5) Das Boot (1981)
In many of the best sub movies, the Captain has some quarrel going on with his Crew. Washington is at odds with Hackman in Crimson Tide, same with Neeson and Ford in K-19: The Widowmaker. McConaughey’s Chief (U-571) doesn’t have his mens confidence and Connery’s men are a bit afraid of him. But Prochnow’s Captain Lehmann is the complete, relaxed and confident master of his men and boat. They respond to him like nerves respond to the brain. And this is only part of the reason why this is the best sub movie ever. The tension is masterfully built. It feels, creaks and leaks like a real sub movie It’s Petersen at his best. The claustrophobia just works, Petersen succeeds in adding the weight of the Atlantic over this entire picture. No time for internal disputes here, this is a real war, the biggest ever and they tend to sort the shit from the strong. Das Boot is the best submarine movie ever made.