Hunter (Denzel Washington) is placed second-in-command to Ramsey (Gene Hackman) on a US nuclear sub after a Chechenian terrorist rises, potentially with nuclear weapons. Whilst on mission, they receive notification that they need are to perform a pre-emptive strike as the terrorist is arming his weapons. However, an incident causes them to lose communications halfway through a second message. Hunter believes they should postpone until they can confirm the strike, Ramsey believes that they have orders they need to follow. The stakes are high – if the order is cancelled, they will be starting a nuclear attack which could result in WW3. But if it isn’t, the terrorist could destroy American cities.
This is a great film. No doubt. Even over twenty years after it was made, the tensions are as real as they were then, and it feels totally believable. I’ve seen this before, I may have even seen it several times before, and I knew what happened, yet I was totally on the edge of my seat. What a film.