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Five Ocean Disaster Movies as Captain Phillips Sets Sail

Captain Phillips is due to set sail this week. The drama, by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks is based on the real life story of Captain Richard Phillips. Phillips is in charge of taking a whole cargo across the coast of Africa. All is going well until Somali Pirates invade their ship and hold Phillips and the crew hostage for money. A life and death movie that is filled with tension as Phillips tries to not only save his life, but honourably the life of the crew.

Captain Phillips began chartering its voyage at the London Film Festival last Wednesday and is docking in cinemas at the end of this week. Already making waves with critics and audience alike (just last week, I gave it five stars!) Tom Hanks gives an impeccable performance as a man who has to fight against dangerous tides.

But Captain Phillips isn’t the first movie to take disaster to the Ocean and here we have the best movies to navigate the choppy waters.

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If we are talking about outstanding horror movies then look no further than Spielberg’s terrifying Jaws. Starring Richard Dreyfuss and Rob Schneider, the movie is about the lovely beach town of Amity who are preparing for a summer of sun and celebration. Unfortunately, an uninvited man-eating shark decides to crash the festivities and his appetisers are whatever is splashing about in the water be it a young boy or lady. It is up to Sheriff Brody, Marine Biologist Matt Hopper and sea Captain Quint to take to the vast ocean to hunt this killer down.

With the most memorable score by John Williams, Jaws is a delightfully gory treat. Not only did Spielberg make a monster of an animal that rarely kills humans, but Jaws has scared everyone from dipping their toes into the world of the deep blue sea.

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With the death of Tom Clancy still fresh in our minds and a new Jack Ryan movie coming to our screens, it is only apt that we talk about this tense submarine thriller that stars Alec Baldwin as the famous action star. With Sean Connery leading, The Hunt for Red October is about a Russian submarine (the titular one) taking the murky depths of the sea in order to attack America incognito. Not being able to detect Red October, it is up to CIA analyst Ryan to find the enemy before World War 3 is initiated in this Post-Cold War drama.

The first of Clancy’s Ryan novels to be translated to the big screen, this movie is drowning in heated action, explosions and some terrific performances.

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Last year’s Oscar Winning movie by Ang Lee is still captivating audience with its sweeping visuals and simplistic yet heart-warming tale. Starring newcomer Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi is about a boy called Pi who is travelling from his native home India with his family and their zoo. Amidst their hopes to relocate in Canada, disaster strikes when their boat hits a storm and the whole thing capsizes. Surviving, Pi is stranded in a lifeboat only to discover that he isn’t alone, and he is sharing his boat with Bengali tiger, Richard Parker. On an epic and harrowing journey it is up to Pi to survive.

With glowing whales that glisten in the midnight to the heighted horizon reflecting on the sea, this beautiful movie won the most Oscars at the 84th Academy Awards (four) and is a testament to a hardworking visual effects team.

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On a list of movies that were shown on Sunday afternoons but are horrendously scarring for children (Towering Inferno being another,) The Poseidon Adventure is one of those classic disaster movies that has now earned a strong cult following. The movie revolves around a classic cruise liner called the Poseidon which sets sail brimming with rich people partying. A massive tidal wave, however, hits the cruise liner; the ship is flip upside down. With only a handful of survivors, it is up to Gene Hackman to guide them up (or is that down?) to safety.

With explosions taking off floors and the whole problem with walking through a boat that is mast side down, The Poseidon Adventure is an action packed drama fest.

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Here it is, the big one. The entry that we couldn’t miss off as it was as plain as that infamous iceberg. Titanic is THE blockbuster movie. Anyone and everyone has to have seen it or heard Celine Dion wallowing down your ear about hearts carrying on or something. Launching Leonardo DiCaprio into stellar fame, alongside Kate Winslet, the two play a pair of starcrossed lovers, Jack and Rose, who board that fateful ship. Jack, a working man and Rose an elegant lady, despite their classes and her betrothal to a very bad man, fall in love only for the historic disaster to pull them apart.

James Cameron masterminded this classic movie that celebrated its 15th Anniversary last year. The mega movie that generated mega bucks is still as heart breaking and powerful now as it was when first released.

Captain Phillips arrives in the UK this Friday, 18th October and you can read our five star review for Captain Phillips right here. We’ll leave you with a trailer for the movie.

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Sarah Cook

The author Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook is a Film Journalist, Director, and Screenwriter. Founder at We Make Movies On Weekends. She will talk about Filth and James McAvoy. A lot.