1 h 34 min2006X-RayPG-13
A massive wave capsizes a cruise ship on New Year's Eve, trapping a ragtag group of survivors in the sinking wreck. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen (Troy, The Perfect Storm).
Wolfgang Petersen
Kurt RussellJosh LucasEmmy Rossum
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Supporting actors
Andre BraugherRichard Dreyfuss
Wolfgang PetersenDuncan HendersonMike FleissAkiva Goldsman
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Alcohol usesmokingviolence
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4.5 out of 5 stars

2795 global ratings

  1. 71% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 9% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

WayneInSFReviewed in the United States on July 17, 2006
4.0 out of 5 stars
Visually superb movie, but with a missed opportunity
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When I first heard back in early 2004 that Wolfgang Petersen was planning a remake of "The Poseidon Adventure" I was stoked. The 1972 film holds a special place on my personal favorites list because it was the very first film my parents took me to see (at the local drive-in, no less).

The Irwin Allen classic has become a guilty pleasure for loyal fans. Over the last several years many of those fans (myself included) have thought that, in the right hands, "The Poseidon Adventure" would benefit from a remake.

And in Mr. Petersen the producers found the perfect filmmaker. How could the brilliant, visionary director of the claustrophobic classic "Das Boot" and the brilliant "The Perfect Storm" go wrong? Combine the best elements of those two films with the classic tour-de-force survival story originally told by Paul Gallico in his 1969 novel and a new movie could become a critical and box office success.

So with much anticipation I went to see "Poseidon." The long awaited remake is a tremendous spectacle that will keep you on the edge of your seat for almost the entire length of the movie.

Petersen begins the film with one of the most stunning opening shots in recent film history: A 3-minute wrap-around of the grand luxury liner as she sails the Atlantic. What makes this scene so amazing is the fact that the ship doesn't really exist. The Poseidon is completely computer generated, yet when you see her up on that screen (accompanied by Klaus Badelt's excellent score) you can only be in awe. She is majestic and stately and puts a certain James Cameron boat to shame.

We are then introduced to the main characters at a quick clip. Mark Protosevich's screenplay doesn't draw them very well, but I'll speak to that in a moment. Because just as I was starting to let the lack of characterization bother me, the mighty Greek God of the Sea lashes out at our New Years revelers and spins their world upside down in a heart-pounding capsize sequence that bests the original's by a mile.

From there it's non-stop, edge-of-your-seat, hair-raising action as our rag tag group of survivors fight their way up the dying ship to find an escape, battling water and obstacles and more water along the way. Petersen's brilliant direction on the escape sequences will have you climbing the walls.

As with most well done disaster movies it's the action sequences and special effects that save "Poseidon." I recommend the movie highly and think that on my list of "popcorn flicks" this will join the original near the top. That is thanks in large part to Petersen, his computer and design crews, and a cast that did the best they could with the script they got.

And it is that script where I find my sole disappointment. Why Warner Bros moved ahead with such a lackluster screenplay puzzles me. This had the chance to be a classic sea tale. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't expecting "Moby Dick," but Paul Gallico's "The Poseidon Adventure" is a superb story of survival at sea. It is deep in character study; dark and psychological and leaves the reader breathless.

Unfortunately none of that transferred over in the 1972 film. When I read that Wolfgang Petersen would be at the helm of this new version I had high hopes that the dramatic human stories told in the Gallico novel would finally be told on the big screen. But it doesn't happen.

In his review of this film Roger Ebert opined that he felt Petersen's heart wasn't in it. I don't think that was it. To me it almost seems like Warner Bros wanted "Poseidon" in the can sooner rather than later and were willing to sacrifice a strong story in order to get the film on screens by May 12, 2006. As a result the film is awkwardly edited at times - as if there had been a script there, but that it was jettisoned and then a hasty editing job done to plug the holes. It makes me wonder whether they purposefully threw away a potentially triumphant story for yet another piece of popcorn fluff.

At this point it doesn't really matter, because the film is popcorn fluff. Mind you, it is well done, exciting, and thrilling popcorn fluff and I highly suggest you head give it a look. But, I just can't help but wonder "what if?" I'm afraid we'll never know, because it is highly doubtful that this story will be told again.
2 people found this helpful
William G. RatcliffeReviewed in the United States on August 23, 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars
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As a 10 year old, watching the original version of 'Poseidon Adventure' was at the time, an adventure. Up until that time, special effects were rather routine and sometimes unbelievable. Irwin Allen's masterful work made what could have been a trite film into a piece of art.

After viewing the film the first time, the audience exploded in applause, as during the film's running time, each viewer was caught up in each of the character's life, struggle, and more often than not, their demise. With the special effects, and superb set designs, i also joined them, as i witnessed one of the best films i have ever seen. At age 10, i guess i saw enough 'Creature Feature' and what TV had to offer in order to make such a comparison.

Since then, i have seen the original about 20 times, and each time, i do see, hear, and read between the lines more than what i saw during the previous viewing.

Sometimes it does take more than one viewing to understand not only what the actors do on-screen, but what the director wanted you to see, or think, then you make your own conclusion.

Now, on to the remake.

I am one to not like remakes. At times, there are needs to remake an original film due to artistic mistakes, to update in order to include more gore, violence, bad language, etc. These elements sometimes hinders the mood of the original film. Take for instance 'House On Haunted Hill', '13 Ghosts', House Of Wax'. These films not only were updated, but were changed to a point where it bore almost nothing to the original, except it's core story, otherwise they played for more of the elements that made them repulsive.

In the remake of 'The Poseidon Adventure', it did need an updating, mainly for the progress in the use of special effects, which were handled superbly. It took me awhile, like the previous critic listed here to get the nerve to see the remake. I was also kicking myself for not seeing it sooner, as i was blown away by the special effects.

One must remember, the original film had actors that were all famous. The remade version had a few familiar faces, but to me the rest i did not know, which to me made the film better than the original since it didn't matter to me who died, as long as the the handful of survivors made it to where they were supposed to go, to the bottom of the ship in order to be rescued. Films like these will always have unfortunate deaths in order to move the story along, as this one has, but also, one must remember, this is only a film, and films do not have to be made to win academy awards, but to entertain, which this remake does, in abundance.

The characters were developed just enough to care about them to a point, but was just enough to get the rest of the situation at hand when the wave hit, and the wave sure hits, and the action does not stop thereafter. In fact, there is rather little time from opening credits to the wave to get bored waiting.

I gave the remake '5 stars' for the reasoning that all involved with the film did a job well done. Some, if not many who did not see the original should see this version first, just for the sake of seeing how far special effects has progressed from previous action films. Then, see the original, and see how the effects were at an age where effects were sometimes done in the camera, and manually, without CGI.

Both versions are not to miss. As for the TV version of 'The Poseidon Adventure', well, i'd have to do another review on that one, but since it wasn't a great version, i will leave it up to others who may share my feelings.
2 people found this helpful
StopshopshipReviewed in the United States on May 14, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Action all the way!
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This is a really good movie. It’s very action packed. My kids & I enjoyed it. It’s our second time watching it. We had originally seen it several years ago. It’s so nice to watch a movie together where you don’t have to worry about nudity or any x-rated things. There is peril & death similar to Titanic. Probably good for age 10 & up.
Scrooge McDuckReviewed in the United States on June 13, 2006
4.0 out of 5 stars
Where is the Director's Cut?
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Poseidon runs a surprisingly brisk 99 minutes, with 10 minutes reserved for credits. It cost Warner $160 million dollars to produce, which means that the film cost $900, 000 for every thirty seconds of footage. Wolfgang Petersen's original cut was 125 minutes before someone, somewhere ordered him to cut it down. Don't get me wrong, it's constantly going and the short running time matches the no-seconds-to-spare realism of a gradually sinking capsized ship. The set pieces the film has to offer are all nail-biting and intense, but I just felt that there wasn't enough of them.

I'm not such a big fan of the original. I liked it as a kid but viewing it as an adult I'm turned-off by the soap opera drama and dated effects. Back in the early 70s this may well have been fine but perhaps such advances in movie effects is why remakes of these kind of movies are not so unnecessary. Though I don't really consider this a 'remake' as it is just another version of Paul Gallico's novel.

The characters are all likable and even though the set-up and introductions are pretty quick, we get to know enough and grow attached to them before the big wave hits (no longer a tsunami) and what a set-piece that turns out to be! The initial capsizing of the ship is a brilliantly edited destruction derby in which many, many human lives meet violent deaths. If there would be just one thing the film has to offer it is plenty of dead bodies. But why not go one step further and show some really heavy gruesomeness? I would have liked that!

The idiots (there are usually loads in disaster films) stay behind in the ballroom while a bunch of more sensible survivors decide to escape by going up (down) to the engine room and out through the propeller tubes. Only because everything is inverted, there are loads of obstacles, including a race-against-time in a very small and very cramped air vent. Not all of them make it!

It's a shame that Poseidon didn't do better at the box office but it faced stiff competition in summer 2006. The worldwide grosses maxed out at $181 million, so it only just barely broke even. For some reason Poseidon has had a bad reputation, which is doesn't deserve. The theatrical cut, available here on this Blu Ray, is stripped-down and on the nose. A fleshed-out extended version might win over the doubters.

The Blu Ray features a great 2.35:1 1080p picture and a DTS HD-MA soundtrack with plenty of extras.
6 people found this helpful
Mark K. RempelReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
Impressive exciting yet cliched
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This remake of the 1972 film includes a 22 minute documentary on how it was made, why it was made, and interviews with cast and crew. The documentary tries to convince the viewer that it is the greatest extravaganza ever made, but I note that Leonard gave it 2 stars and a who cares attitude. He was not impressed. But in fact much of the film is impressive, however, the characters are thin with no background on them or not enough to access their motives. Too little set up time before rogue wave hits ship. I prefer films where the director spends time forming the personalities of the characters before the action begins. Also disappointing is that the ship is all CGI, no real ship was used. Yet the ship looks very much like those used by Disney Cruises--on purpose? Some characters are too one dimensional. The drunk jerk who dies early (spectacularly), the pious stowaway who dies near the end, the heroic ex-fireman who saves them all at the last minute, then drowns all by himself. The character played by Josh Lucas is a cypher. Who is he? What kind of ex-Navy? He seems to act as if he wanted to forget his Navy career. Did he find his career an embarrassment? The director should have given him a back story. I believe the broad scenario is impossible, in spite of what was said in the documentary that comes with the DVD. A ship would not capsize so easily and flip over so quickly, especially it would not right itself again just as the heroes escape and then go down. Much of the film is difficult to believe. Exciting but also absurd. The stuff of fiction. The film would be amusing for sadists who enjoy schadenfreude entertainment, that is seeing others suffer in odd circumstances. disappointing no real ship was used. All sets or CGI. The film was exciting while actually watching it, but afterwards I realized it was too impossible to accept. It is, however, better than the 1972 film, though others will disagree.
6 people found this helpful
Janine Y. RossReviewed in the United States on May 13, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Whew!!! Much more exciting than the original!!!!
pmad85Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great movie!!!
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I love disaster movies and this was great
Sheila DotsonReviewed in the United States on April 19, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
You will not be disappointed!!
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Amazing movie!!
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