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Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014: #196. Kevin MacDonald’s Black Sea

Black Sea

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Writer: Dennis Kelly
Producers: Macdonald and Charles Steel
U.S. Distributor: Focus Features
Cast: Jude Law, Jodie Whittaker, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Karl Davies, and Daniel Ryan

Kevin Macdonald’s been busy. Alternating between feature films and documentaries (he had one of each in 2013), he’s back with an action thriller in 2014. While a preliminary plot synopsis doesn’t quite spark the imagination, Macdonald’s got a knack for off the cuff momentum, even in material that’s sometimes a bit tepid (2009’s State of Play, for instance). An unassuming cast adds to intrigue.

Gist: Jude Law plays a modern-day submarine captain who is laid off by the salvage company he works for. Desperate to get even with his former employers and to prove himself, he is approached by a shadowy backer. Handed command of a submarine that is barely seaworthy, he is to rally a gang of English and Russian die-hard seafarers, outcasts and/or psychopaths all, on a mission. Their quarry is a storied sunken submarine, said to be loaded with lost gold, lying at the bottom of disputed waters in the Black Sea. The captain and his crew will have to go to the depths – in more ways than one – to get the loot. The closer they get to the prize, the riskier it becomes to trust one another.

Release Date: Focus has not dated their pick-up, but this is sure to get some kind of fest play, perhaps Venice or Toronto.

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Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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