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Why 'The Finest Hours' is worth seeing
"The Finest Hours" has some real issues, but at the end of the day it's hard not to like this true story of sacrifice and courage. - photo by John Clyde
THE SEA Late January and February can be a slow time for movies, but every once in a while we get that gem that totally breaks the mold. If youre hoping for that mold breaker this weekend then unfortunately The Finest Hours isnt your film.

The newest Disney true-story movie has a lot of issues, but at the end of the day its really hard not to like the film.

Here is why The Finest Hours is worth seeing, but not a great movie.

Worth seeing

Great story

The Finest Hours tells the true story of a four Coast Guardsmen who risked their lives to save stranded seaman on an oil tanker that was ripped in half in 1952.

The extreme cold, the rough seas and impossible odds are almost too much to believe, but this incredible story actually occurred, and its thrilling and intriguing to watch it play out. The actual rescue in the film is extremely well shot and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck doesnt have the star power of his older brother Ben, which is unfortunate because Casey is a phenomenal actor, and its on display in The Finest Hours.

Affleck is really the strongest of the bunch in this film, and every time hes not on screen you look forward to seeing him again. Affleck commands the screen and plays the character with sincerity and heart. Many of the other players, including the lead Chris Pine, do a fine job in the film, but its Affleck who really stands out and turns in a performance thats truly worth watching.

Not a great movie

Starts off slow, like really slow

As I mentioned earlier, once The Finest Hours gets into the rescue portion its exciting and interesting, but it feels like it takes ages to get to that point.

The first 30 minutes feels more like an hour, and it does not set up the story as well as youd like it to. It honestly moves at a glacial pace at times, and I was ready to give up on the film. Im happy I didnt because the payoff was worth it, but the set up nearly killed it.

Parts of the story just dont work

The strongest thing that The Finest Hours offers is the heroics of both the Coast Guard who saved the stranded sailors and the courage and resilience of the stranded men themselves. In addition to this the movie tries to throw in a love story, a past tragedy, and a myriad of other anecdotes that really dont help the story.

In all honesty, the past tragedy almost detracts from the story, as its forced in there and never very clear as to what happened. Its hard to explain without seeing and even harder to explain after seeing it. Like I said, its hard to explain.

All of the extra plot devices take away from the real heart of the story at times, which is unfortunate.

All in all

With all of its problems The Finest Hours is really hard not to like. In true Disney form theyve given us an incredible story, likeable heroes and some flashy visuals that truly makes it difficult to not cheer for the film despite its shortcomings.

The Finest Hours is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril. There is no language in the film and a small amount of violence, but some of the depictions of the disaster itself may be a little much for younger audiences.
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