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Good ol' fashioned disaster-and-rescue drama is better than the "experts" would have you believe
paul-allaer31 January 2016
"The Finest Hours" (2016 release; 117 min.) brings the telling, "based on a true story" we are reminded, of a daring rescue attempt at sea. As the movie opens, it is "Wellfleet, MA, November 1951", and we get to know two Coast Guarders who are out on a double date. Bernie (played by Chris Pine) is immediately smitten by Miriam *played by Holiday Grainger). The movie then shifts to February 17, 1952, where Bernie and Miriam are attending a party, and they decide to get married in April. Later that night, as a nor'easter is bearing down, the Pendleton tanker is in serious trouble, and before we know it, Bernie is ordered to assemble a crew and go out to find any survivors of the Pendleton. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is a big budget movie from Disney Studios, directed by Craig Gillespie ("Lars and The Real Girl"; "Million Dollar Arm"). If you have seen the movie's trailer (which as been inescapable in the theaters in recent weeks), you know exactly what you are in for: a bigger-than-life, against-all-odds rescue attempt of the crew of the Pendleton tanker, which has split in two, by a four man crew of the Coast Guard in Chatham, MA. Don't ask me how the Pendleton's remaining half tanker doesn't sink! I think it has something to do with the boat's balancing tanks, but in the end it doesn't matter, as we are here to witness some of the wildest open sea disaster scenes you'll ever see. In a sense, this reminds of "Titanic", except that the action scenes are pumped up and on steroids. Chris Pine (as Bernie) and Casey Affleck (as the Pendleton's main guy) are fine, but to be honest, they and the rest of the gang are all second fiddle to the special effects. I know that it's all CGI, yet it looks so darn realistic! The movie has a great orchestral score, courtesy of veteran composer Carter Burwell (his score for "Carol" received an Oscar nomination). Also make sure to stay through the movie's end titles, as we then get a bunch of period pictures from the Boston Globe and other news sources with the real life people from the events (and likely the source of the costuming for the film). Last but not least, this is released both in 2D and 3D, but just know that the movie was shot in 2D and then converted into 3D (I saw it in 2D). Bottom line: "The Finest Hours" is a good ol' fashioned disaster-and-rescue drama that is much better than the "experts" would have you believe.

"The Finest Hours" opened nationally this weekend, and the Friday evening screening where I saw this at here in Cincinnati was attended okay but not great. somewhat to my surprise. Regardless, if you are in the mood for an effects-heavy but very realistic disaster-and-rescue movie, I encourage you to check this out, be it in the theater, on Amazon Instant Video or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray (although a movie of this kind just begs to be seen on the big screen). "The Finest Hours" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Enthralling story of courage and survival
grantss31 December 2016
February 1952. Bernie Webber is a boatswain/Petty Officer at a Coast Guard station on the coast of Massachusetts. A massive storm is in progress out to sea, damaging two tankers to the point that they appear likely to sink. On one tanker, the Pendleton, the chief engineer, Ray Sybert, is using all his ingenuity, resourcefulness and experience to keep the ship afloat and buy time until help arrives. Unfortunately for him and his crew, the Coast Guard have sent their best crew and rescue boat to the other stricken tanker. When the Coast Guard discover the Pendleton's situation, Webber and a 3-man crew are sent to help. The odds are stacked against Webber - just leaving the harbour in those seas will require large amounts of skill, courage and luck. Then they have to find the Pendleton, without a compass, rescue the crew and somehow make it home safe.

An enthralling (true) story of courage and survival. Compelling viewing - once the danger strikes, you're glued to your seat. What makes it so interesting is that they don't just focus on the efforts of the rescuers but also on the rescued. I found the Pendleton crew's story much more interesting than that of Webber and co - the ingenuity, resourcefulness and (reluctant) leadership of Sybert was amazing. This is helped by a great performance from Casey Affleck.

Not all good though. Many of the characters seem like cartoon stereotypes - the negative naysayers, the clingy girlfriend/fiancée, the inept commander. The romantic angle was overplayed and not that necessary. It did add depth to Webber's character but not much.

Performances vary. Casey Affleck is the stand-out as Sybert. Chris Pine is okay as Webber. Eric Bana is pretty weak and gives the worst American accent I've ever heard (I think it was supposed to be Southern but it varied so much and seemed so unnatural it was hard to tell). Holliday Grainger is a bit overbearing as Miriam, though that might have been intentional on the director's part.
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Loved this movie, the whole family will love this pulse pounding roller coaster
marksmithz7 February 2016
This director has pushed the bounds of new camera angles. The story was brought to life in a very dramatic way.

A story about people who run into burning buildings when were all running out. Told in a new novel way, that draws you in.

This movie riveted me to the seat, read the amazon reviews for the book...same thing.

I've been very suspicious of Disney movies recently and will only let my kids watch them after I've seen them. This movie is safe for the family, a little to intense for the young. But it is the way movies should be made to create role models for the youth to emulate. Real Men, Real Heroes I believe there is a move to discredit movies like this.

I'm been on sail boats in waves 1/4 the size in this movie and I was wondering if I was going to make it.
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Storm at sea, really not my thing, but nice movie
deloudelouvain4 April 2017
The fact that the movie is based on true events makes it a bit more special to watch. It's a nice story about courageous coast guards that risk their own lives trying to save an entire ship crew from a sure death. The movie is well made and if you are like me a bit afraid of big storms at sea then you will have the same feeling of anguish as I had during almost the entire movie. There are some cheesy moments as well, when it's more about their romance, but for the rest it's a good movie. If it was not for a couple scenes that I didn't like I would score it even more. Those scenes were unrealistic and bothered me a bit. Scenes where they are at sea in a major storm and have a conversation on a non rocking boat. That is simply impossible, but for the rest it's all good. Good actors, good story, and interesting due to it's historical facts.
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If you liked The Perfect Storm, then give The Finest Hours a look.
DarkVulcan2931 January 2016
Takes place in the early 1950's where a giant storm dominates the seas by breaking a tanker truck in half, with only a few hours left to survive, the crew id does what they can survive. A rescue ship is sent to try and get to them, but the question is will they ?

I love the early 50's look, it captures it so perfectly. Everybody gives a good performance, almost nobody stands out. The storms scenes are also well shot, you'll feel caught up in the storm also. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. It's easy to compare this to The Perfect storm(2000), it has the same feel to it. I hope you won't be disappointed by this.
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real life Disney heroes
ferguson-628 January 2016
Greetings again from the darkness. The U.S. Coast Guard has played a role in many movies over the years, but only a few have placed this service branch directly in the heart of the story … most recently The Guardian (2006), which was little more than a cheesy, too-talkative water-based rip-off of Top Gun. Director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, 2007) takes a much different approach as he presents a look at one of the most legendary and heroic real-life rescues in Coast Guard history.

The Oscar-nominated writing team behind The Fighter (2010): Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson have collaborated on the screenplay based on the book from Casey Sherman and Michael J Touglas. It's a worthy tribute (and clearly Disney-influenced) to what is described as the greatest Coast Guard small-boat rescue. It combines a boat-load (sorry) of tension-filled ocean-based sequences with some pretty interesting character-based sub-plots within a Massachusetts community that has become all too familiar with storm-based catastrophes.

Chris Pine stars as Bernie Webber, an awkwardly shy and obsessive rule-follower, who has lived under a cloud of doubt ever since a previous rescue mission failed, resulting in the death of a local fisherman/husband/father. We first meet Bernie as he bungles through a first date with Miriam (Holliday Grainger, a young Gretchen Mol lookalike). The film then jumps ahead to 1952 when they become engaged and Bernie is ordered into a questionable mission by his "not-from-around-here" commanding officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana). See, a huge storm has literally ripped apart not one, but two giant tankers, leaving crew members battling for survival. It should be noted that Bana the Australian, tosses out a laughable southern accent that is a joke within the movie and within the theatre (for different reasons).

Bernie and his crew: Richard Livesay (Ben Foster), Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner), and Ervin Maske (John Magaro), take off against all odds in a too-small boat against too-big waves in a desperate attempt to rescue the tanker crew that includes brilliant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) and characters played by John Ortiz and Graham McTavish. Affleck excels as what can be termed a quiet leader. Of course, we know how the story ends, but the heroic efforts against a very powerful Mother Nature show-of-force make for compelling movie watching.

The special effects are stout, though not be as spectacular as The Perfect Storm (2010) or In the Heart of the Sea (2015), and it's the human-factor that provides more than enough thrills, excitement, and tension. In fact, the biggest issue I had was that I saw a 3-D version which is an absolute disservice to the film. Most of the story takes place at night and at sea, so the 3-D consequence of dimmed light and muted colors results in a far too dark and dull look to the film. I spent much of the movie sliding the 3-D glasses down my nose in a simple attempt to enjoy a bit more brightness. The recommendation would be to skip the higher-priced (money grabbing) 3-D version and take in the more pleasing "standard" version.

Disney makes feel-good movies. Their target market is not cynics or the overly critical among us. The romance pushes the "corny" meter, but keeps with tradition of other Disney movies based on true stories like The Rookie (2002) and Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005). Keep this in mind you'll likely find this one pretty entertaining. Stick around for the closing credits as a slew of real photographs from the actual 1952 event are displayed, as are photos of the real heroes from that night.
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Not bad
fil-nik0920 May 2016
This film starts kinda slow and unrelated to the story ( you expect to see) and it is rather slow paced at the beginning, but soon it gets more packed with action and rests until the end.

I enjoyed the film. It was even touching at the end. The fact that it is based on the true story does give it a plus. The breaking of a ship ( two, in fact) in haft because of the storm was really wow! I really got into the scene when they showed the first breaking of the ship. It was intense and really well done. I guess I liked those scenes which were filmed inside of the ship and all the hard work being done to prevent the sinking of it that caught my attention the most and the ones I really enjoyed. However, the relations between the sailors ( in the ship and at the land were somewhat superficially done and yes, you get that some of them are not liking each other, but, why is that is not rally explained and I though it should have been)

The love story that also goes parallel to the disaster at sea is sometimes sweet but most of the time is kinda blah and maybe it should have been cut in entirety from the film. It does add something to the film, but not that much in reality. But I guess it is important as it is one of the true facts.

All in all, not bad. I give it a rating eight!
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While it has its heart in the right place, The Finest Hours can't seem to rise above its sappy melodramatic storyline.
trublu2157 February 2016
The Finest Hours tells the harrowing and courageous true story of the most daring rescue mission that the U.S. Coast Guard has, to this day, ever had to accomplish. Starring Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster and Josh Stewart, the film's cast is stacked to the brim with talent but the director, Craig Guillesspe takes away from their efforts by telling the story in the sappiest of ways. The film starts with Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) on a blind date with his friend as he looks forward to meeting Miriam (Holliday Grainger), the woman he has been talking on the phone with for months on end. It is a sappy way to start the film but that sappiness is soon discarded as soon as we are introduced to the USS Pendelton and its crew. The crew, headed by Casey Affleck's brilliant and film carrying performance as Ray Sybert, is in the midst of a terrible winter storm and they struggle to maintain control of the ship. After being battered by the brutal waves off of Nantucket, the ship is split in two and must stay afloat until help arrives. The film takes its shape during the scenes with the Pendleton and it's crew. Casey Affleck gives a good performance that remains as one of the most interesting of the film coupled with some truly gasp-worthy scenes of suspense and action. This is one thing the film has going for it, it has some truly breath taking action sequences that will leave you clawing at your arm rest and holding your breath. While an abundance of CGI is used, it still feels the way its supposed to. Cold and brutal. While the film is no match for the conditions shown in The Revenant, it still will make you shiver once or twice just looking at the weather these brave souls have to go up against. While these sequences and qualities make The Finest Hours a thoroughly watchable and enjoyable film, unfortunately the film compromises, what could be, white knuckle action and substitute it with a half-assed love story between Bernie and Miriam that borders on annoying after the first hour and equally annoying and poorly done Boston accents. The accents show Pine and Grainger as the biggest culprits. Grainger's performance as Miriam is annoying and wildly unrealistic and Pine is spineless in his rendition of, what many consider, one of the bravest men that ever served in the Coast Guard. Grainger's Miriam serves as more of a nuisance than a help to the film, which is rather disappointing because the role screams for a more able actress to take on the role and another screenwriter to make her character more than just a poorly written female character. It really throws the film for a loop, making it as lopsided as you can get. Despite this, the film moves through its main storyline with tenacity that is hard to match. One sequence in particular features the rescue crew trying to pass over the Nantucket ocean bar, a point in the ocean that features out going and incoming waves crashing against one another. The sequence is harrowing, the pacing of it is brilliant and the sheer intensity is one that the film can't seem to match for the remainder of the film. The film, while it does get your heart pounding, lacks character drama and depth. While we care about the characters, we only care about the actors playing them. If lesser known actors were in these roles, it would be clearer that the film could have used another rewrite and a stronger female character. Overall, The Finest Hours is a decent rescue film that serves its purpose of entertaining you but it does little else in the way of separating it from every other film of its type.
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Three intersecting stories, of which one works very well
ginocox-206-33696812 May 2016
"The Finest Hours" presents three stories, or perhaps one story from three perspectives. The stories are perhaps better described as intersecting rather than interwoven as developments in each storyline have relatively little effect on the other story lines other than points of intersection.

The most successful story is one of survival aboard a doomed ship in a fierce storm. Casey Afflect delivers a brilliant performance, possibly the best of his career, as an engineer who must win the respect of the crew and devise a seeming impossible plan to ensure their survival.

But the putative hero of the story is played by Chris Pine as a disgraced seaman thrust into a leadership position who manages a heroic rescue by alternatively slavishly adhering to regulations and blatantly disregarding them, but steadfastly pressing on by sheer obstinacy and succeeding by dumb luck.

The least successful story is a romance between Pine's character and a local girl who somehow manages to afford a car on a switchboard operator's salary, walks through snowdrifts in high heels without slipping or marring her shine, defies convention and embarrasses her boyfriend by proposing marriage, and barges into the all-male preserve of the Coast Guard station to demand that the commander commit an unconscionable act of cowardice in an exchange that might have been ghostwritten by the screenwriter's five- year-old daughter.

Having never read the book, it's difficult to tell what parts were embellished for dramatic impact, but much of the story seems hopelessly contrived. Critical pieces of equipment (radar, compass, radio) malfunction and miraculously return to service as if on cue. At one point, a large group of bystanders race off in support of the rescue effort and one expects them to activate certain items, but strangely nobody does until the love interest does, almost as an afterthought, and everybody else decides to follow suit, leaving the audience wondering why they went there if they didn't intend to do it in the first place. At another somebody shouts out a number referring to a group of people he could not possibly have counted.

This is another film that the #OscarsSoWhite and advocates of gender pay parity would rather audiences not see. It's basically a story of real men in the 1950s male-dominated era doing manly things while the womenfolk stay at home being supportive, raising children and mourning those who sacrificed their lives supporting their families. It was only four years after Eisenhower ended segregation in the military and the Coast Guard and various maritime labor unions were probably about as integrated as the Ku Klux Klan.

But this would never do in the twenty-first century when studios feel pressured to compromise dramatic structure in favor of political correctness. Consequently, two subplots seem to have been added and/or expanded to provide more diversity for audiences who prefer diversity over drama. One involves a black seaman whose cowardice results in the death of a Caucasian who takes him under his wing. The second is the romantic subplot, which is given roughly equal weight and screen time with the two other through lines. The story is not particularly interesting. The girl is a typical chick flick heroine – pretty but not gorgeous, more cherubic than voluptuous, virtuous and steadfast to a fault, with an anachronistic feminist streak. Both subplots could have been easily eliminated. Perhaps the film would not have been quite the critical or commercial disappointment if they had been sharply trimmed or eliminated.

The theme and moral seem weak. A theme concerning luck and happenstance undermines some of the effect, as do several plot contrivances, such as the equipment malfunctions. The episode is supposedly one of the greatest sea rescues in history, but it's presented as the consequence of doggedly plodding along in blind subservience to duty rather than anything one would ordinarily equate with heroism.

Technically, the film is top shelf. The period props, costumes, settings and make-up all seem authentic. There is a refreshing lack of distracting jiggly-cam shots. The special effects seem realistic. It lays on the schmaltz fairly heavily at points, but what can one expect from Disney?

It might have been more compelling if it had concentrated on the survival story, eliminated the love story and trimmed the rescue story.
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For anyone who ever worked at sea this film is impossible to watch
ran-4572928 October 2016
The finest hours is obviously made by talented screenplay writers, actors, editors is directed professionally no argue there. However for anyone who has ever been more than a day at sea or anyone from a seafaring community this film is impossible to watch. Every single minute contains inaccuracies ranging from minor details like getting the equipment of that time wrong, to outrageously unrealistic mis en scene. This film simply gets it wrong on conditions at sea, groups or individual characters, the language that would have been used, the actions that men would and would not take in heavy weather conditions, group behaviour, ships hierarchy, use of instruments.... It is hard to watch characters perform actions that would get them killed almost instantly in reality and there is a minimum level of realism required to any story. Please get it right next time Disney. 2 points out of 10.
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Edge of your seat action
bankofmarquis2 February 2016
The FINEST HOURS is a rip-roaring, edge of your seat action thriller that will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

There....that should get me on the poster.

That said, I will have to admit that I had low to middling expectations going into this film and it exceeded my expectation in almost every way.

Starting with the Cast. Chris Pine (good ol' Cap't Kirk) stars as Bernie Webber a mid-level Coast Guard officer who is flung into the forefront when an oil barge splits in half in very rough sees during a storm. Pine presents Webber not as a square-jawed hero, but a real person with doubts and insecurities but a strict code of ethics and when his Capt. (the always capable Eric Bana) sends him out for what could be a suicide mission, he goes out.

While Pine holds down half of this movie, Casey Affleck holds down the other half as the leader of the group of survivors on the oil tanker. Normally, I am not a big fan of Affleck's work, but in this movie, I sure am. He is a man of few words and tells much with his expression. If there is a "squared jawed hero" in this movie, it is Affleck.

These two are supported by a veritable who's who of "that guy" actors. Ben Foster, John Ortiz, Michael Raymond James and good ol' Abraham Benrubi are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, of wonderful character actors filling the roles of other Coast Guard members and crewmen of the doomed ship.

Only Holliday Grainger as Pine's strong-willed fiancé fails for me, but I blame a weak written character more than her acting for that one.

But, make no mistake, it is the action that makes this movie exciting. From the opening where the oil ship splits in half through the attempt to get out to the ocean to find the doomed ship to the actual rescue itself, I was on pins and needles, literally vaulting myself up out of my seat to get over a wave at one point. Director Craig Gillespie, not known as an action director, does a nice job of leading us through these scenes, I am anxious to see what he takes on next. I hope it is another action flick.

Is it a great film? No. The opening (after the tanker accident) drags and the movie bounces around in tone trying to find out what kind of movie it wants to be, but once Pine and company goes out to sea to rescue, the movie zips along just fine.

7 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank (of Marquis)
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Very forgettable
lukebarry-381519 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The effects in this movie were pretty spectacular. Most of the water scenes were actually filmed really well, and they had a lot of intensity. However for the most part, the rest of the film really falls flat. The characters felt incredibly underdeveloped, and a lot them felt very unnecessary. The back story that was given to the characters was incredibly boring and didn't feel at all important. None of this compares to the overly boring love story between Chris Pine and Holliday Grainger. It was highly unnecessary and it felt like they were jamming it onto the audience, it really didn't feel natural. Every time the film would jump back to Grainger's character on shore, I would immediately become bored and annoyed. The production value was very impressive, and it had a lot of intensity the way it was filmed. This unfortunately doesn't make up for the boring back-story, the unneeded love story and the underdeveloped characters. It could have been really good, but it only became an okay film. It's very forgettable.
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A truly great story executed poorly by wooden acting, dialogue and a dragging pace.
superzachary943 February 2016
The finest hours is a film based off an incredible true story, But the film itself is not so incredible.

Based off a daring coast guard rescue mission, The film tells the story of Bernie Webber {Chris Pine} who sets out to save a group of people on a sinking ship.

The direction by Craig Gillespie fails to bring justice to the real life incident and the pace is just awful, The cast led by Chris Pine and Casey Affleck seem to be sleep walking through the film, The only things i liked about it was some of the effects and some of the score.

The film poorly tells what happened in an ineffective way and i rather watch a documentary about what happened. 3/10
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The Most Daring Rescue of a Crew with a Small Rescue Boat
claudio_carvalho5 June 2016
In 1950, in Cape Cod in Massachusetts, the US Coast Guard station in Chatham receives a distress signal from the oil tankers SS Pendleton and SS Fort Mercer. Commander Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) assigns the crew formed by Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), Richard Livesey (Ben Foster), Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner) and Ervin Maske (John Magaro) to rescue the crew of the SS Pendleton in a small enclosed lifeboat. Cluff is warned about the intensity of the storm by Bernie and also by his girlfriend Miriam (Holliday Grainger) but he keeps the order. Meanwhile the SS Pendleton has broken and lost his forward part and his skilled and experienced engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) assumes the command of the survivors. He uses his abilities to steer the stern in a safer position, grounding it on an unstable bank of sand to avoid sinking.

"The Finest Hours" is based on the most daring rescue of a crew in a blizzard with a small enclosed lifeboat-rescue boat. The heroic work of the US Coast Guard crew is impressive, saving thirty-two survivors from the SS Pendleton. The ability of the engineer Ray Sybert is also praiseworthy. The film is technically impressive with breathtaking action scenes of the rescue operation. The romance is silly and only completes the running time. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Horas Decisivas" ("Decisive Hours")
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LawLess3926 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Unfortunately I have been to sea on an old converted (to a bulk carrier) T2 Tanker ... and worked on and stood a watch in the engine room. These ships 'engines' were Steam Turbo Electric. The only way these engine rooms could have been that quiet ... is if the plant was completely shut down.

The men on the tanker would not have been able to stand up. There is no "engine intake" or "ahead" or astern" nozzles. So, for me, that part of the movie was pretty sad ... at least give these men the respect of attempting to make it realistic?

The Coast Guard scenes? Don't know wasn't in the CG. However ... for that little boat to completely submerge (several times)and still have the engine running? The men involved earned some respect here ... this movie fails miserably and fails to acknowledge (through any kind of realism) the acts it took to bring those men home. The other period details were pretty good even though it was mostly CG.

Maybe they should have somebody that has actually been to sea? So I'm going with the lowest I can give. Basing a movie on a true story is not a license to degrade it.

It is 117 (wasted) minutes of my life I will never get back.
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Absolutely dreadful
jesshaze-545-17613329 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I barely know where to start. What is with these entirely unlikable characters? Besides the Captain and ...the guy with the beard... none of these people seem to have any business being anywhere around ships. They are all far too timid through the entire film and this is especially true of the protagonist. He's annoyingly meek yet brave enough to head out in the storm. Follows orders to the tee except, inexplicably, for a rather important one in the second half. He is successful in the mission and rather than feel accomplishment for overcoming whatever PTSD he suffers from, he looks like he'll have a panic attack.

What was with the million shots of the concerned girlfriend? Did anyone actually care about this character? Was this movie trying to be Titanic?

The final 20 minutes were painful to watch. I had the notion of shutting it off every so often but the sinking ship scenes would pull me back in. I wish I had gone with my instinct.

Casey Affleck is the only thing good about this film - but he can't save it by a long shot.
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Decent rescue movie that I don't think I'll watch again.
Ingrouille1811 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Reading and watching the reviews for The Finest Hours, I knew I'd be going into it not expecting much, and I wasn't disappointed. Everything about the Finest Hours is "Ok". Acting, directing, editing, music, story, is ok. But everything being ok in this movie makes me not care all that much about the true story it's based on.

The story revolves around crewman Bernie Webber, who is sent out with 3 others to rescue the crew of the SS Pendleton, which has been split in two by a massive storm off the coast of Massachusetts.

Story short, they head out, save almost everyone, and return home safe to carry on with their lives. The film starts with the build up of Webber and his future wife Miriam. Sorry to the people who wrote the script, but I'm just not invested in these two. Keep it focused on the rescue mission, stop flashing back to Miriam every 10 minutes. At the end it shows the towns people putting every light they can on to help the survivors home, and we get scenes of multiple people in town other than Miriam and how they feel about their loved ones being in mortal danger, but show more of that. Have scenes of Miriam and how she feels, but make it even with the other family members. Focus a LOT more on the crew members than Miriam is all I'm saying.

Other than than I liked Casey Affleck's character. I enjoyed his scenes helping the other crew mates to survive, and was overall invested in them making it through. Overall, a movie I won't watch again. It's not bad, but it's not "The Founder" it's not that engaging because the script and the directing ultimately don't know where to go with it. Shame because this true story could be handled so much better.

I give it a 6 out of 10
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A film as easy to dismiss and forget as a wrong number
StevePulaski31 January 2016
While "The Finest Hours" is by no means the dreary, ostensibly never-ending mess that was last month's "In the Heart of the Sea," it's by no means even close to matching the quality of "The Perfect Storm," one of the best swashbuckling films of recent time. This is another by-the-numbers Disney film, that turns an incredible true story into a series of shortchanged and theatrical instances of peril that has numerous studio executives crossing their fingers, hoping it will somehow lumber its way to be a huge financial hit in a season when few films of more than average quality are out.

If all of Disney's eggs are in "The Finest Hours"'s basket, as I'm sure they aren't but just for the sake of argument, then it simply shows what this time of the year really does to Hollywood. There's nothing fundamentally nor glaringly wrong with "The Finest Hours" other than it's a painfully average, uninteresting slog that does so very little to assure any kind of practical methods were taken to really get to the heart of the helpless characters and those brave enough to embark on what seemed like nothing more than a suicide mission.

The film revolves around Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), a member of the Coast Guard stationed in Massachusetts on Cape Cod. Bernie's duties are pretty laidback, until the same day he plans to ask his commander Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) for permission to marry Miriam (Holliday Grainger), the girl of his dreams, he is ordered to guide a lifeboat and a small crew to rescue the S.S. Pendleton. The gigantic ship has just broken in half after getting caught in a violent nor'easter off the coast of Cape Cod, and Bernie and his three-men crew have to figure out a way to track down the ship and rescue as many or all of its thirty-two passengers.

This is exactly the kind of remarkable story that we would be calling implausible had it not been based on a true story (same goes for films like "Argo" and even "Trumbo"), and because of that, it's a film that was ostensibly going to be a bit alienating from the start. The reason being is that when you have a film telling this extraordinary of a story, if you don't make the film about the characters, or at least confine the setting and the focus where it appeals to basic human emotions and practices, such as connection and survival, it's going to feel cold and empty. "The Finest Hours" doesn't go for the survivalist route of "All is Lost," showing its characters at their most helpless and hopeless, nor does it opt for spectacle as it revolves around two developed characters like in "The Perfect Storm."

What's left for "The Finest Hours" to do is produce a simple, well-shot action film that does a good job at giving us a chronological timeline of the Coast Guard/Pendleton rescue back in 1952, but nothing else. There's no staying power thanks to thin characters, and there's few enticing or memorable action sequences because we're too often cutting back and forth between what is occurring on the water and Miriam's constant worrying over her husband (in yet another vague and almost entirely worthless female role), providing for desperately little continuity.

The film was directed by Craig Gillespie, who seems to be one of Disney's go-to directors for basic live-action entertainment that makes caricatures out of characters and makes the factual seem like the overblown (Gillespie also directed "Million Dollar Arm," another almost instantly forgettable film). In a month when films have ranged from the average to the barely tolerable, perhaps it would've been better for "The Finest Hours" to downright suck because it would've given me a better, more exciting review to write and a funnier, more relevant review for you, dear reader. Instead, I feel, much like a captain of a ship when all is going well, on auto-pilot as I reflect on a film that is about as easy to dismiss and forget as a wrong number.
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Absolutely Terrible
mhorg20184 June 2016
What a waste of film. Not only is this a terrible movie, but it's an insult to the actual event. I wondered, as I watched this, did the screenplay writers even bother to read the book? It's filled with so many factual errors (wrong type of engine room for one), that my entire review could be just about that. And let's talk about Webber, the coxwain, taking off his life jacket! No Coastie would ever do something so stupid. EVER. Let's add in an unnecessary love story that simply drags the movie down. Did the idiots at Disney think women wouldn't go see a movie about one of the greatest rescues in history if there wasn't a love story in it? This movie is just a poor effort, and I'm not surprised at all that it bombed at the movies.
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The Boring Hours
idoyam4 February 2016
I usually like most of the movies that I see in the theaters(even the low-rated ones),but in this movie something new happened to me,I slept for 10 minuets,something that never happened to me before. I believe that I got to this situation for two reasons.

First,the plot wasn't been managed well.For example,the HYPE scenes where you actually thrilled are too short and involved with bad effects that makes you not comfortable and bored.

Second,except Chris Pine and Holliday Grainger the acting was very bad and not convenience enough something that made feel not emotionally connected with the characters. Also,the dynamic between the actors didn't satisfied me.

I truly don't understand why this movie is so well rated,it is one of the worst movies i have ever seen,almost no action,no intense or interesting plot. Don't go to this movie!

Ido Yam
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A decent action movie but do not expect to see "a true story"
merileecwynyd16 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I was keen for this movie when I saw the trailers some time ago, as were my kids. At the time, I totally missed that it was "based upon a true story." A few days before seeing the film, I got a hold of the book and was thrilled to learn that it was an actual event and what's more, the anniversary of when it happened was in just a few days, February, 18th! Well, I challenged my kids to finish the book and I'd take them to see the movie. We all read it and were completely bowled over by the book and were eager to see the film.

The film is well worth seeing. It's a ripping action film. The action sequences and suspense are riveting. The seas and storm, while not nearly as impressive as the actual event are impressively done. The acting was superb, though the characterizations were positively rotten. Chris Pine, Holiday Grainger, Casey Affleck and the rest were a joy to watch, not one bad performance.

Though the performances were entertaining, the characterizations were not. The screenplay diverges wildly from the reality and that's a shame. Bernie Webber/Chris Pine was not riddled with self- doubt and ambivalence, nor was he ridiculed or held in low esteem by his co-workers and neighbors. Miriam/Holiday Grainger and he were married before the events took place and she was home in bed sick through out the entire event so had no role whatsoever. Grainger's character and scenes are whole-cloth and the character's behavior while quite believable in today's world would have been unheard of in 1952.

Other reviewers have opined about why this or that happened, why a particular decision was made instead of doing something else. The staging of the story, as written for the screenplay creates quite a bit of confusion, whereas the reality of the situations really left no viable alternatives. Bernie Webber made the best decisions he could have made under the circumstances. Chris Pine's character got dragged along by the storm surge.

As an aside, I think this movie showcases the disregard Hollywood holds for it's audience. Hollywood seems to think we are unable to grasp complex ideas so they feed us flashy special effects instead of solid stories. It is really a shame, especially in regards to a story like this where the heroes are real and we really need heroes.

The heroism of the "coasties" shines in this story but not as brightly in this movie. I strongly urge anyone inspired by this film to read the book and I would recommend the film to anyone who enjoys man-against-the-elements adventures.
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One of the Best Movies I Have Ever Seen
dtphoenix9 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I walked into this movie looking for a good adventure/drama and walked out believing in miracles. First, this tanker breaks in half directly in the middle of a tank causing very little damage to the water-tight bulk-head. Second, a young Coast Guardsman does the near impossible and not only gets his boat out of the harbor, but does so without losing any of his men. Third, without a compass, stars or visibility he finds the Pendleton's stern. Fourth, the tanker has ended up on a shoal making the coast guard boat the only that that has to be maneuvered around (if I understand correctly a little movie-license was taken here as the crew was actually trying to stay off the shoals). Fifth, 33 men climbed down the ladder in near impossible conditions, dropping into either the boat or water and only 1 was lost. Sixth, a boat designed to carry a crew of 4 with 12 passengers (where an experienced crewman estimated the most they could hold was 22) actually carried 36 people. And finally, without any navigational aide the massively over-loaded boat made it back into the bay and to the town's dock - without losing one person along the way. If I didn't know it was a true story I would have thought I was watching somebodies over-done imagination. But each of the above items is true and did happen. Forget the incredibly great special effects, the story alone is worth going to see.
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All Life is Precious
ThomasDrufke30 January 2016
Now, that's what I call a good film. It may still be January, but The Finest Hours definitely doesn't feel like a film that came out in the midst of Hollywood's dumping ground month. It's directed by Craig Gillespie and stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, and Eric Bana. It tells the story of one of the most daring and dangerous U.S. Coast Guard missions in history as Bernie Webber, played by Pine, led a crew aboard a motor boat to save the survivors of the splitting of the SS Pendleton.

First off, it's unbelievable that this is even a true story. I constantly thought to myself throughout the film that there's no way they actually get through this alive. It's even more amazing when you see the real life pictures and records of the events in the closing credits. It's also one of those films that makes you enjoy your time away from the storms on water and appreciate every second on land. But besides the remarkable story, I got sucked in with the acting of Pine, Affleck, and Grainger. Grainger plays Pine's love interest back home in Massachusetts and at times the screen time on her can become distracting. Grainger was good in the role, but the time spent on the motor boat and Affleck's crew on the ship was much more intriguing.

Another understandable complaint this film has been getting is its noticeable CGI. When you compare it to films like Life of Pi, Interstellar, or even Titanic from 20 years ago, it doesn't even come close to holding its own against those. But with its lower budget and poignant story, I think you can forgive some of its more obviously green screen moments. The film does have plenty of 'true story clichés' used to bring our emotions to the breaking point, but I never felt like they over did it. I was so enthralled with what was happening that when the film does get to its emotional climax, I had to hold back tears. That's a tribute to Gillespie's direction and the incredible score by the newly Oscar nominated, Carter Burwell.

+Unbelievable story

+Great lead performances

+Timely score

-Some CGI overstayed its welcome

-Some cuts back to Grainger's character weren't necessary

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The cheese-0-meter is broken - permanently
donb-519-33507528 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I semi-slept thru the first 1/3 of the movie. When I work up, I started realizing how horribly cheesy this film was. The movie is so full of clichés it looked like it was making fun of disaster movies.

Some examples: "We all live, or we all die." (Chris Pine's response to the overcrowding of the rescue boat.)

Tiny saying to the young scared seaman just as they disembark on the sinking ship: "If I can make it, then anyone can make it." (Whereupon he - Tiny - gets crushed against the ship - what a surprise.)

People flinging themselves off the sinking ship to be caught by the men on the rescue boat - as cleanly as my catching a Ding Dong before it hits the floor.

And the worst of all, Fitz who was holding on to the railing in the very front of the rescue boat, getting flung into the air when a giant wave about destroys the boat, only to land back on the boat. Pllleeeeeaaasse!!!!

It was so hokey, it was laughable.

The interesting thing is that this really was a true story - while the credits rolled, they showed actual photos of the participants with the actors staged next to them. The newspaper clippings also gave credence to the events.

It is just to0 bad they had to cheese it up with so much Hollywood, trite melodrama - which made me doubt and dislike the entire movie.

This is a poor testimony to the brave men who really lived through this experience.

Sorry I paid $2.79 for this movie. I over paid.
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Not as fine as you would expect from this cast
estebangonzalez1020 February 2016
"In the coast guard they say you go out, they don't say you gotta come back."

Director Craig Gillespie and Disney team up once again following their 2014 film, Million Dollar Arm. This time the true story is based on the 1952 Coast Guard rescue attempt at Cape Cod. The film counts with a stellar cast starting from the always charismatic Chris Pine, and including some strong supporting performances from the likes of Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Holliday Grainger, and John Magaro. The Finest Hours captures the fifties with delicacy while also remaining old school. The film is by the books and told in a way that most movies based on true events are, so it doesn't stand out. The effects are believable but they never accomplish much visually. There are some thrilling moments and the film slowly builds the tension during the final act, but it does take a bit too long setting the premise and trying to establish a love story that doesn't seem to be all that interesting or relevant.

The Finest Hour begins by introducing us to the hero of the story who is about to go on his first date with the woman who will eventually become his fiancée. Chris Pine is Bernie Webber, a shy man who follows orders and likes to do things by the books, while Holliday Grainger is Miriam, a woman who is set on going after what she want. The love story lacks emotion and therefor it is the weakest link in the film. It is the reason why the first half of the film didn't work for me and why I wished the film focused more on the events taking place in the split oil tanker during the storm. Pine is playing against type here since his character is rather timid and that takes away a lot of his charm. I will give him credit for trying to play a different character, but I don't think he was the right choice for the part. Casey Affleck is the true standout, playing one of the crew members in the oil tanker fighting for their survival. He reminds us what a great actor he is and I wish the film focused more on his character. The rescue mission is exciting and thrilling, but the film takes too long to set itself up.

Perhaps The Finest Hours is one of the better films being released in January since this is considered the dumping ground for most movies, but it still isn't good enough to get a fresh grade from me. The film has its moments and Casey Affleck should be getting bigger roles, but other than that the movie does fall flat and lacks the emotional depth other rescue films have. I'm usually a fan of Chris Pine, but I didn't enjoy his performance here and this is one of the few films from him that I haven't liked. If you are nostalgic for old-fashioned adventure films than this might be the right film for you, otherwise skip it.
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