Sahara – Movie Review

Based on the novel by Clive Cussler, Sahara the movie was released in 2005. Starring Matthew McConaughey as Dirk Pitt and the exotic Penolope Cruz as Dr. Eva Rojas this is a fast paced adventure movie which requires the viewer to suspend reality. Dirk Pitt is the hero, a man who can fight off three armed men and survive without a scratch…and he is focused on finding a civil war battleship on the coast of Africa. He is joined by his sidekick Al (played by the very funny Steve Zahn). When Dirk rescues the lovely Dr. Eva Rojas as she is trying to uncover an illness which is killing off the locals, his search for the ship becomes more complicated. Suddenly the fate of the world’s water is at risk and only Dirk and his merry crew of misfits can save the day.

Believe it or not, this all works.

Exciting, humorous, and fun…my husband and I really enjoyed this escapist movie. And Matthew McConaughey was not too hard on the eyes either!

Visit the official site.

Watch the movie trailer.

Just in case you are wondering WHY I am reviewing a movie…this was one of the alternate media available for The Social Justice Challenge for the month of February. The theme for this month was water, and although Sahara was a bit of a stretch, it did fit the theme.


The mystery at the heart of this movie is why the locals are dropping dead. What Dirk and Dr. Rojas discover is that the government of Mali is burying chemical waste which is leaching into the underground water system and bleeding into the Niger River. Unchecked, the poisons are threatening not only the local water supplies, but the Atlantic Ocean as well! Pretty far fetched – but the point is a good one. We can’t simply bury our waste and expect our groundwater to stay pure.

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  1. That would be worth seeing just to look at Matthew McConaughey in my opinion!

    • Erin on March 1, 2010 at 05:18

    I’ve not seen Sahara, but I wish I had watched that for my SJC pick! My book was a challenge to get through; learned some interesting aspects of the water crisis, but felt quite overwhelmed (as I mention in my review!). Perhaps I’ll add this movie to my list!

    • Wendy on March 1, 2010 at 08:04

    Kathy: LOL – my thoughts exactly!

    Erin: It’s a fun movie, but you probably learned much more about the water crisis than I did 🙂 I’ll drop by later to read your post. I need to get over and check out the links from the Social Justice Challenge 🙂

  2. Sorry you thought it was a stretch. But at least you enjoyed it, right? When I was compiling the list of resources, as I added one dry textbook-like book after another, this movie popped into my head. While it doesn’t exactly explain a lot, I thought it did paint a pretty clear picture of how water pollution can start locally and quickly spread across the globe.

  3. I didn’t read your spoiler becasue I might watch this one day 🙂

    I thought it was indicative of how water is becoming a global and political issue that it figures as the “new oil” in the recent James Bond film…

    • Wendy on March 6, 2010 at 08:26

    Hannah: Oh no – I see where you were going with this one – I guess I enjoyed the movie so much as an adventure, I felt guilty using it for such a serious subject! You’re right about having it represent a local problem spreading globally.

    Marjorie: Oh, do watch it – it is a fun movie! Interesting thoughts about the “new oil”

    • Lori on March 19, 2010 at 22:41

    Sahara is one of my favorite films. I don’t know why it got such poor reviews. I hope a sequel is made someday.

    • Wendy on March 24, 2010 at 13:45

    Lori: I didn’t realize it had gotten weak reviews – oh well – at least WE liked it, right? LOL!

    • megan on November 5, 2010 at 15:44

    I love the movie Sahara! In fact, I’m watching it right now! I can never get tired of watching this movie!

    • Teresa on December 15, 2012 at 08:39

    If you have every read and loved a Dirk Pitt adventure by Clive Cussler, only watch this movie with a VERY open mind. The first time I watched I was so upset by some of the best parts of the book that never made it to the screen that I was not able to enjoy the movie.

    That being said, after a friend rented it for movie night, and I re watched, the movie on it’s own merits was enjoyable. The movie did move along at a pretty nice pace and did have a nice balance of action.

    After re watching I did feel very bad about all the really bad reviews that I gave the movie after the first watch. I feel the movie would of been better served if they would not of used the loved charters of Dirk and crew and just made up some new charters. The movie would of made all the some points that it was trying to make and would of gotten MUCH better reviews!!

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