White Squall

Ridley Scott directs a script by Todd Robinson based on a true story about an ocean academy for male high school students in the Caribbean in 1960, run by a tough skipper (Jeff Bridges) who calls to mind a crusty army sergeant with a hidden heart of gold. The training ship sailed into a freak storm called a white squall and sank, with half a dozen casualties. The story has its corny aspects, but thanks to Scott’s skill as an image maker and as a storytellerproceeding from the very blue and very abstract water seen behind the credits to the climactic, extended stormthis is superior to both Dead Poets Society (as a tale about a boys’ school and its charismatic teacher) and Apollo 13 (as a true-life action adventure). With Caroline Goodall, John Savage, Scott Wolf, Jeremy Sisto, and Balthazar Getty. (JR)

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