There's no war film more claustrophobically terrifying than Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot (1981). Seen from the German side, these guys, hardly the exemplars of the master race, are buried alive in their leaky, filthy U-boat as they're buffeted by unseen depth charges fathoms below the north Atlantic. Under Petersen's masterful, close-up direction (The Never Ending Story, The Perfect Storm, Troy), the suspense is unendurable; Das Boot is 216 minutes of shell shock. Solid Jürgen Prochnow plays the harried captain, who tries to keep his crew together and somewhat sane but is up against terrible odds. This is one war film where we root for the villains.
Thu., Jan. 24, 6 p.m., 2013