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Renowned character actor Joe Mantegna makes his directorial debut with this film adaptation of one of David Mamet's first plays, boasting such onscreen talent as Peter Falk, Charles Durning, and Robert Forster. Based on Mamet's experiences of working on Great Lake freighters while a grad student, the film centers on Dale (Tony Mamet, David's brother), an Ivy League college kid working on the Seaway Queen on an internship one summer. Though his romantic vision of life on the sea is soon dashed, he befriends a half-dozen members of the world-weary crew and learns about the… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Based on Mamet's experience as a freighter on the Great Lakes while a grad English lit student, Mantegna's screen version is so dramatically inert and artistically shapeless resulting in an uninvolving memory film."
‑ Emanuel Levy, Variety
"As drama, it's not much; as a meditation on language and storytelling, it's a treat."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"This plotless film is filled with a zillion little nostalgia stories that are both pointless and irritating, but some stories can also be devilishly charming."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Viewers learn that these salty guys have salty imaginations and that Mamet's a master at capturing their thoughts in discursive detail."
‑ Nick Carter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"If you're an admirer of [Mamet's] work, or if you're willing to be as patiently observant as Dale, you will find much that is fascinating and illuminating."
‑ Joe Leydon, The Moving Picture Show
"Mamet's fixation on language is ... more effective onstage than onscreen, where the technical and visual requirements distract from the sounds of the words -- the heart of Mamet's work."
‑ Steven Leigh Morris, L.A. Weekly
"A first-rate movie made from one of David Mamet's lesser plays."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Mamet knows people so well that you can forgive his lack of actual story once in awhile."
‑ Christopher Null,
"Joe Mantegna... brings just the right tone of easy gab and tossed-off tales to this actor's showcase."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"An enjoyable trifle."
‑ Steve Rhodes, Internet Reviews
"Watching it, you come to understand what it is that Mamet has been true to all these years."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"Where Mantegna succeeds is in providing a forum for some great acting."
‑ Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News
"For the most part a lot of fun, with some fine performances from a mature cast."
‑ Chris Wiegand, Boxoffice Magazine
"'Yeah. It's alright.' 'Good enough for me.'"
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"A top-notch troupe of actors deliver the propulsive dialogue of David Mamet."
‑ Michael Dequina,
More reviews for Lakeboat on Rotten Tomatoes