DEAD CALM (1989) 
Nicole Kidman
Sam Neill
Billy Zane
Rod Mullinar
Joshua Tilden
George Shevtsov
Michael Long
Lisa Collins

Philip Noyce



Time: 95 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Thriller

SYNOPSIS: An Australian couple take a sailing trip in the Pacific to forget about a terrible accident. While on the open sea, in a dead calm, they come across a ship with one survivor who is not at all what he seems.

BOTTOM LINE: Suspense films rarely gets better than this. The plot is not what you'd call complicated and yet I guarantee you will be glued to the edge of your seat. DEAD CALM is a perfect example of an average story taken to a whole different level by the stellar performances of its' stars. Wirth, Kidman (in her first major role) and Neill are at their very best as they do battle against each other for their very survival on the high seas.

Well, actually, Kidman and Neill, playing a happily married couple, are forced to fend off a very deranged Zane, who's more than likely about to remove them permanently from this world. The pivotal role in this film is Zane's. He must be charming and scary or it just doesn't work. If he's too freaky they don't trust him enough to fall into his trap to begin with, if he's too cute, you don't fear for their lives...and believe me you do. He may have played a "villain" in TITANIC, but that character's Barney Fife compared to this guy.

Kidman and Neill are also amazing as the couple who fight for their marriage and their lives. This was one of the first times I saw Ms. Kidman act and after it was over I had no doubt she was going to be a big star. The cinematography is great considering there's only one set (the boat) and the editing keeps the pace exciting and engaging. A well-made, intelligent thriller you should definitely check out especially if you're a fan of either lead.

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