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Kursk (2018)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, History | 21 June 2019 (USA)
1:39 | Trailer
The film follows the 2000 K-141 Kursk submarine disaster and the governmental negligence that followed. As the sailors fight for survival, their families desperately battle political obstacles and impossible odds to save them.


Thomas Vinterberg


Robert Rodat, Robert Moore (based on Robert Moore's book "A Time to Die")



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Credited cast:
Léa Seydoux ... Tanya Averina
Matthias Schoenaerts ... Mikhail Averin
Colin Firth ... Commodore David Russell
Max von Sydow ... Vladimir Petrenko
Michael Nyqvist
August Diehl ... Anton Markov
Matthias Schweighöfer ... Pavel Sonin
Steven Waddington ... Graham Mann
Pernilla August ... Oksana
Zlatko Buric ... Kulkin
Eva van der Gucht ... Marina
Joel Basman ... Leo
Magnus Millang ... Oleg Lebedev
Gustaf Hammarsten ... Mikhail Denisov
John Hollingworth ... Bruce Hamill


The film follows the 2000 K-141 Kursk submarine disaster and the governmental negligence that followed. As the sailors fight for survival, their families desperately battle political obstacles and impossible odds to save them.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense disaster-related peril and disturbing images, and for brief strong language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook Hong Kong


Belgium | Luxembourg



Release Date:

21 June 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kursk See more »

Filming Locations:

Belgium See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Most of the film was shot in Belgium, especially in the AED studios, in Antwerp, and in several natural settings. Three to four weeks of filming took place in France, mainly on military bases. See more »


27 minutes into the film (the explosions already have happened), while the survivors scramble for solutions, Mikhail (the main character) shouts orders to another compartment, using what is supposed to be an intercom, a red box mounted to the sub's bulkhead. The box is in fact an American World-War 2 military VHF receiver, model BC-603. It was used by the American Signal Corps. The original color is army-green, but the props department painted it red. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Too much melodrama, not enough suspense
8 March 2019 | by ginocox-206-336968See all my reviews

Kursk offers excellent production values, cinematography and performances, but falls victim to its own conceit in attempting to interweave muddled, inconsistent political statements, resulting in a film that alternates between tense action and maudlin sentimentality.

The plot description on IMDb states, "As the sailors fight for survival, their families desperately battle political obstacles and impossible odds to save them." The futile and ineffective efforts of the families have little to do with the through line, but considerable attention is devoted to opening and closing scenes presented in a distractingly claustrophobic cropped frame, as well as raucous town hall meetings evocative of contemporary meetings disrupted by virulent activists promoting radical political ideologies. The Russian bureaucracy is presented again, again and again as obstinate and deceitful, leaving one to wonder if the filmmakers are attempting to make a statement about contemporary claims of Russian interference and hegemony. Although framed as a tragedy, the film isn't in the classical sense of a noble hero brought to ruin by a personal flaw. However, there is a tragic element in a recurring plot device concerning timepieces which in a minor way impedes the protagonist's ability to perform his duties. In the denouement, this device is woven into an apparent call out to the Resist! Movement. A scene evocative of the Sermon on the Mount seems to advocate income redistribution.

Yet, these apparent efforts to espouse liberal political ideologies are confused by other elements. The disaster is exacerbated by the Russian Navy's failure to properly maintain its fleet, suggesting more money should have been spent on the military. The socialist/communist bureaucracy is depicted as corrupt, ineffective and incompetent, possibly as a cautionary note to accepting the political policies of Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders, and possibly even leftists like Warren and Pelosi. The Russian military is depicted as ineffective and a theme is that all sailors are brothers, regardless of nationality, possibly suggesting that we should consider Russia a potential ally, rather than our natural enemy.

The movie joins a large group of recent films that seem compelled to make political statements at the expense of plot and character development. It could have been a much more effective thriller by focusing on the disaster and the efforts by the crew to overcome impossible odds. Alternatively, it could have been a melodrama, focusing on the efforts of the wives to persuade intransigent bureaucrats, particularly Max von Sydow's Petrenko, to admit failure and take the moral high ground instead of blind obsequiousness to party dogma.

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