If you’re going to be stranded at sea, you could do far worse than being stranded with Thor. Chris Hemsworth reunites with director Ron Howard (the two had teamed up on his last feature, Rush) for In The Heart Of The Sea, a re-telling of the harrowing story of the whaling ship Essex, the inspiration for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Hemsworth’s first mate Owens and his crew (including Cillian Murphy and Ben Whishaw, among others) face down the legendary whale, but it’s just one of the many troubles encountered on their perilous journey to South America. In The Heart Of The Sea opens nationwide on December 11, but The A.V. Club and Warner Bros. Pictures have an opportunity for you to see it for free on December 8. For your chance to win a pair of passes to the advance screening, simply follow the link here and enter the promo code AVC1208CHI. Remember: Advance screenings are often intentionally overbooked, so be sure to arrive early if you want to guarantee yourself a seat. An official plot synopsis and trailer for the film can be found below.
In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. In The Heart Of The Sea reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic, and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.