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The Finest Hours Movie Review

Reviewed by on Jan 28, 2016
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Check out Kidzworld’s movie review of The Finest Hours, a true-life sea rescue yarn starring Star Trek’s Captain Kirk Chris Pine as a by-the-book, unlikely hero who breaks the rules to save a crew.

By: Lynn Barker

In Disney’s The Finest Hours, it’s 1952 in Massachusetts and gorgeous Chris Pine whom we know most recently as bold and brash Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movies, stars as mild-mannered, by-the-book Bernie Webber, a Coast Guard sailor just engaged to a gorgeous gal (she asked him) when a huge storm at sea brings out the hidden hero in him. Chris brings the bravado after all!

Bernie (Chris Pine) gets the rescue assignmentBernie (Chris Pine) gets the rescue assignmentCourtesy of Disney

Falling in Love

In an East Coast town, cute Coast Guardsman Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) is shyly courting more aggressive phone operator Miriam (Holliday Grainger). With some help from a pal, he gets closer to popping the question but, impatient as they date, Miriam asks him instead. He’s up for it but wants to tell his commanding officer (Eric Bana) that he’s getting married first.

Bernie (Chris Pine) and Miriam (Holliday Grainger) share a momentBernie (Chris Pine) and Miriam (Holliday Grainger) share a momentCourtesy of Disney

Big Storm

When a ginormous storm causes two tanker ships to break up at sea, Coast Guard crews are sent to the rescue with Bernie’s crew, the less experienced guys, going in a tiny boat after the survivors of the Pendleton, an oil tanker literally broken in half. Pendleton Assistant Engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), a soft-spoken fellow, ends up taking over to hand-steer the ½ a ship onto a sand bar so it won’t sink.

Ray and crew steer their 1/2 a boat by handRay and crew steer their 1/2 a boat by handCourtesy of Disney

On Shore

Learning that Bernie is out on a near-impossible mission, Miriam rushes to the Coast Guard office where she ticks off Bernie’s commanding officer with her demands. Teaming up with the wife of another sailor, she learns what it will be like to be married to a guy who risks his life every day to save others. Is she up to that task?

Miriam (Holliday Grainger) invades the Coast Guard officesMiriam (Holliday Grainger) invades the Coast Guard officesCourtesy of Disney

The Rescue

Bernie and crew find the doomed ship but can they rescue the crew (over 30 guys!) in time and, losing a compass in the storm, can they find their way home? When power goes out on shore, can anyone help guide the guys home?

Ray tells his crew how they can surviveRay tells his crew how they can surviveCourtesy of Disney

The Finest Hours Trailer


Wrapping Up

The Finest Hours provides “real-looking” and amazing special effects as a teeny tiny Coast Guard boat goes out to rescue the crew of a humungous, broken-in-half tanker ship. We saw the movie in 3-D which was cool but made nighttime visuals even darker. The fact that this rescue was pulled off in real life in 1952 is, in itself, amazing.

Ray (Casey Affleck) in the engine room of the sinking tankerRay (Casey Affleck) in the engine room of the sinking tankerCourtesy of Disney

Understated, low-key performances by Chris Pine, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster seem more true-to-life than if the actors had been frantic, but, since they react to a scary situation with such “calm”, it kind of kills some of the tension and excitement that we, as, an audience should feel while watching a giant tanker break in half and a tiny boat brave huge waves to rescue the survivors.

Bernie at the helm of the tiny Coast Guard rescue boatBernie at the helm of the tiny Coast Guard rescue boatCourtesy of Disney

There is a sweet romance between Chris’s Bernie character and Holliday Grainger’s telephone operator sweetie Miriam. (Holliday played one of the evil step-sisters in the recent Cinderella movie) but we don’t get much of it. While her man Bernie is out rescuing people, Miriam is learning what it’s like to be the gal left behind on shore. The actress does a great job but there isn’t much for her to do. In the same vein, the sailors on the doomed ship and Bernie’s fellow rescuers are more “types” than real people although some of them have a couple of good comic moments.

Miriam and housewife Bea worry about the menMiriam and housewife Bea worry about the menCourtesy of Disney

Just like the actors in the film really admired the real life heroes they are playing, you’ll develop some admiration for the real guys who pulled off such an amazing rescue. Yay, Coast Guard!! However, we needed to feel the urgency while we are watching the movie and ya kinda just don’t. We go three stars.

The Finest Hours Movie Rating: 3

The Finest Hours Movie PosterThe Finest Hours Movie PosterCourtesy of Disney

See The Finest Hours in theaters this Friday, January 29th!

Have Your Say

Do you really get into disaster or rescue films? Do you love or have fear of the sea? Could you be a hero? Leave a comment.