20 films about sea voyages and adventures

Films about ships are a captivating spectacle that helps you plunge into adventures at sea and distant islands for an hour or two, or watch battles with pirates and sea monsters, and sometimes make an excursion into the mythology associated with the water element. Artistic foreign and domestic films from this selection will also tell about great geographical discoveries and chilling shipwrecks.

In the power of the elements (2018)

Tami and Richard met in Tahiti and immediately fell in love with each other. And when friends offer a young engineer to overtake an expensive yacht to the California coast, the guy invites a new girlfriend with him. But a romantic cruise in the Pacific Ocean is interrupted by a powerful hurricane that disables the ship – now the lives of lovers are completely at the mercy of the raging elements. Principal photography for this exciting film about a yacht trip took place on the high seas, two hours from Fiji.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Adrift

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, melodrama, adventure, biography

Actors:
Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Thomas…

Country:
Hong Kong, Iceland, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Race of the Century (2017)

An amateur yachtsman from England must win the Golden Globe race. He has two reasons for this at once: the desire to save his own company from bankruptcy and the desire to fulfill an old dream. But is a man ready for solo swimming? And what will an indebted businessman be capable of for the sake of a cash prize? An adventure film about a round-the-world yacht race across the seas and oceans is based on real events.

Original title:
The Mercy

Genre:
Drama, detective, adventure, biography

Actors:
Colin Firth, Eleanor Stagg, Rachel Weisz…

Country:
UK, France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.0

Age limit:
16+


First (2017)

1735 refers to the era of great geographical discoveries. Some of them were made by pioneers from the Russian Empire. The historical drama tells about such people: graduates of the sailor Semyon Chelyuskin, Vasily Pronchishchev, and the bride, the beautiful Maria, who escaped from the groom to the ship. Obeying the order of the sovereign, the young men go on a journey “to the very edge of the Russian land along the icy sea” and fight for the girl’s heart. The second name of the film is “Constellation of Mary”, and the plot was based on the play of the same name by Vladimir Fedorov.

Genre:
Drama, adventure, history

Actors:
Nail Abdrakhmanov, Alina Lanina, Evgeny Tkachuk …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.4, IMDb – 5.2

Age restrictions:
12+


And the storm came (2016)

During the Norister storm, the tanker Pendleton crashes and breaks in half. Coast Guard Chief Commander Daniel Cluff sends a boat to the rescue and appoints Bernie as commander of the rescue operation. The guy’s fiancee Miriam considers the operation a pure suicide and tries to prevent the sailing. The script of the drama is an adaptation of the biographical novel The Selfless Hours by M. J. Tojays and K. Sherman.

Original title:
The Finest Hours

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, history

Actors:
Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Icebreaker (2016)

A dramatic movie about the ship “Mikhail Gromov”, which, after a collision with an iceberg, fell into an ice trap off the coast of Antarctica. The captain of the icebreaker is removed and the uncompromising and domineering Valentin Sevchenko is appointed instead. The actions of the new commander heat up relations in the crew to the limit. But people will have to wait another 133 days for rescue … The film about the forced drift in the ice of Mikhail Somov is worth watching for fans of dramas based on real events .

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Pyotr Fedorov, Sergey Puskepalis, Anna Mikhalkova …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
12+


In the heart of the sea (2015)

Angry monsters often turn out to be the heroes of films about sailors and discoverers and inspire fear in the audience, as they once did on the sailors themselves. The legend that frightened whalers was Moby Dick, the giant whale that wrecked the Essex. Once on the boats in the middle of the ocean, the crew members understand that no one will come to their aid. Some decide that in the absence of normal food, other people will become its replacement … The film is based on real events, and Herman Melville, the author of a book about the white sperm whale, was made one of the characters.

Original title:
In the Heart of the Sea

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, adventure, biography, history

Actors:
Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy …

Country:
USA, Australia, Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
12+


Against the Sun (2014)

A US Air Force plane crashes in the South Pacific. The three surviving pilots are forced to fight off the sharks while traveling in a life raft. Storms, lack of food and supplies of drinking water complicate the situation. The disaster film about WWII pilots is based on real events and is in the top of the American military dramas about survival in the ocean.

Original title:
Against the Sun

Genre:
Drama, military, biography

Actors:
Garret Dillahunt, Tom Felton, Jake Abel …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
12+


22 minutes (2014)

The Yamal gas carrier is captured by Somali pirates. Their commander, Amin Nur Bare, is trying to persuade the crew locked in the hold to surrender voluntarily. A team of marines is sent to rescue the captives , one of them, by chance, ends up on a captured ship. The pirate commander gives him a choice: persuade the crew to open the doors or die with them. In real life, a similar situation happened with the Moscow University tanker.

Genre:
Action

Actors:
Makar Zaporozhsky, Denis Nikiforov, Gael Kamilindi …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 5.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Hope will not fade away (2013)

A specific feature of this film about a journey at sea and in the ocean is the almost complete absence of words. The unnamed protagonist sets off on a sea voyage on a sailboat alone. When the ship is damaged, the traveler can only rely on himself. After all, ships passing by do not notice the lights on an inflatable raft … One of the most low-budget thrillers of recent years, filmed as a survival aid after a crash at sea.

Original title:
All Is Lost

Genre:
Adventure, drama

Actors:
Robert Redford

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.9

Age limit:
12+


Captain Phillips (2013)

An autobiographical story about a ship commander who had to survive an attack by Somali pirates and even be held hostage by Abduwali Muse. To save the team, Phillips has to risk his life, and subsequently – to trust the “seals” who were sent to carry out the rescue operation. The crime drama is based on the memoirs of Phillips himself, Captain’s Duty.

Original title:
Captain Phillips

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, action

Actors:
Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Life of Pi (2012)

A highly rated Oscar-winning film about the adventures of a reluctant sailor boy named Pi. When a steamship crashes, he finds himself on a boat with several animals and is forced to fight for survival with a tiger named Richard Parker. The story is told by Pi himself in conversation with writer Yann Martel. At the same time, two versions were offered to choose from: “fabulous” and more terrible, plausible. In the reviews, viewers note both the exciting plot and the realistic acting of the protagonist.

Original title:
Life of Pi

Genre:
Fantasy, drama, adventure

Actors:
Suraj Sharma, Irfan Khan, Ayush Tandon…

Country:
USA, Taiwan, UK, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.9

Age limit:
6+


Kon-Tiki (2012)

Historical film about the voyage of Thor Heyerdahl on the raft “Kon-Tiki”. He was the first who managed to get from South America to Polynesia. The Norwegian traveler also proved his theory that even before the time of Christopher Columbus, the population of South America inhabited these islands. The Kon-Tiki Museum dedicated to this expedition and the ethnographic study of the Polynesian islands was opened in the city of Bergen.

Original title:
Kon-Tiki

Genre:
Adventure, biography, history, drama

Actors:
Paul Sverre Valheim Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Tobias Zantelman …

Country:
Norway, UK, Denmark, Germany, Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
6+


Poseidon (2006)

On New Year ‘s Eve, the Poseidon cruise ship capsizes due to a giant wave. Only a small part of the crew and passengers manage to survive. Now it depends on the actions of the heroes whether they will be able to get out of the sinking ship and survive until the rescuers arrive. The film about a storm at sea and the sunken ship “Poseidon” is a remake of the 1972 film. Both adaptations were based on Paul Gallico’s Poseidon Adventure.

Original title:
Poseidon

Genre:
Action, thriller, adventure

Actors:
Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Jacinda Barrett…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Aquatic Life (2004)

The protagonist of the American tragicomedy is Steve Zissou, a researcher and author of many documentaries about the underwater world. During the filming of one of these tapes, a colleague Zissa is killed. The scientist assembles a team and goes on a submarine in search of a jaguar shark in order to avenge the death of a friend. The impressive spacesuit for filming was borrowed from the props of the thriller “Mission to Mars”.

Original title:
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Genre:
Action, drama, romance, comedy, adventure

Actors:
Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
12+


Master and Commander: At the End of the Earth (2003)

A captain in the British navy, nicknamed “Lucky”, commands the sailing ship “Surprise” during the Napoleonic Wars. After an enemy attack, the commander decides to pursue the enemy. The chase turns into a journey from the coast of Brazil to the Galapagos Islands via Cape Horn. The most beautiful adventure film about a trip across the ocean is based on the cult novels by Patrick O’Brian.

Original title:
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Genre:
Action, drama, adventure, military, history

Actors:
Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, James D’Arcy …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
12+


Pirates of the Caribbean (film series, 2003 – 2017)

The American Jack Sparrow franchise needs no recommendation – colorful  fantasy is on the lists of the best films in all countries. A mystical curse overtook the crew of the Black Pearl – the stolen gold of the Aztecs turned everyone except the captain of the ship into the living dead . The captain himself is temporarily in exile, but really wants to return his ship and punish the villain Barbossa for his treachery. The first and best film of the coolest pirate saga starring Johnny Depp.

Original title:
Pirates of the Caribbean

Genre:
Fantasy, action, adventure

Actors:
Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.3, IMDb – 8.0

Age restrictions:
12+


The Perfect Storm (2000)

The plot is based on the true story of the Andrea Gale, which sank during a Halloween storm in 1991. The action of the picture about the last hours of a fishing ship takes place off the coast of the city of Gloucester. Fishing for its population is the only way to feed themselves, so people agree to a risky voyage, not yet suspecting that their life could be the price of this exit to the sea. Not a single fish was harmed during filming: the dead specimens were made of rubber, while the living ones were created using computer animation.

Original title:
The Perfect Storm

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, adventure

Actors:
George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


White Squall (1995)

The Albatross is a training ship that will take Chuck Gigu and other young sailors to sail under the guidance of Captain Christopher Sheldon. The ocean is fraught with many dangers, and being in a confined space at first does not benefit the relationship between students. But everything changes when the ship gets into a storm. In real events, on the basis of which a film about sailors was made, not 4 people died, but 6, their names are indicated in the credits.

Original title:
White Squall

Genre:
Drama, adventure

Actors:
Jeff Bridges, Caroline Goodall, John Savage…

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.6

Age limit:
12+


Water World (1995)

The post-apocalyptic film tells about the fate of people after all the land was hidden by water. The few survivors united in groups that are at war with each other, and someone chose to remain alone. But all the survivors are looking for one thing – land on which to live. Before the advent of Titanic, the science fiction thriller Water World was considered the most expensive film in history.

Original title:
Waterworld

Genre:
Fantasy, Action, Adventure

Actors:
Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Jeanne Tripplehorn …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 6.2

Age Limits :
12+


1492: The Conquest of Paradise (1992)

The whole world knows the story of the discovery of America. At the end of the 15th century, the ambitious navigator Christopher Columbus is going to pave the way to India through the Pacific Ocean. Enlisting the help of Queen Isabella, he carries out his plans, but does not yet know that he will discover a new land by accident. The biographical drama team had to sue the Salkinds to use the name of Christopher Columbus in the title.

Original title:
1492: Conquest of Paradise

Genre:
Drama, adventure, biography, history

Actors:
Gerard Depardieu, Armand Assante, Sigourney Weaver …

Country:
UK, France, Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
12+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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