Owen Gleiberman
August 02, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

K-19: The Widowmaker

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
139 minutes
Wide Release Date
07/19/02
performer
Harrison Ford, Joss Ackland, Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard, Ingvar Eggert Sigurosson
director
Kathryn Bigelow
distributor
Paramount Pictures
author
Christopher Kyle
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Drama

We gave it a C

In this submarine spectacular, Harrison Ford, sporting a Russian accent so slight it’s like the speech equivalent of a fake mustache, plays a slow-talking, stiffly patriotic Soviet navy captain in 1961. If that doesn’t sound exciting, be aware that Liam Neeson also plays a Soviet navy captain, and that the film’s central action starts when the crewmen enter the core of the sub’s damaged nuclear cooling system, exposing themselves to sickening doses of radiation. (It’s like watching a thriller about the cleanup of Chernobyl.) The director, Kathryn Bigelow, works with hurtling technical prowess, yet she’s stuck making a grim historical message movie that hits us with the breaking news that the arms race was, in every sense, a poisonous game.

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