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It`s World War 2 and German submarines are taking their toll on shipping in the Atlantic, it`s vital for the Allies to lay their hands on an Enigma coding machine... and the opportunity presents itself when a German sub is crippled, waiting for a repair vessel. American intelligence - maybe there could be another name for it - decides to send a sub, under the command of Bill Paxton, with a phony German crew to overwhelm the crew of the crippled craft and steal the Enigma. But accidents happen, the skeleton phony German crew, led by Lt. Tyler, Matthew McConaughey - has to take over the crippled craft after their own base is destroyed... There is a subtext here - it`s a coming of command story for Lt Tyler, who`s not been prepared until now to make the hard decisions. But it`s not a greatly developed one. Jonathan Mostow wrote and directed U-571, he`d only made Breakdown, the thriller starring Kurt Russell, before this and now he attacks another genre, the submarine movie. But it`s pretty superficial, even though it delivers all the requisite tension of depth charges, torpedoes and water pressure at great depth. Harvel Keitel walks through his role as the Chief Engineer, and McConaughey doesn`t really have anything to work with. There are in fact no real characters, there are only caricatures... David`s comments:Though technically this WW2 submarine drama is often impressive, dramatically it`s cliched. That it plays fast and loose with the facts of the real events on which it`s based is just one of the irritating things about it; another is Matthew McConaughey`s seriously one-dimensional performance. Even a film of the 50s, like The Enemy Below, was dramatically more exciting; comparisons with Das Boot really show up the deficiencies of this one.