Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Set at sea during the Napoleanic era, around 1805, our hero is the captain of a small British warship tasked with defending the Brazilian coast against the French. When a larger French vessel becomes aggressive, the chase is on, eventually ending up in the Pacific. The film provides a close-up and accurate look at life aboard a warship in those days, as the captain and his close friend, the surgeon, do their best to keep things under control and above water.

138 minutes.
No persons under 13 (Violence) .
Action, Adventure, Drama, War
Where's my Roman broadsword when I need it?...


Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, James D'Arcy, Edward Woodall, Chris Larkin, Max Pirkis, Jack Randall
Peter Weir
ScreenplayPeter Weir, John Collee, from the novels by Patrick O'Brian
MusicKlaus Badelt, Iva Davies, Christopher Gordon, Richard Tognetti, Brian Tyler
CinematographyRussell Boyd
Sound formatsDolby Digital, Sony Dynamic Digital Sound, DTS
Made in2003
Produced by20th Century Fox, Miramax Films, Universal Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn Films

Official Site


Scale (Max)20

What the Critics say

The Moviesite
Ian Douglas
Cape Argus
Derek Wilson
The Cape Times
Sergio Ben
The Star
Tanya Farber
Die Burger
Mariana Malan
Sunday Times
Barry Ronge
eye Weekly
Catherine Tunnacliffe
Box Office
Wade Major
James Berardinelli
Chicago Sunday Times
Roger Ebert

What the People say

1693 Netizens

Average .. 77%


Visitor Ratings

Scale (Max)20
Barbara Nuernberger (51)18
Aruana Zeelie (35)16

Average .. 85%


Visitor Comments

Ian Douglas: I was somewhat disappointed with the movie, especially given the hype around it. The production values and special effects were very good, but the story wasn't, to me.

It was a combination of several Standard Storylines — the cop-buddy movie, the road movie, the slice-of-life movie. Road movies and Slice-of-Life generally bore me, for some reason.

At times Crowe was using mannerisms from Beautiful Mind. Paul Bettany was very good as usual (Best Supporting Actor coming?), he seems to have fattened up quite a bit from Beautiful Mind and a Knight's Tale.

Certain plot points were way too obvious (which I obviously can't name), but I sat there just waiting for them to happen.

I enjoyed the odd moments of humour, even tho they were sometimes at points you would not expect them, like the Doc operating on himself...

I often struggled to follow the dialogue, not sure if it was the accents or just rushed uttering or background noise.

The Galopagos look like a good place to visit..

Barbara Nuernberger (51): I beg to differ with Ian Douglas: This is a movie for all educated romantic souls, male or female — it contains beautiful cinematography, which shows the grand old sailing ships in all their magnificence, has good dialogue (in impeccable English!) and features a very goodlooking masculine romantic hero (Crowe) who alone is worth watching and listening to (voice like Richard Burton's) — at least to the more mature, (again, educated) female audience! I enjoyed it from start to finish, except for a little too much blood and gore in the last battle scene. And what a nice, ironic (and humorous) ending!

Aruana Zeelie (35): I just adored this film. I have never read any of the Patrick O'Brian books, but M & C is apparently a mix of the first book and the 10th book (there are 20 books in total). Miramax and Fox is (was) hoping to make this a franchise, but I can't see that happening as the subject matter is not to everyone's taste. My cousin, who lives in the States, also went to see it this weekend and she just did not like it — at all. Worldwide, the critics love this film (our own Barry Ronge too). But unfortunately it is the audience that dictates if this movie will sink or swim (pardon the pun).

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