Deep Water

In 1969, Donald Crowhurst, a former engineer whose bravado outweighed his sailing expertise, entered a London Times-sponsored yacht race around the world. This thrilling documentary incorporates actual footage of the race to depict the harrowing conditions Crowhurst faced. Refusing to turn back even as his homemade boat took on water, he depended on his ingenuity to survive the dangers of the sea and the threat of insanity.
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Netflix Rating: 3.6
Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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The details just get stranger and stranger.
Jason Anderson, Globe and Mail  full review
As directed by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell, the movie breezes along at a highly watchable clip, thanks to fluid, affecting intercutting of archival, black-and-white footage and present-day interviews.
Desson Thomson, Washington Post  full review
For this gripping and amazing documentary, such truth emerges not just from the facts, but also the poetry of men who redefine themselves in a risky race on small sailboats.
Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle  full review
Deep Water is a stunning documentary that not only beautifully elucidates a nearly forgotten incident but touches on crucial themes involving isolation, sanity, self-worth, impossible dreams, the nature of heroism and limits of human endurance.
Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
One of this year's better studies of the human soul.
G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
Osmond and Rothwell do a commendable job of mining a rich archive of material.
Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times  full review
Osmond and Rothwell's depiction of his unraveling is an exquisitely structured drama.
Joshua Katzman, Chicago Reader  full review
To reveal Crowhurst's decision would be to spoil a stunning tale. Deep Water is not itself comparably stunning.
Mark Feeney, Boston Globe  full review
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer  full review
A fascinating documentary about the first single-handed around-the-world sailing race, begins like a Boy's Own adventure tale but ends up more akin to tragedy.
Rachel Saltz, New York Times  full review
Deep Water is a documentary, but it's also one part adventure film, one part Greek tragedy, and one part meditation on the role of the 'hero' in modern society.
James Berardinelli, ReelViews  full review
An enthralling documentary about an Englishman named Donald Crowhurst who, in 1968, set off on a solitary, nonstop circumnavigation of the globe.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal  full review
A spooky, moving doc that chronicles the first solo attempt to circle the world by boat.
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly  full review
His story is a footnote in sailing history, to be sure, but a fascinating one.
Jack Mathews, New York Daily News  full review
Given that the tedium of months on the open seas could and did drive a man insane, co-directors Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell have done a commendable job of making Deep Water... well, not boring.
Julia Wallace, Village Voice  full review
Similars Available on Instant
  • Release Year: 2006
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 92 min
  • Available From: Nov 20, 2009
  • Queued by: 962 people
Directed By
Louise Osmond, Jerry Rothwell
Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Simon Russell Beale, Tilda Swinton

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