Video EssayVideo Series

Master and Commander – A Forgotten Classic of 2000s Cinema


When it was initially released in 2003, Peter Weir‘s Master and Commander: Far Side of the World was eclipsed at the box office by the year’s other big nautical adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. While Master and Commander garnered strong reviews and 10 Oscar nominations, audiences didn’t turn out to see it. In the years since, the film has slowly been reclaimed as a classic of 2000s cinema: a sweeping maritime epic, a triumph of practical filmmaking, and a piercing study of human nature. Join us as we take a look at what makes Master and Commander so great.

About the author

Darren Mooney
Darren Mooney is a pop culture critic at large for The Escapist. He writes the twice-weekly In the Frame column, writes and voices the In the Frame videos, provides film reviews and writes the weekly Out of Focus column. Plus, occasionally he has opinions about other things as well. Darren lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. He also writes for The Irish Independent, the country’s second largest broadsheet, and provides weekly film coverage for radio station Q102. He co-hosts the weekly 250 podcast and he has also written three published books of criticism on The X-Files, Christopher Nolan and Doctor Who. He somehow finds time to watch movies and television on top of that. Ironically, his superpowers are at their strongest when his glasses are on.