This daring and dramatic thriller is a well-done adventure-at-sea story which focuses on how a crew of spunky adolescent boys coheres into a caring community.

The narrator of the film is Chuck (Scott Wolf), a level-headed and quietly charismatic lad who arrives at the Albatross, a floating prep school, in 1960 for a 12,000-mile Caribbean journey. He soon befriends the most troubled boys on the ship--Dean (Eric Michael Cole), a rebel without a cause; Gil (Ryan Phillippe), a grief-stricken teenager; and Frank (Jeremy Sisto), a spoiled rich kid. Captain Sheldon (Jeff Bridges) is determined to make these youths into a responsible crew, forging their characters in the process.

Their mettle is tested when the Albatross is hit by a freak storm of tremendous fury. Ridley Scott directs this exciting film with one eye on the moral development of the boys into young men and the other on the beauty and terror of the natural world. White Squall succeeds on both levels.