When radio communications problems aboard the USS Alabama prevent the sub from receiving its orders clearly during a tense confrontation with Russian warships, Navy officer Denzel
Washington faces a huge ethical dilemma: countermand the orders of legendary Captain Ramsey (Gene Hackman) to fire nuclear missiles, or follow his command and risk launching an unprovoked nuclear war. It's really an actors' picture, and the fun is in the fireworks between Washington and Hackman, each of whose characters articulates solid reasoning behind his decision. There are no easy villains, and there's no easy way to tell right from wrong--that's what makes the
nuclear stakes so terrifying.