Visitor Comments on this Film

Below are some visitor comments on this film. Please note that reading them may 'spoil' the movie for you if you haven't seen it yet.

For visitor comments after 5 May, 2000, please see the uboat.net Forum.

5 May, 2000 I suppose any submarine movie is better than no submarine movie, but come on! Just a tad of technical accuracy would have been appreciated. The sound effects were great, and it's nice to see the progress digital animation has made (and has yet to go). The fraternization between officers and enlisted simply would not have happened. Had the Captain "had a few" with the enlisted men, you can be sure the Captain would have been hauled over the coals by his superior, and he would never have done it again. Also, my experience with Naval officers is that they have an arrogance and conceit that showed nowhere in this movie. Hey, it was just one big Frat party, right? I think not. As for the German destroyer being torpedoed in the bow... what was he hauling? 10,000 tons of Nitroglycerine? It goes on and on... technical inaccuracies galore... why couldn't they have done an accurate movie with qualified technical advisers from BOTH sides that told the REAL story? It would have been plenty interesting, and could have become a classic submarine movie in the process. Oh, well... maybe next time...

5, May 2000 Two other points I though were not correct: First, considering the differences between the type VII/IX and the US Class S subs, how likely would a good U-boat crew would mistake the S-Class for either a type VII or a IX? even in bad weather! Second, how many CO's on any ship would turn broadside and offer a bigger target for a single torpedo when they are faced with a bow shot? I also found the machine gunning of the lifeboat unnecessary. Perhaps the director felt some need to make the audience dislike the U-boat crew.

5 May, 2000 What comes in mind for me with this film is that again a fiction-history film makes a new history. We have the same effect with all those so-called western films, which made all "we" know about the former inhabitants of North America. Lies after lies were told until nobody knew the truth. So now, after most of the men who fought in WWII are gone Hollywood and their mindmakers begin to establish a new history. It is not just one funny film, there will come more of that kind.

4 May, 2000 Most of the comments on this page are right on target (the plot was completely derivative of every other U-boat movie, minus the accuracy) but did anyone notice the sound effects and sound track? The music was blasting just to try to create the tension that a quieter scene would have done much better ...What about the torpedoes ? They sounded like they were rocket powered, not prop driven. One earlier post was wondering about the German ship that was torpedoed near the end of the movie. I think it was a cardboard clad fireworks transport.

4 May, 2000 The movie was really entertaining. If looked at logically, or taken seriously, you have problems.

4 May, 2000 Me and my brother-in-law saw the movie yesterday, and needless to say we couldn't stop picking this movie apart at every scene. First of all, they should have given the British the proper credit and included them in the movie, not being murdered in a lifeboat by the so called SS Kriegsmarines at sea, come on already! We all know that the British, H.M.S. Bulldog was the Naval destroyer who captured the Enigma encryptor/decryptor machine from the German U-110. The beginning was the only redeemable factor in the movie because it followed the Das Boot format with the subtitles and realism firing on Allied merchant ships bringing supplies over to Europe. The torpedo that was fired from the U-571 was just going way too far for me. How could just one torpedo destroy a whole German warship, enough already! If they had that capability with just one Torpedo, the war in the Atlantic would have been over in 6 months for the Allies. The Torpedo hit the bow of the ship, the strongest part of a warship, and the explosive techs on the movie "blew" it as well, notice when the torpedo hits, the deck of the destroyer blows up first, what is in the bow that can explode that explosively and then ignite the whole ship to go like that? Who is Hollywood kidding, Me and my brother-in-law both feel that U-571 should have been scuttled.

4 May, 2000 The effects in the movie were excellent, just turn off the history part of your brain and you may enjoy it. It was kind of like Star Wars though - the good guys make every lucky shot they try using unfamiliar weapons, while the bad guys can't hit the water using the guns they supposedly trained on!!

3 May, 2000 A waste of time and money. Don't bother.

3 May, 2000 Fun movie but when the S-boat dove they sounded the surface alarm! - ex diesel boat sailor, CAPT, USN(Ret)

3 May, 2000 OK, U-571 was not a Das Boot or Red October (I only mention The Hunt for Red October because its one of my favorite sub movies.) But for a submarine story its pretty cool. Instead of boring us with a bunch of junk about the enigma machine put action into the movie. And to do that you need to make it less realistic. Every movie has to get rid of some correct information. Like the depth charges they didn't really shake a ship that much. And a normal US submarine crew wouldn't be able to run a German U-boat but who cares that movie rocked.

2 May, 2000 The movie was entertaining. It is good to see that the interest in WWII has not yet disappeared. I do agree with the writer who said there are enough true stories to tell. There is no need to make up stories. Does anyone know: What type of ship was the German destroyer?

2 May, 2000 The Best Comedy of the Year! It's hard to find one redeeming quality of the movie "U-571". I had some advance notice as to what the movie was about and I'm sad to say it lived up to all of those lower than low expectations. To see what I mean, you need look no farther than the premise of the main plot. The Americans capturing Enigma in 1942??? How about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor?? When the basis is so faulty it's hard to sit and watch the rest.

And it only starts there. Machine gunning survivors in a lifeboat? All we needed was Humphrey Bogart. The crew of a German destroyer dressed in Gestapo uniforms? A German destroyer in the Western Approaches? And how about the name of the destroyer? Oh, sure it had a "Z" number on the hull, but the whaleboat they send over to U-571 said "Anschluss" on the side. Why don't we just call it the "Holocaust"? A long range German recon fighter which was a poorly disguised P-51. I could go on for hours.

Director Jonathan Mostow said recently on the History Channel that he did a lot of research and talking to vets before writing the screenplay. Well, if this is the end result of that time, then I say I was time poorly spent. I thought it interesting that not one German source was credited for advising in the film's production - (ie - the U-boat Archive)

Even as an action movie, U-571 is weak. If you must go see, be advised that you will learn less from this movie about the capturing of Enigma than watching Martha Stewart. But funny?? I couldn't stop laughing!!!!!!

1 May, 2000 I just saw the movie yesterday. I would give it an alright but nothing was done in this movie that wasn't done in Das Boot minus any emotional aspect. I did however find one scene more disturbing than the part where the U-boat men gunned down the survivors of a sinking. It was the part where the black guy opened the door to the forward compartment where all the crew was and called them "Marys". They had a lot of gall calling these men "Marys" when there was only a 1 in 4 survival rate. These men knew that when they signed up statistics were that they would probably die. No matter what side you are on if you are willing to give your life for what you think is right then you are not a "Mary" in my book.

1 May, 2000 Too many people are getting upset because of historical inaccuracy displayed in the movie U-571. I admit, it's pretty bad, but the movie should be viewed as a form of entertainment, and as noted in the end of the movie, is just a dedication (even though it should also be dedicated to all the Germans that died in the submarine war; it's not like they didn't have a share in the losses). Something I did not like was the shooting of the British people on the lifeboat. The only Germans that really did things of the type were brainwashed Nazis that felt little or no pain when they killed someone. I, being German, hate that many Americans (and other people from other nations) are blinded by their prejudices and think all Germans were Nazis that killed like there was no tomorrow, which is why I was appalled by the German killing British survivors scene. If it was to make us not feel bad about the Germans dying, why does the one guy (I don't know his name) return the one German's ring? Anyway, one thing I noticed, was something about the names that compared to a well known movie, 'The Matrix'. Tank and Trigger, both members of the submarine crew, and both members in the rebellion the people in the matrix are doing. Trigger died in the Matrix, and so did he in U-571. Tank was the guy that stayed behind in The Matrix and took care of the people while they were in the matrix. Here, Tank is the guy that keeps the engines and all that stuff in the back running while others take care of other situations. Matrix: Tank gets wounded by traitor Seifer. U-571: Tank gets wounded by German. To wrap this up, I think the review was dead on and quite accurate.

1 May, 2000 Just came back from watching U-571. All I have to say is "I wish they would refund my money". Not a bit of truth in the movie. It was horrible. Why did they not consult with U-boat veterans?

1 May, 2000 There is a post on the discussion of the movie U-571 stating that it would be unlikely for a Black sailor to be aboard a US submarine in WW II. I disagree. I was a US submarine sailor throughout the '60s. I served with several WW II submarine veterans who were nearing retirement. Some of them were Black. The below link is to a newspaper article about a Black US submarine sailor lost during WW II.


While it is true that most Black men on a US submarine during WW II would be mess attendants, a submarine sailor is first of all a SUBMARINER. He would have qualified on the same watch stations and systems as any other enlisted man.

1 May, 2000 I have seen U-571 and it is OK to say the least. This movie just confirmed my belief that the USA won the war single handed and that the UK and Commonwealth, Russia and France were there to make up the numbers. I notice at the end they didn't make any note about the real U-571. The depth charge attack on the sub would have sunk them many times over and the fact that when the Germans spoke to the Americans and got no reply would have raised suspicion.

30 April, 2000 This was a horrible portrayal of the U-boat War. It goes to show that this is the only country in the world that still has a strong propaganda ministry alive, which is Hollywood. Mostow is no historian by any means. Wonder why they can't make a good U-boat movie. I guess the truth would hurt, to show the U-Boat'ers aiding survivors.

30 April, 2000 There were some things that stretched the imagination a bit, but that is "artistic license", I suppose. If a "milch cow" was sent to that disabled sub, I would have thought the captain of U-571 would have been a little surprised to see a small sub show up. As I understood, the "milch cows" (supply subs) were quite a bit larger than the regular U-Boat. As others have noticed, there also was little emphasis on any "recognition signals" going on when the American sub came up to U-571. Also, how could the "destroyer" not have noticed the deck gun being loaded with "ready ammunition" - deck guns were not left in a loaded condition, right? Plus when all the shooting started, the fellow in the sub is looking through the periscope at the action unfold... a good way to get a periscope shot up! Plus it looked like the destroyer was using a heavy machine gun or oerlikon-type of weapon which would have left a definite "impression" on that conning tower! I also felt that the destroyer/trawler's ultimate destruction to be a bit fake with the digital effects. All in all, I was glad I saw this movie, but will wait for it to come out on cable before I see it again.

30 April, 2000 I just came back from the theater and the movie brought me to your site. I really like your critic, and felt the same way about the killing of British sailors too, without having heard about the Laconia order though.

29 April, 2000 I think U-571 was the best movie I've seen this year. The best part was when the Americans boarded the sub and when that mystery U-boat torpedoed the S-33. Every single explosion I saw was enormous.

29 April, 2000 The German destroyer. I mean man what were they thinking. First off, German destroyers never ventured into the Western Approaches, especially in 1942, when virtually no German surface warship ventured into the Atlantic. Second off, the destroyer didn't even look like a German destroyer. It looked like an oversized corvette, with more guns. Other than that and a bunch of other things, the movie was OK. Das Boot was still a lot better.

29 April, 2000 I know U-571 is no Das Boot but with all of today's movies half of them bad it's good to see some U-boat movies. The graphics are good and the plot is sub-par but altogether I liked it and I know I'm not the only one.

29 April, 2000 Another stupid but interesting thing about the movie - when the American captain was telling his XO to dive the sub after the S33 sank, he was waving his hand just like captain Ahab in "Moby Dick". Goofy Hollywood strikes again.

29 April, 2000 U-571 is no Das Boot. That was my summation of the movie before I learned of the website uboat.net and read Tonya Allen's critique. Good special effects and a lot of action but otherwise pretty lame.

One technical criticism I had was when the Germans machined gunned the Allied lifeboat. The German machine gun was firing too slowly. It sounded much more like an Allied gun than the much faster firing guns the Germans used.

As far as substituting Americans for British in a historical situation you just need to look back to the old TV series Rat Patrol. That had Americans storming around the North African desert raising havoc with Rommel's troops. The real ones who did that, and accounted for a tremendous number of Axis aircraft destroyed, were the British LRDG (Long Range Desert Group).

29 April, 2000 I was amazed to see that the American boat would set to sea without any sort of other markings other than the major Kriegsmarine insignia. Wouldn't a resupply have borne something more? While the movie was looking to create a sense of camaraderie, the relationship between officers of the sub, and her men would have been very different. Even during WW II. Officers never "go out for a round with their enlisted men". That simply doesn't happen. Furthermore, and I only got the slightest of glimpses at it, but it looked to me as if the Skipper of the S class boat was wearing a ribbon a tad "pre-emptively". One of the ribbons on Bill Paxton bore a striking resemblence to a Viet-Nam era ribbon. It looked to me to be a Republic of Vietnam service ribbon. I might be wrong, or it may be some little Hollywood joke, but I swear I saw one. Beyond that, the movie was spectacular, and I loved the camera work.

27 April, 2000 I served on an American diesel submarine of WWII vintage during the Vietnam War, so I am familiar with the workings of a diesel submarine. I found U-571 to be entertaining but it was pure Hollywood. I wondered what happened to their technical advisor. Why did they say Dive, Dive, Dive when the command was normally Dive, Dive ?? Flooding the torpedo tubes at 200 meters ?? I don't think so ! The German destroyer looks more like an ocean going tug or an American ASR (submarine rescue ship).

27 April, 2000 Your review is dead-on. Except for the underwater footage, in fact, there was nothing at all in U-571 that wasn't done (and done better) in Das Boot--the popping rivets, the sudden sprung leaks, usw. There was no tension or suspense to speak of, the depth-charge plumes weren't as believable as those in The Enemy Below, and the scenes in which the depth charges would all of a sudden barrage U-571 just became chaotic and incomprehensible without being scary. A lot of it seemed like an episode of Star Trek, with McConnaughey as Kirk and Keitel as Scotty: "Take her down to 200 meters." "She won't GO to 200 meters!" "I said take her down!" The movie also ended rather abruptly, didn't you think? After all these travails, all these trials, all these ingenious escapes, Keitel announces that the boat's sinking, McConnaughey says, "Let's abandon ship," and everyone's in the lifeboat, awaiting rescue by the manifestly digital US Navy plane.

27 April, 2000 I do not understand why,.......Hollywood does not make a submarine movie about an actual incident, either U-boat or American Fleet boat. There were hundreds of REAL stories from WWII that are just as exciting or even more dramatic than Hollywood's fictional representations of WWII dramas. Why not tell the story about Gunther Prien U-47 Scapa Flow adventure? How about a film story about the USS Wahoo or USS Tang? The point I am making is that there are hundreds of true stories and events that are more interesting than the fiction Hollywood comes out with. The film U-571 is a typical Hollywood misrepresentation of the facts of WWII and the German U-boat Service as well as the American Submarine Service. I suppose it would be too much to ask from Hollywood to create an authentic portrayal of an actual event in WWII.

26 April, 2000 I agree the action and the effects in the movie were quite good, but the entire storyline seems to far-fetched for me. It seems everything in the movie went the Americans' way (from the takeover to the German destroyer's depth charges hitting every place but the sub and blasts that were right beside the sub causing no damage at all.) The takeover scene was the most annoying one for me. The scene was more than 40 seconds in length (the time for a crash dive) and even though the order was given to dive, the sub never did. In reality, even if the Americans did get inside in under 40 secs, the sub would have dived before they could take full control of the sub, but never did. And it made sense that the U-571 (before the takeover) would have requested the ID (via signal light) of the approaching sub and confirm it with the reply from Germany to ascertain that the sub they are seeing was the one sent.

Torpedoes on U-boats were meant to be fired at surface ships, thus underwater battles like the one with the sub that destroyed the other U-boat were very much so impossible. The torpedoes were not homing and simply went in a straight line from where they were fired. Even if the torpedo could somehow be set to run deep enough to hit a submerged U-boat, the Americans sure didn't pull the torpedoes out of the tubes and adjust them.

25 April, 2000 I think for all the hype the movie producers have made for this movie, the making of the film, History Channel reviews, directors behind the scenes type interviews etc., the least they could have done was throw in a dedication to all the submariners in WW2 no matter which side they fought on, they served... The movie was great, a bit of Hollywood involved in some scenes. Just great to see some old subs in action.

23 April, 2000 I was pleasantly surprised by this enjoyable submarine action film. It created tense situations and exploited them properly. Perhaps, there are some historical inaccuracies, but let's face it, this is a major Hollywood production. Overall, this is a very enjoyable film to those that like these films. As for the gunning down of the British in the lifeboat, the U-boat commander orders it out of fear that they will be rescued and give up their current location. Given the fact that they were disabled, it seemed like a proper wartime order to give. PS The destroyer practically exploding into a million pieces after being torpedoed was a little overly dramatic!

23 April, 2000 One thing I saw in the movie that was not true of the WWII era was a black man in the submarine service. Another scene that was a little on the overkill was when the torpedo hit the German destroyer it went up like an inferno.

22 April, 2000 Your article sums it up nicely. Definitely worth the trip but no Das Boot. I too was quite disturbed by the machine gunning scene, I thought it rather contrived and really added nothing to the movie. I could see no point to it, though my son said he felt it made the Germans out to be "bad guys" so the audience would not feel sorry for them when they were killed as the sub was stormed. Maybe that was the point, but rather tacky as far as I was concerned.

22 April, 2000 Das habe ich gleich gedacht uber diese Film, es hat mich sehr gefreut wenn die Deutsche KRIEGSMARINE war nicht grossen, alten volk! Das gefallt mir nicht wenn die KRIEGSMARINE STIRBT DIE ANGLISCHES SEEMAN (IN THE LIFEBOAT)! Naturlisch es gibt keine Deutsch mit Personalichkeit in diese film. Aber die film war ziemlich schoen.

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