Above Us the Waves is an exceptional war film that can be enjoyed even by many who are not normally fond of the genre. As with many other films of its type, the basic skeletal set-up is familiar: a team of brave individuals must undertake a daring and dangerous mission and overcome numerous obstacles in order to strike a strategic blow against enemy forces. Waves follows this outline, but the mere fact that it is dealing with submersibles and mini-subs automatically gives it a bit more interest. That fact by itself isn't all that makes Waves several cuts above the norm, however; Robin Estridge's finely-tuned screenplay is filled with touches big and small that give the film a flavor and life of its own. Estridge is especially good at delineating characters in a few strokes, and the writer is able to give depth to the characters without the intrusion of an awkward romantic subplot. Director Ralph Thomas expertly guides the proceedings, making all the right choices to keep audience interest peaked throughout Waves. The film also gives John Mills another attempt to show his characteristic innate courage and integrity and to honorably anchor the piece. Credit is also due to a more realistic treatment of Germans than one often finds in World War II-set pictures.
by Craig Butler review