1 hour 57 minutes
PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.
for intense sequences of peril
Chris Pine ...
Holliday Grainger ...
Casey Affleck ...
Ben Foster ...
Kyle Gallner ...
Eric Bana ...
Rachel Brosnahan ...
Graham McTavish ...
John Magaro ...
Abraham Benrubi ...
Josh Stewart ...
Keiynan Lonsdale ...
Benjamin Koldyke ...
John Ortiz ...
Seaman Wallace Quirey
On the night of Feb. 18, 1952, a nor’easter whipped through the seas
off the coast of Massachusetts with enough force to tear two oil tankers
literally in half. As the SS Pendleton’s chief engineer Raymond Sybert (Casey Affleck)
tries desperately to keep the semi-ship afloat and to rally the dozens
of remaining crew members to stay and fight rather then lower lifeboats
into roiling seas that will immediately capsize those tiny craft, a
Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, springs into action.
Having already sent most of his men out to rescue the other tanker in distress, Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) commands Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) to
cobble together a crew that will take a 36-foot wooden motorboat out to
Before any of this happens, we see Bernie’s meet-cute with the outspoken
Miriam (Holliday Grainger) while on a blind date, with a courtship that leads up
to her asking him to marry her. He wants Cluff’s approval — it’s a
formality at best — but the storm hits that same day, moving Bernie’s
wedding plans way down the list of Coast Guard priorities. Once Bernie
takes off for the Pendleton — with a ragtag crew that includes Richard
Livesey (Ben Foster), Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner) and Navy man Ervin Maske (John Magaro) — Miriam can only take shelter from the storm with her fellow townsfolk and hope for the best.
Director Craig Gillespie
(“Million Dollar Arm”) is clearly going for classic-movie sweep, but in his rather unsure hands, The Finest Hours is hampered by its inability to integrate the romance into the
action story, and by juggling too many characters, all of whom are vital
to the story.
One of the cornerstones of this adventure should be that both
rescuers and the rescued are wet and cold throughout, but until the word
“hypothermia” gets mentioned late in the game, we see Bernie and his crew crashing through huge waves (in some impressive special effect effects work) without even shivering.
Giving it their all is an impressive ensemble including Graham McTavish, Abraham Benrubi, John Ortiz, Rachel Brosnahan
and many other performers whose faces make an immediate impression, a
must in a film with this many speaking parts. They even handle the New
England accents without embarrassment.
There’s also the matter of the actual rescue, which is quite
harrowing and realistic and the
special effects team here fakes the ocean and its terrors with chilling reality. If only the writing and directing had approached a
similar degree of realism.