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Dead Calm (1989)

After a tragedy, John Ingram and his wife Rae are spending some time isolated at sea, when they come across a stranger who has abandoned a sinking ship. (R, 96 min.)

This edge of your seat thriller follows an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill), whose yacht cruise is violently interrupted by the lone survivor of a ship whose crew has perished.
When a veteran sailor and his wife rescue the half-delirious sole survivor of a crippled schooner on a dead-calm ocean, the skeptical husband rows to the disabled boat and finds a horrifying sight. Turning back to his own ship, he sees her racing away—with his wife on board—starting a desperate cat-and-mouse game on the high seas. From the novel Dead Calm by Charles Williams.
[Warner Bros]

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane
Director: Phillip Noyce
Genre(s): Horror, Thriller

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"It’s Nicole Kidman who steals the show."

— Luke Buckmaster, The Guardian

"Dead Calm is a nail-biting suspense pic handsomely produced and inventively directed."

— Staff, Variety

"Rippling with resonance, Dead Calm is Jaws in a human form, a shape profoundly complete and completely disturbing."

— Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"A spare, smart, seductive piece of real movie making with loopholes covered, a superlative cast and enough tension to keep us all hyperventilating for hours."

— Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times

"A classic piece of pared-down genre film-making is lent extra depth by an emotional subtext stressing Kidman's transition from dependent wife to resourceful individual."

— Nigel Floyd, Time Out

"Cinematogapher Dean Semler gets amazing colours as the sun sets, and there’s a bravely avant-garde debut score from Kiwi composer Graeme Revell, pumping up the pulse with sinister breathing sounds. The plot even thrives on a tacit cultural tension between the Australian stars and the arrogant interloper."

— Tim Robey, The Telegraph