41 user 97 critic

The Mercy (2018)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Biography, Drama | 30 November 2018 (USA)
2:23 | Trailer

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The incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The struggles he confronted on the journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times.


James Marsh


Scott Z. Burns
2,142 ( 660)





Credited cast:
Rachel Weisz ... Clare Crowhurst
David Thewlis ... Rodney Hallworth
Kerry Godliman ... Bear and Swan Landlady
Colin Firth ... Donald Crowhurst
Mark Gatiss ... Ronald Hall
Andrew Buchan ... Ian Milburn
Jonathan Bailey ... Ian Wheeler
Anna Madeley ... Sara Milburn
Ken Stott ... Stanley Best
Simon McBurney ... Sir Francis Chichester
Genevieve Gaunt ... Miss Teignmouth
Adrian Schiller ... Mr. Elliot
Sebastian Armesto ... Nelson Messina
Tim Downie ... Style Editor
Finn Elliot ... James Crowhurst


The incredible story of Donald Crowhurst , an amateur sailor who competed in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in the hope of becoming the first person in history to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe without stopping. With an unfinished boat and his business and house on the line, Donald leaves his wife, Clare and their children behind, hesitantly embarking on an adventure on his boat the Teignmouth Electron. The story of Crowhurst's dangerous solo voyage and the struggles he confronted on the epic journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on the true story. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

30 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Donald Crowhurst Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Teignmouth, Devon, England, UK See more »


Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At age 55, Colin Firth is 20 years older than Donald Crowhurst was when he set off on the Golden Globe race. See more »


When the Teignmouth Electron is leaving harbour, the yachts in the background have a stern shape that's about 40 years too modern. See more »


[Last lines]
Simon Crowhurst: What do we do now?
Clare Crowhurst: Every day I want you to welcome Daddy home with open arms. Even the parts you don't understand. Because that's what you do for some you love who hss gone away. Even if they don't make it back.
See more »


Featured in Projector: The Mercy (2018) See more »


Maria Elena
Written by Lorenzo Barcelata
Performed by Los Indios Tabajaras
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User Reviews

Another biopic that sacrifices analysis of character for emotional tension.
15 May 2018 | by jake-young96See all my reviews

Colin Firth takes lead in this incredible story based on true events of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst's attempt to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly on his self-designed trimaran, as part of the Sunday Times Golden Globe race. Under the pressure of a publicity agent hyping his story to exceeding proportions, expecting sponsors and the self-applied noose of possible debt should he not finish the race, mounts the struggle of Donald Crowhurst to the highest proportions.

Giving this movie its backbone is the heavy emotional weight throughout, director James Marsh turns an otherwise quite controversial person and event into a sympathetic and quite touching story. It's a story that today needs to be told more, one of the pressures that men face and their inability to talk out about them. It's this coupled with the terrific pacing and structure of The Mercy that allows the audience to connect to Donald Crowhurst, as a dreamer and as somebody who had misfortunes that he was unable to deal with alone. It's only reinforced by the excellent performances given by Rachel Weisz and Colin Firth, that add a much-needed soulful and human touch to the film and grounding it for the audience, whereas a misplaced casting choice might have resulted in a far less captivating story.

However, while the story is one that is sure to hold a sympathetic gaze, what the film fails to achieve and execute properly is demonstrating how truly isolated and consumed with pressure Donald Crowhurst was. The film needed more time, this would have allowed further scenes of Donald on the boat so that much like The Life of Pi or even Castaway the audience could have tapped into that isolation. Instead, the film edits back and forth the boat and Crowhurst's family, this does, of course, keep the emotional tension high but dramatically it is weak, never buying into Crowhurst's isolated madness it puts the film on a weak footing. This might not have been a huge issue if the story's focal point was elsewhere but it's not, the most crucial part of the story is the pressure and isolation that Donald faced on the boat, it sacrifices a highly layered look into Donald Crowhurst for its emotional tension. The film needed less time reinforcing emotional backdrop and more time heightening the dramatic point of the story.

The Mercy is a film that depending on what you came to see, you will enjoy it more or less. The emotional backdrop is orchestrated perfectly, never missing a beat and tapping the audience into the supportive and hearty theme but the dramatic focal point of the film is underplayed and does not do much in the way of aiding the audience in its comprehending of Donald Crowhurst.

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