‘The Command’ Review: An Examination of Negligence, Told Plainly and Mercilessly

In the summer of 2000, the Russian submarine named Kursk took on a naval exercise in the Barents Sea, the first of its kind since the fall of the Soviet Union a decade earlier. The Command (released under the title Kursk elsewhere), written by Robert Rodat and directed by Thomas Vinterberg, tells of the sub’s crew, the crew’s families and the government that failed them. Without fully spoiling this real-life event, things do not go well from those onboard the vessel.

As sub commander Mikhail (Matthias Schoenaerts) and his shipmates celebrate at their fellow soldier Pavel’s (Matthias Schweighöfer) wedding reception, the writing’s on the wall. Post-ussr Russia is floundering, wages are shrinking, and the military is energized only by principle. Speeches about duty and sacrifice underline what’s about to happen. Despite the relative modernity of this story (adapted from Robert Moore’s book A Time to Die
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