Combustible Celluloid
Search for streaming:
NetflixHuluGoogle PlayGooglePlayCan I
With: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine, Yani Gellman, Santiago Segura, Chris J. Johnson
Written by: Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera
Directed by: Johannes Roberts
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense peril, bloody images, and brief strong language
Running Time: 89
Date: 06/17/2017

47 Meters Down (2017)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Sharks and Wreck

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

An extremely simple idea — with many pitfalls — unfolds into a no-frills thriller that's so insidiously gripping that it verges on throttling; shark fans shouldn't miss seeing this on the big screen.

In 47 Meters Down, sisters Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) are on vacation in Mexico. Kate is the adventurous type, while Lisa likes to play it safe, although her cautious nature has resulted in her boyfriend leaving her. They meet a couple of nice local boys (Yani Gellman and Santiago Segura), who convince them to go diving in a shark cage.

The boat's captain (Matthew Modine) gets them ready, and assures them that everything is safe. They will only be going down five meters. But the winch breaks and the girls are plummeted to the bottom of the ocean. If they leave the cage, the sharks will attack, and if they try to reach the surface, they will surely expire from "the bends." But their air is running out, and help is not arriving fast enough.

Crafting an admirably tight, 89-minute "B" movie, director and co-writer Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door) quickly sets up the sympathetic characters and quickly gets them in the shark tank, building suspense with the cautious Lisa's believable and understandable panic. (Quick breathing is a tense part of this movie's soundtrack.)

Once underwater, the innumerable obstacles keep the story moving briskly, from the depth of the water to the lack of air, and to the sharks, which can pop out at any moment. At least one plot device has the power to catch you off guard, and there's a sudden drop into darkness that is — frankly — probably scarier than anything with teeth.

Most impressively, 47 Meters Down raises the stakes high enough to make even seasoned moviegoers squirm and shriek in terror and delight. It's gripping almost to the point of throttling.

Movies Unlimtied