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Underwater Dreams

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Mary Mazzio

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About the Movie

Underwater Dreams, written and directed by Mary Mazzio, and narrated by Michael Peña, is an epic story of how the sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants learned how to build an underwater robot from Home Depot parts. And defeat engineering powerhouse MIT in the process. This is how it transpired. Two energetic high school science teachers, on a whim, decided to enter their high school, a Title I school where most of the students live in poverty, into a sophisticated underwater robotics competition sponsored by the NASA and the Office of Naval Research, among others. Only four boys signed up for the competition, but once assembled, with enthusiasm and verve, they started calling oceanic engineers and military contractors for design help. They were advised that their underwater robot would require glass syntactic flotation foam. Short on money, all they could afford was PVC pipe from Home Depot. And some duct tape. After a few test runs of their robot (aptly named Stinky), the team was confident that they would not come in last at the event, so they all piled into a beat up van to head to the competition. The boys entered the main pool area, seeing college teams in matching gear, with robots sponsored by the likes of Exxon Mobil. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, the boys put Stinky in the water for a test run. Only the PVC did not hold up. The robot leaked. And sunk. The boys put their heads together and hilariously came up with a brilliant solution. 12 hours later, armed with 8 super-plus tampons to plug the leak in Stinky’s mechanical housing, the robot was lowered into the pool again. Only this time, Stinky performed admirably. Fast forward to a shocking result. This rag-tag high school team of undocumented Mexican boys did what no one thought possible. The competition, however, was only the beginning. These boys forged a legacy that could not have been imagined.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 9
  • Fresh: 9
  • Rotten: 0
  • Average Rating: 7.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Modest yet meaningful, "Underwater Dreams" has a political point of view, shining light on underground Americans who deserve recognition. – David DeWitt, New York Times, Jul 10, 2014

Fresh: With the debate over America's unresolved immigration policies at fever pitch these days, the inspiring documentary "Underwater Dreams" makes for quite the timely entry. – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, Jul 10, 2014

Fresh: The film is dismayingly formless, every point is made too many times, and there's too little drama or revelation here. – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice, Jul 8, 2014

Fresh: Has a few weak points but still manages to convey a satisfying underdog tale. – Arizona Republic, Jul 17, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Oscar worthy....more importantly SPIRIT worthy

Ignites pride and hope for the next generation who are TRULY CHANGING the world despite socioeconomic and political barriers. This documentary is an inspiration and an excellent example of true courage that will bring you to your feet and light a fire to take action in your own community. THANK YOU for making this film and more importantly THANK YOU to these inspirational students and teachers for making the world a better place.


A truly amazing and inspirational story. Thank you to everyone involved in the making of it. All schools should play this for the students.

Underwater Dreams
View in iTunes
  • $19.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2014

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this movie.