Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald has taken on one of cinema's trickiest genres with his new thriller 'Black Sea', a submarine movie starring Jude Law as a unemployed ship-builder who hires a mercenary crew to salvage a stash of Nazi gold lost in Russian waters. 

Jude Law uncovers secret Nazi gold
Jude Law uncovers a stash of hidden Nazi gold

Submarine movies are a tricky proposition mainly because of the necessity of working within seriously claustrophobic sets that provide little help for audiences who haven't a clue what all these dials and gauges mean. Not to mention the fact that there is so little scope for a change of scenery. So Macdonald's film centres on the growing tension between the shifty crewmates as they create a mini Cold War in the deep, dark recesses of the 'Black Sea'.

More: Read the 'Black Sea' Movie Review

Submarines have a long history in the movies, starting with George Mellies' 1907 'Under the Seas', the first adaptation of Jules Verne's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' (iconically remade by Disney in 1954). Memorable sub adventures over the years have included 'Run Silent Run Deep' (1958), 'Up Periscope' (1959), 'Ice Station Zebra' (1968), the Tom Clancy adventure The 'Hunt for Red October' (1991), 'Crimson Tide' (1995), 'U-571' (2000) and 'K-19: The Widowmaker' (2002).

Watch the trailer and clips from 'Black Sea' here:

There have also been adventure fantasies like 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' (1961) and 'The Abyss' (1989), plus an enduring 1958 comedy ('Operation Pettycoat'), psychedelic 1968 undersea animation starring the Beatles ('Yellow Submarine'), and an all-star submarine disaster movie in 1978 ('Gray Lady Down').

More: Is Jude Law's 'Black Sea' The Best British Movie of 2014?

But the undisputed champ in the genre is Wolfgang Peterson's strikingly realistic 1981 dramatic thriller 'Das Boot'. 'Black Sea' isn't quite in that league, but it's up to audiences to decide it the film rises to the top or takes a dive.

More: Jude Law Joined The Navy! (To Prepare For 'Black Sea', Of Course)