Ed Harris plays the captain of a Cold War Soviet missile submarine who has secretly been suffering from seizures that alter his perception of reality. Forced to leave his wife and daughter, he is rushed into a classified mission, where he is haunted by his past and challenged by a rogue KGB group (led by David Duchovny) bent on seizing control of the ship’s nuclear missile. With the fate of humanity in his hands, Harris discovers he’s been chosen for this mission in the belief he would fail. ‘Phantom’ is a suspense submarine thriller about extraordinary men facing impossible choices.

Director: Todd Robinson
Writer: Todd Robinson

Cast: Ed Harris, Julian Adams, David Duchovny, William Fichtner…

“Phantom is one of the most realistic post-WWII submarine movies that has ever been made.  It is also the first Hollywood movie shot entirely inside an actual, Soviet cold-war submarine, docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.  In particular, the film truly captures the unique camaraderie and courage any submarine crew experiences, whether American or Soviet.”  

-Captain Charles MacVean, US Navy (ret).  Former Skipper, USS SEAWOLF (SSN-575). One of the most decorated submarine captains of all time, whose submarine, under his command, received several Presidential Unit Citations for Valor for operations during the cold war.

Critic Reviews

“Harris delivers a nomination-worthy performance… If they gave a Cy Young award for acting, Harris would be a contender.  That he kidnaps our attention and holds it throughout “Phantom” while playing a Soviet submarine captain who speaks English without a trace of an accent makes his work all the more impressive… It is a stellar performance from an actor who always comes to play… Fichtner does fine work as a No. 2 whose loyalty to his commander and his country go hand in hand.”

-Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

“Clever and claustrophobic… a tight cat-and-mouse thriller set in an even tighter sardine can.”

-Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“Filmmaker Todd Robinson… generates engrossing tension with his crazy-provocative premise, layering on political machinations and global implications that get twistier as they go.”

-Tom Russo, The Boston Globe

“Phantom is a modest thriller propelled by a strong cast and straightforward storytelling.  …the Russians-without-accents decision helps to draw out the human drama in the story, giving it a more universal feel and allowing the shifting loyalties and tricky motivations of the action to open up beyond seeming like just Russian in-fighting. “Phantom” is a relatively tight, gripping story told with efficiency that makes room for its fine roster of actors to explore old-fashioned ideas on honor and loyalty.”

-Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

“I like Harris, and he’s quite moving here… Fichtner, a longtime supporting player, clearly appreciates the opportunity to tackle a larger and more sympathetic role than usual. He conveys that enjoyment to the audience, in the service of his character. Nice job.”

-Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“Ed Harris is always worth watching… David Duchovny does a great job of exuding underwater, and a fine supporting cast including Johnathon Schaech, Jason Beghe, Lance Henriksen and Sean Patrick Flanery adds testosterone and brio.”

-Rex Reed, New York Observer

“There’s a lot to like about “Phantom” — from a terrific ensemble cast of notable character actors to several genuine moments of claustrophobic tension… It’s worth nothing that none of these actors makes any attempt to sound Russian, which turns out to be a solid strategy — we don’t get distracted by “moose-and-squirrel” accents and are thus more able to empathize with these men, even though they represent one-time enemies of the state… Faultless in all this is the cast, with Harris and Fichtner effectively portraying the mutual respect and waterlogged exhaustion of these two old salts. As a showcase for some of the screen’s finest supporting players, “Phantom” delivers.”

-Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

“In this classy, taut white-knuckler – largely shot inside a real-life decommissioned Soviet sub – Robinson asks us to consider more than the hypothetical possibility that the world nearly ended in 1968. He reminds us that we have no idea how many other near-misses may have happened in the behind-the-scenes history of the modern age and also, more troubling still, that long after the Cold War has faded into memory we continue to have difficulty telling the crazy people from the sane ones.”

-Andrew O’Hehir, -‘Pick of the Week’

“…Harris has the world-weary gravitas to make his characterization credible…”

-Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

“[Ed Harris’] chemistry with Fichtner — given a welcome second-lead role here — feels spontaneous, instinctive and, in the film’s magical realist final moments, genuinely loving.”

-Ann Hornaday/Washington Post, Daily Herald

“Phantom is literate, tense and, thankfully, modest.”

-Michael Atkinson, Time Out

“It’s a damn good little movie…. Ed Harris is fantastic as a haunted man whose career is filled with lost moments and Fichtner is even better as a man torn between loyalty and duty.”

-Nick Nunziata, CHUD

“The primary strengths of the submarine movie – the powerful sense of claustrophobia and the tension resulting from life-and-death battles that occur between half-blind opponents – are effectively handled in Phantom.

-James Berardinelli, ReelViews

“…it’s nice to see William Fichtner in a prominent role as Demi’s second-in-command. Additionally, Jeff Rona’s score has a strong, old-fashioned sense of thematic drive that ushers the proceedings along as propulsively as possible.”

-Justin Chang, Variety

“The questionable true agenda of Duchovny and his glowering cronies is where Phantom’s suspense lies, and it mostly comes down to power plays in tight quarters. Robinson’s plotting is skillful enough, and the actors are given plenty of latitude.”

-Scott Tobias, The Onion AV Club

“…the set is legit. This isn’t a roomy big-budget set—guys like Ed Harris, David Duchovny and William Fichtner, dealing with a potential nuclear crisis at the height of the Cold War, are right on top of each other, which ratchets up the tension.”

-Anders Wright, San Diego City Beat

“William Fichtner turns in a fine performance as a loyal friend and officer.”

-Matt Lickona, San Diego Reader

“Solid performances by Ed Harris and William Fichtner… thankfully, none of the cast tries to speak in a bad Russian accent.”

-Edward Douglas,

“Johnathon Schaech re-invents himself as a conflicted political officer.”

-Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

“Indeed, writer-director Todd Robinson does not ask his actors to put on the usual transparently fake accents, nor is any foreign language spoken above English subtitles. These are by implication ordinary men of a then-enemy nation, true, but not in essentials different from us… the story does not in the end sink or swim on warfare or anyone’s U-boats but on the men who man them and the choices that must be made.”

-Donald Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews

“The great William Fichtner is excellent as Harris’ stalwart second-in-command.”

-Chris Bumbray, JoBlo’s Movie Emporium

“William Fichtner is Harris’s second-in-command and the two of them have excellent chemistry together as old war buddies. In the confines of the submarine, there are several scenes with the two of them up close, and their mutual admiration and clear understanding of each other comes across very well. The two of them really make the film, in a way, not to disregard Duchovny… Duchovny does a great job as the smug and coolly vicious Bruni, and even shows off some surprising biceps at one point. The fighting scenes are intensified by the tight quarters, especially as the men sneak up on each other through narrow parts of the submarine, which was shot very well.”

-Simone Snaith, LA Beat

“Phantom is a tense submarine picture featuring strong performances, and an understanding of the genre’s dramatic assets…   It’s got everything you could want from a solid submarine flick: the cat-and-mouse game between submarines, inner turmoil onboard, loyalties divided, and people saying stuff like “50 degrees down bubble!”  The story is further helped by the commanding performances from Harris as the tired but canny captain, and from Fichtner as his devoted first officer who must decide if he’s willing to get his own command at the cost of selling out his friend.  By establishing effective characters, Robinson is able to further branch out and look at the larger issues stemming from the nature of war.”

-Matt Goldberg,

“No one in the (mostly) American cast attempts to affect a Russian accent, simply speaking in standard American English. It might seem like a simple, minor point, but it helps in keeping moviegoers engaged… The cast points to PHANTOM’s modest budget, but neither the cast nor the occasional CG cutaways to the sub’s exterior make the limited budget a glaring or even an obvious problem. After all, PHANTOM is set primarily in the stifling, oppressive, narrow confines of a Cold War-era Soviet submarine.”

-Mel Valentin,

“Can’t tell you how much I loved PHANTOM. Incredibly suspenseful and surprisingly moving. This had it way over RED OCTOBER for me.”

– Film Music Magazine, Daniel Schweiger

“I really liked the film, being a Yellow Dog Ed Harris fan. Although not as riveting as ‘Das Boot,’ the fact that the story is based on very probable real life circumstances is powerful. Although this particular threat of nuclear war may not be substantiated for years, due to the intractable forces of national security, this remains one of the great cautionary tales about nuclear holocaust. There needs to be more films like this and more pressure on our government to disclose how close the world came to Armageddon through occurrences like this.

-Monsters and Critics, Ron Wilkinson

“Exhilarating. Spellbinding.  Taut, intelligent and thrilling.  Ed Harris delivers a powerhouse performance.”

-NYC Movie Guru, Avi Offer

“I thought the movie was very suspenseful and I loved Ed Harris!”

– ReelzChannel’s “Maltin on Movies,” Christine Hsia

“Ed Harris gave an emotional, suspenseful portrayal of Demi, showing the captain’s conflicted nature over whether or not he could protect his crew. The cinematography also intriguingly offered insights into the motivations of both Demi and Bruni.”

-Shockya /, Karen Benardello