Innumerable films depict the water as a main character, bad enemy, or metaphor for testing one’s human capacity to the breaking point. Ahead, we’ve rounded together our favorite 15.
All you can see is water, water, and more water. The truth is that the sea has appeared in many films as a main character, an evil villain, or a symbol for the testing of human limits. Finding Nemo is an instant classic, but not all water-based movies are. Here are some of our favorite ocean-themed films while we await the release of Finding Dory and the release of The Shallows. We’re focusing on films that take place mostly on the water’s surface, excluding Pixar’s aforementioned film. Listed here are our top 15 movies that take place in or around the ocean. Enjoy!
Getting this one out of the way now will allow us to enjoy the remainder of the list more fully. In terms of big-budget films that aren’t Battlefield Earth, Kevin Costner’s “crapfest” is among the worst in recent memory. The idea that the ice caps will melt and blanket the entire planet is a reasonable one. One can understand why people might be afraid, furious, and aggressive in the face of this. That’s not everything. Nope. In fact, there isn’t any. I don’t know how Dennis Hopper could have saved this ridiculous cast of characters, ridiculous plot, and Mount Everest’s unexpected pregnancy. When we think about water movies, Waterworld is the first name that springs to mind.
2. Ghost Ship
When watching a haunted home movie, the audience wishes the characters would just get out of the house. That’s why 2002’s Ghost Ship has a solid premise: it eliminates the possibility of abandoning the ship. Additionally, this film’s start is filled with blood and screams. Otherwise, it’s a tad disappointing. Dexter’s Desmond Harrington is the only cast member who seems to care about the story. Although the final scene is a little unnerving, it’s also one of the most fulfilling ones. If you’re a fan of ghost movies, or ship movies, or Juliana Margulies, this one is for you.
3. The Reef
It was almost prohibited in Australia in 2010 because it was feared that it would harm the country’s tourism sector. The fact that a large shark with a healthy feeling of territoriality terrified (and mostly devoured) a group of unlucky boat enthusiasts is probably real. A great white shark follows four companions when they are stranded in the water. Ray Bounty, the sole survivor of the attack, tells the event in the film. The shark in question was a tiger, not a great white, in the actual incident that occurred in the 1980s. Sharks are a big draw in The Reef, because to their incredible realism.
4. In the Heart of the Sea
Since we just highlighted Moby Dick, and since In the Heart of the Sea is considered a massive box-office flop, readers may be shocked to see this film on the list However, there have been many wonderful films that have failed to attract an audience when they were first released. This film is not based on Melville’s work, but on an actual story that he used as inspiration for it. Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, and Brendan Gleeson are all in the cast. Furthermore, most of the movie takes place at sea, which provides enough action and tension to keep the audience fully interested throughout the duration of the film. While we don’t know why this one didn’t resonate with moviegoers, we know it will find a devoted audience on digital platforms.
5. Cast Away
Do you think an island-based story qualifies for the label of “water-based”? The water could be the main villain in some cases. It’s not uncommon for folks to think of Cast Away as Tom Hanks and a volleyball. That’s what it is. There are many aspects of human endurance, idealized reality against actual reality and the strength of the human spirit to persevere even when we don’t know where we are heading or where we should be explored in this film. You must be able to subsist on your own for four years. Is it possible to get linked to a piece of athletic equipment with your face painted on top? It would be nice if none of us had to find out.
6. All is Lost
Robert Redford’s performance in this little-known film is so powerful that he should have won every award in the world for it. This is a one-man show, with only a few lines of conversation. Director J.C. Chandor relied on a 31-page script to bring this tragic tale to life rather than inventing a companion like Hanks in Cast Away. Redford was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance, but he lost out to another actor. There were a few other honors given to the film’s soundtrack, sound editing, and Redford himself. If you haven’t watched it yet, we strongly recommend it.
7. Moby Dick
When it comes to Moby Dick, there’s always been a lot of controversy about which cinematic version is superior. Since The Sea Beast was released in 1926 as a silent film, it has been used as a metaphor for people who go too far in their pursuit of vengeance. You should definitely check out the 1998 miniseries starring Sir Patrick Stewart, Gregory Peck, Ted Levine, and Henry Thomas if you’ve never watched any other version of the story. It’s best to just let it go when a whale rips a chunk out of your leg.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were already well-known actors when they boarded a White Star Line ship bound for disaster. But Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, David Warner, Victor Garber, and Bill Paxton were all among the all-star cast of Titanic. Titanic’s spectacular effects, on the other hand, were the actual stars of the film. People remember this film for its massive sets crushed to pieces, lavish dining rooms stuck underwater, and a fiercely dedicated band that refused to stop playing even as the ship went down. Of course, there’s the love tale. Even though the ending is so heartbreaking that we wonder if Nicholas Sparks didn’t secretly write it, everyone likes a good love story.
9. Open Water
We’ve added yet another real-life story to our collection.
Open Water is a low-budget horror film in which water serves as the antagonist. A teenage couple realizes precisely how precarious their situation is after being inadvertently left behind after a snorkel dive. When people talk about Open Water, they’re more likely to refer to it as a shark movie. Fears of the dark, of being alone, of not knowing where you are, and of every other creature in the sea.. Sharks, jellyfish stings, and meaningless bickering are just some of the things you may expect to see in this movie. However, stay away from the sequel. To put it another way, they’re all too dumb to live.
10. Life of Pi
Best Director winner Ang Lee’s latest film, The Revenant, is one of the best survival tales ever created. It’s not clear whether a little boy can survive on a lifeboat with orangutans, hyenas, and tigers. The youngster and his tiger, on the other hand, are a sight to behold. Life of Pi is described as a visual feast by critics, and it’s not hard to see why. This is a tale of survival and fantasy that has a surprising amount of grit. Do people who have trust in God have the ability to communicate with dangerous animals? Was it a combination of pure chance and a little foresight? No matter how you slice it, this film is a joy to watch.
11. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
According to several critics, this film was completely overlooked at the Oscars. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was nominated for numerous Oscars, but lost nearly all of them to this picture. In the end, it appeared that the Academy was saving its best picture nominations for the final film in that fantasy trilogy before showering it with praise. It’s still a strong, action-packed war movie, with a breakout performance from HBO’s Rome’s Octavian, Max Pirkis, in a breakout role. Even if they were cheated out of seeing the Galapagos Islands, open-ocean movie fans enjoyed this tale of daring and strategy.
12. Dead Calm
This film is full of suspense and scares, as well as a complex plot that keeps you guessing until the very end. What makes this picture so engaging is the performance of the cast. Billy Zane, Nicole Kidman, and Sam Neill all play roles that could keep audiences guessing until one of them dies. When an infant dies, an affluent couple takes a vacation. While sailing, they come across a man claiming food poisoning killed everyone on his ship. Isn’t that interesting? We don’t know for sure if he’s telling the truth. Sadly, the final edit of this picture omitted a thrilling shark scene. Everyone wants to witness Sam Neill take down an enormous shark, so why not?
Sir Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most recognizable names in the history of cinema. Even in a movie that takes place entirely at sea, he manages to make one of his typical cameos. The events in Lifeboat take place during World War II, which by the time the film was released in 1944 was not quite ancient news. After the Germans sink their ship, a smattering of passengers wind themselves on a lifeboat. Who can we really trust? Who are we fighting for? Because if so, the guy’s limb will have to be amputated. Why does Tallulah Bankhead still carry around a typewriter? If you haven’t seen Lifeboat, it’s a worthwhile investment of your time.
14. Poseidon Adventure
Disaster films were popular in the 1970s. When viewers want a sense of control over the environment they lived in, special effects allowed for larger visual delights. That’s the effect of watching war on television all the time. To see how poorly some wealthy people suffer when their wealth and status mean nothing, watch the classic 1972 film about a luxury liner that capsizes. Shelley Winters and Roddy McDowall are just two of the stars who will keep you on the edge of your seat in this action-packed thriller. In the original Poseidon Adventure, you care so much about everyone’s well-being that you want them all to live. An updated version of this movie, which had a new cast, was released in 2005. It’s not terrible. It’s best to stick with the original if you’re only going to see one.
Just three notes of the theme song evoke images of sharks in the minds of most people. In spite of its lack of factual knowledge of shark behavior, this summer blockbuster is still popular with fans today. The film’s “technique” of rarely displaying the film’s actual villain was aided by the continually damaged fake sharks. Intoxicated Robert Shaw’s on-set antics resulted in some great shots (especially the USS Indianapolis story). Ron and Valerie Taylor, the film’s primary shark photographers, dedicated the remainder of their lives to shark conservation. Even if every Jaws sequel was worse than the one before it, at least two members of the Brody family appeared in each film.