Top ten sea movies

Can't swim? Scared of sharks? Have no fear - to celebrate the release of Russell Crowe's Master and Commander, here are ten movies that will give you all the thrills of going to sea without leaving dry land...

The Abyss (1989)

Subterranean extraterrestrials make life difficult for an underwater rescue crew in James Cameron's bloated epic, which is almost as difficult to sit through as it reportedly was to make. The scene where Ed Harris lets estranged wife Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio drown before his eyes is sure to strike a chord with anyone experiencing marital difficulties - who needs lawyers, eh? - but it's probably not one to try at home.

Crimson Tide (1995)

Thanks to Hollywood, those of us who have never set foot on a submarine still know exactly what's it's like: tense, claustrophobic and full of machines that go "ping". Gene Hackman is the gung-ho captain eager to launch his missiles against a perceived Russian threat, while Denzel Washington is the cautious lieutenant forced into mutiny. See also The Hunt for Red October, Das Boot, U-571...

Dead Calm (1989)

OK, so hitchhikers might not be the top of most people's lists of watery threats. But as Sam Neill and Nicole Kidman discover in this classy Aussie thriller, picking up a stranger in the middle of the ocean is a recipe for catastrophe - especially when your guest (Billy Zane) turns out to be a class-A nutjob who's slaughtered an entire boat crew. Something tells us that harpoon gun is going to come in handy.

Deep Rising (1998)

Think the passengers on the cruise ship Aurora had it bad when a food bug crashed their Mediterranean voyage? Nonsense. For a real nightmare, try being aboard a pleasure cruiser that's being attacked by a giant monster squid with a penchant for sucking folk down the toilet. Treat Williams, Famke Janssen and Britain's Jason Flemyng are just a few of the plucky actors trying to avoid taking a trip up the U-bend.

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Mutant "smart sharks" turn on their creators in this underwater actioner, in which Samuel L Jackson and LL Cool J risk becoming sushi when the brainy fish bred by Brit babe Saffron Burrows work out how to escape her hi-tech underwater facility. As dumbass experiments go this is right up there with the raptor breeding in Jurassic Park, so don't be put off if you find yourself rooting for the sharks.

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