Film Reviews, News & Competitions


The North Water

Film Information

Plot: A disgraced ex-army surgeon signs up as ship's doctor on a whaling expedition where he meets a brutish killer whose amorality has been shaped to fit the harshness of his world.
Release Date: Out Now
Format: Digital | DVD
Director(s): Andrew Haigh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Jack O’Connell, Stephen Graham
BBFC Certificate: 15
Running Time: 300 mins
Review By: Samuel Love
Genre: ,
Film Rating


Bottom Line

Flawlessly adapting Ian McGuire’s incredible novel, this series is an absolute must for those chilly winter nights.

Posted November 8, 2021 by

Film Review

Following AMC’s chilling The Terror, the 10-part series based on Dan Simmons’ seminal 2007 novel, BBC Two have jumped on the bandwagon of adapting dark, wintery, nautical tales for the small screen with The North Water. Adapted by acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Haigh (45 Years, Weekend) from the Man Booker Prize-longlisted novel of the same name from Ian McGuire, this disturbingly compelling journey into the heart of darkness is one of the best shows the BBC have put out in years.

The gripping tale follows two men – the murderous and psychotic Drax (Colin Farrell), and the ship’s doc Sumner (Jack O’Connell) in a tale of good and evil in the cold isolation of the icy seas in the mid 1800s, with a terrific supporting cast including the ever-reliable Stephen Graham and Brit-icon Tom Courtenay. Truly engrossing subplots and strongly developed characters keep the series engaging for the viewer over its 5 parts that never outstay their welcome, resulting in a polished and affecting thriller-drama that offers the BBC at their best. An absolute masterpiece of atmosphere and tension. Sublime television.

Flawlessly adapting Ian McGuire’s incredible novel (which I also highly recommend), this series is an absolute must for those chilly winter nights.

THE NORTH WATER is available now on digital and DVD from BBC


Samuel Love

Freelance writer. Email:


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