The Finest Hours is a thrilling adventure tale

Timothy Page, Movie Critic

In February of 1952, a massive winter storm hit the east coast. To most people this meant bundling up and staying indoors till the storm dies down. For, the soon to be married, Bernie Webber this meant being ordered by the coast guard to go around the harbor and help tie up fishing boats.

Until they get a call. The storm is massive and powerful. So big that an oil tanker has been split in half and is floating aimlessly through the ocean. Ray Sybert, the man who takes control after the captain is on the other half of the boat, gets a plan together to try to save their lives and hopefully wait out till a rescue mission can come and get them. All in a day’s work right?

Now, where The Finest Hours soars is its cast and the actual rescue. Chris Pine has always impressed me, even if he does act a bit wooden here, and Casey Affleck does a great job as the man trying to save the crew on the oil tanker. Reviews have been saying that the film takes a bit to take off, but I disagree. Me personally I was invested in Webber (Pine) and Miriam’s relationship. Holiday Grainger plays Miriam and she’s probably my favorite part of the film. Trying to keep it together as Bernie is out there, you can see the struggle on her face throughout.

The actual rescue and scenes at sea were fantastic. Almost all of it you can tell was CGI rendered, filmed on a sound stage with water machine splashing the actors in the face, but it’s very well done. When they get to the oil tanker (it’s on the poster so I’m not counting it as a spoiler) it’s intense and a bit disorienting. I don’t recommend seeing this movie in the theaters if you have motion sickness problems, the constant feeling of being on a boat added a lot.

My problems with this movie are very small actually. As the men are going out to sea, and are in the middle of the ocean, they never seem to act cold. Even as they go through wave after wave of freezing water and a winter storm is barreling overhead I never saw a threat of hypothermia. Also, there’s a few moments where a character will pause to say something dramatic and the situation around them doesn’t really call for it.

The Finest Hours won’t win any major awards and we probably won’t even remember it by year’s end, but right now it’s a thrilling rescue tale and the ‘50s era style just adds a bit more to it. It has its issues, but if you’re looking for a feel good diversion at the movies I’d say check it out. There’s a lot to enjoy about ‘The Finest Hours.’

Rating: 3/5 Better than most January films and nothing terribly memorable, but a good diversion at the theater if you aren’t interested in anything else out right now.