heated both inside and outside the confines of the sub.
Wolfgang Petersen’s Das Boot was a global smash hit, John McTiernan’s The Hunt for Red October pitted Sean Connery against Alec Baldwin in the first big screen Jack Ryan adventure, Tony Scott’s Crimson Tide had Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman battling for supremacy and most recently, Tom Hanks’ Greyhound drew solid reviews after premiering on AppleTV+ last year.
One of the more forgotten entries in the extensive back catalogue is Kevin Macdonald’s Black Sea, which might have something to do with the fact that it sank without a trace at the box office after being released in January 2015 and earning less than $4 million. Reviews were strong, though, and it holds a solid Rotten Tomatoes score of 80%, while it’s now climbing up the Netflix Top 20 global most-watched movies list.
Jude Law stars as a former naval officer who gathers a ragtag crew together to find a sunken Nazi U-boat that’s said to be loaded full of gold, before infighting among the group threatens to derail the entire mission as their numbers continue to dwindle. It’s not the best submarine film you’ll ever see, but it’s a thoroughly efficient thriller nonetheless, and based on the fact that Black Sea is one of the 20 most popular pics on Netflix right now, there are clearly a lot of subscribers willing to give it a shot.