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Sanctum (2011) Movie Review

Updated on November 6, 2014

Sanctum (2011): a Cave-Diving Expedition gone wrong

Although Sanctum wasn't well-received by the critics, it is still a movie that's worth watching, especially if you're into Scuba Diving or cave diving. The diving scenes are actually quite realistic and the story-line is plausible, having been based on a true story. The cinematography, especially if you watch it in 3D is impressive as well.

The storyline of Sanctum (2011) tells the story of a group who sets out on an expedition to explore the biggest uncharted cave system in the world. All is going relatively well until a storm releases a flood of water into the cave, blocking off the entrance. Will they find a new exit and make it out alive? Watch the movie to find out!

Sanctum (2011) Official Movie Trailer


Quick Facts about Sanctum (2011)

Directed by: Alister Grierson

Produced by: James Cameron (and others)

Music: David Hirschfelder

Studio: Relativity Media and Wayfare Entertainment

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Release date: 3 February 2011

Running time: 109 minutes

Country: Australia

Budget US$30 million

Box office $80,146,485

Buy the Sanctum DVD on Amazon

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The Basic Storyline of Sanctum

Sanctum is a story of a cave-diving expedition gone wrong. 17-year old Josh, the expedition funder Carl, his girlfriend Victoria and Josh's father Frank, the lead explorer/diver play the starring roles.

They are all stuck, along with a few others 2km deep inside the cave when a storm hits and the entrance is blocked off. It's not possible for them to reach the exit through the normal way, so they dive even deeper inside the cave even though Josh and Victoria are both inexperienced divers.

The group must now attempt to find an exit route through the unexplored depths of the cave, in the hopes of finding a path that leads to the sea.

Their supplies are dwindling and the team has to make tough choices. They turn on each other and fight for the last of the equipment that will help get them out alive. 3 die along the way, but one has the chance to make it out alive. Watch the movie to see who it is!

Sanctum Blu-Ray (2 Disk Set)

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Filming and Production of Sanctum

Sanctum was based on the true story of Andrew Wright who led an expedition miles underground into a cave system only to have a storm collapse the entrance, leaving him and his team to find another way out.

James Cameron produced the movie in 3-D, using the same technology that he used for the movie Avatar. The stunning cave scenes were filmed in Southern Australia near Mount Gambier. The diving sequences were filmed in a large water tank at a studio in Queensland.

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What did the critics think of Sanctum (2011)?

If the public are any indication, this was a successful movie. On opening weekend, it grossed 9.2 Million and was the #2 movie for that period. It ended up being the 10th highest grossing Australian film of all-time.

The critics gave it mixed reviews. While most praised the impressive 3D cinematography, they said it didn't make up for the lifeless characters and poor script. It has a score of 5.7/10 on IMDB and 31% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sanctum Movie Review


Rhys Wakefield as Josh McGuire

Rhys Wakefield plays 17-year old Josh, the son of Frank, the expedition leader. Born in 1988, Wakefield is best known for his roles in the film "The Black Balloon" and the TV series "Home and Away." This Australian actor has appeared on stage and made numerous other appearances on the screen as well

The Sanctum Soundtrack


Richard Roxburgh as Frank McGuire

Born in 1962, this Australian actor starred in Sanctum as Frank, the expedition leader. Prior to Sanctum, he starred in numerous other Australian and Hollywood films including Mission Impossible 2 and Moulin Rouge. He's known for playing the villain. He's been nominated for and won numerous awards in the acting industry.

Your Thoughts

Would you see this movie a second time?

What do you think about this Scuba Diving Movie?

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    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 

      4 years ago from Jackson, MS

      I'm so glad you wrote about this. It's an incredible story! I wrote a little about the cave where the original incident occurred... so cool to see it featured here! Thanks for writing about an awesome!


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