9 Best Naval Action Movies to Binge While Waiting for NCIS Season 22

9 Best Naval Action Movies to Binge While Waiting for NCIS Season 22
Image credit: CBS, Universal Pictures

Epic sea battles and breathtaking survival stories.

Season 21 of NCIS has already ended and we have to wait at least two months for season 22. How do you fill your free time?

We offer you naval stories packed in the format of a full-length movie – if you watch one a week, you can just make it to the release of the new season of NCIS.

1. In the Heart of the Sea, 2015

In 1819, the ship Essex set sail from a port in Massachusetts with a crew of two dozen to hunt whales. In the fall of 1820, a year and a half of successful hunting was interrupted when a giant sperm whale attacked the ship, forcing the sailors to take to the boats. For more than three months, they struggled to survive.

In this movie, director Ron Howard tries to connect fiction and reality, adding a sense of mysticism to the story of the voyage of the whaling ship Essex. These events once served as the inspiration for Herman Melville's famous novel Moby-Dick.

2. Greyhound, 2020

Greyhound tells the story of Commander Krause, who is assigned to lead a humanitarian aid convoy for the first time during World War II. But in order to cross the Atlantic, the convoy must somehow survive in the so-called "Black Pit" – the domain of German submarines, where support aircraft cannot reach from either coast.

Greyhound is a movie devoted entirely to the complex choreography of naval battles. And they are excellent here – every shot, every hit on the side of the ship carries a powerful charge of adrenaline.

3. Adrift, 2018

Based on a true story, the movie follows a couple in love, Tami and Richard, who agree to sail a boat from Tahiti to San Diego in 1984. During the voyage, they are caught in a severe cyclone, leaving the couple without radio contact in the middle of nowhere. To make matters worse, both Tami and Richard are seriously injured.

Adrift pits the power of love against nature, which is a fairly typical plot, but thanks to the great acting and the efforts of the director and crew, the movie will keep you glued to the screen until the very end.

4. The Poseidon Adventure, 1972

Ronald Neame's The Poseidon Adventure was something of a precursor to Titanic. Like James Cameron 's film, it was a huge hit at the time – with a modest budget of $4.7 million, the film managed to gross $125 million and even won two Oscars – for Best Original Song and Best Visual Effects.

The plot of the movie tells the story of a fictional cruise ship that is wrecked by a sudden tsunami. A small group of passengers manage not only to survive, but also to climb to the bottom of the capsized ship.

5. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, 2003

During the Napoleonic Wars, Her Majesty's ship Surprise was unexpectedly attacked by a huge unknown ship that appeared out of the fog. Thanks to the courage of the crew, Surprise manages to escape drowning. Despite heavy damage and losses, Captain Jack Aubrey decides to pursue the enemy.

Peter Weir's naval action movie was intended to become a full-fledged franchise with numerous sequels, but the grandiose production ran aground – the box office did not satisfy the studio, and possible sequels were frozen.

At the same time, the film won two Oscars and was nominated for prestigious awards in all technical nominations – in other words, Master and Commander was flawlessly executed. The naval battles in it are a real treat, something you won't see in any other movie.

6. Battleship, 2012

People send signals into space and wait for a response. But are we sure we want to receive it and what if the aliens are potentially dangerous?

In 2009, at a conference in Washington, an astronaut, who had been to the moon, made a sensational statement about the existence of extraterrestrial life. Now the contact is not only possible, but inevitable, and the battle for Earth will begin on the water.

At the time, Battleship was largely ignored by critics, but it is impossible not to note that the movie is technically brilliant, and the scenes of naval battles with aliens are simply amazingly filmed.

7. Swiss Family Robinson, 1960

Based on the novel of the same name by Johann David Wyss, the movie tells the story of a family stranded on a desert island after a disaster in the Indian Ocean. The main characters' ship runs aground, eliminating the risk of drowning and saving the nerves of the sympathetic viewer.

In this respect, Swiss Family Robinson is a pleasantly old-fashioned movie, especially valuable for fans of the adventure genre who fondly remember the first installments of Indiana Jones. Throughout the movie, the main characters look for different ways to survive, adapt to the wild nature and eventually become full-fledged owners of the unknown land.

8. All Is Lost, 2013

An elderly sailor is shipwrecked and cut off from civilization – now he must somehow keep the ship afloat and get to the nearest land. But, of course, everything is against him: there are storms and broken equipment and the terrifying indifference of people.

Among solo films about disasters, All Is Lost is interesting in that it does not use any classic dramatic techniques. There are no annoying flashbacks or phone conversations: this is a movie with only one actor.

The great Hollywood actor Robert Redford says almost no words here, but he does not need them. His face tells everything: the story of a desperate struggle for life by a man who escaped from humanity, but now wants to return to it.

9. The Wolf's Call, 2019

A young submariner has the rare gift of being able to identify every sound he hears. The fate of people depends on his ear, and one mistake puts the lives of the entire submarine crew at risk. To regain his crew's trust, he conducts his own investigation into a military provocation that puts the world one step away from nuclear apocalypse.

The Wolf's Call is a French thriller that should appeal not only to fans of naval action movies, but also to fans of detective dramas. At first glance, the story may seem quite simple, but it turns out to be an action-packed detective thriller, where the intrigue grows by the minute.