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Recommended age 10-18
117 minutes
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FINEST HOURS, THE cover image Click to play video trailer
The Finest Hours is a Walt Disney film that is filled with much determination that captivates your mind on a realistic approach of being in the ocean on a boat wondering if you will survive. This moved me because you have to be a thinker, organizer and strategist in order to achieve the obstacles that you will be encountering. I really loved this movie because it is in 3D which makes everything appear to be coming right at you and you feel like you are a part of the film, especially during the ocean scenes. This film is based on a true story and it is filled with action, drama and history. The director, Craig Gillespie draws you into this film by his realistic portrayal of events.

One of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England in February 1952. It damaged an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripped it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members, Bernie Weber (Chris Pine), Ben Foster (Richard Livesey), Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner) and Ervin Maske (John Magaro) of the Coast Guard set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel. The captain gives the orders and sends them out to accomplish the goal.

My favorite part of this movie is when Bernie Weber and his fellow crew members set out to find the people on the sinking ship. They lose connection with the captain and also lose their compass. The crew members want Bernie to turn back around, but he says, "no point". Bernie just keeps on going to see if he can find any type of vessel. He becomes obstinate and passionate about his Coast Guard duty.

The setting is a 1950s snowy and cold day with distinguished vintage cars the town people drive. The women's dress is classy and stylish and they definitely make a statement upon arrival to any event.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is action-packed with some romance and tense moments. Younger audiences may not understand and might be scared. This movie hits theaters Friday, January 29, 2016. Come and check it out. It is a must see!

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I had good expectations for The Finest Hours, especially in IMAX 3D. It has a great, true-life story about a few men accomplishing the impossible on the high seas. It has a good cast, but no blockbuster stars. And, it has a director, Craig Gillespie, with a great Indie pedigree (Lars and the Real Girl, Million Dollar Arm). Unfortunately, the film is riddled with clich�s, which points to the writer (Scott Silver) and the director. The Finest Hours is an epic rescue story but ultimately a let down.

The Finest Hours is a true story about a rescue mission to save an oil tanker that gets partially destroyed during a big winter storm off the coast of Cape Cod. The Wellfleet Coast Guard is expected to help in the rescue but most of their large craft are out helping other distressed tankers. So, it comes down to four Coast Guarders to go out in a small boat to save the sailors on the tanker. The Coast Guard rescue team is lead by Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) and Richard Livesey (Ben Foster). Bernie is a quiet, inarticulate man who plays by the rules. They have to get past the "bar" to get out on open seas and the first time, they get fully submerged by the waves and lose their compass. It's like an ant trying to save a huge whale in the middle of a storm! Meanwhile, the crew of the tanker is trying to ground themselves on a shoal. They are being led by the head mechanic, Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), who is an unlikely hero. He is an obsessed mechanic who is not part of the social fabric of the tanker. But because he knows the ship better than anyone, he takes control. He doesn't believe in luck, only hard work and ingenuity.

The beginning of the film is a preamble that sets up the love interest between Bernie and his girl, Miriam (Holliday Grainger) and the other characters in the town of Wellfleet. This part of the film feels rushed and clich�. Bernie is set up as a broken man for some reason, but you don't know why. Other failed rescue missions are hinted at. I feel like I don't know the characters' personalities like I do in other films. The rescue sequences are very exciting and intense, especially in IMAX 3D. The cinematography and graphics are great. The depiction of the roiling water is very realistic. I also liked the fact that both of the men leading each of their crews are unlikely heroes. There's a point in the rescue where they meet and you can see Sybert size up Webber as a similar animal to himself.

I give The Finest Hours 3 out of 5 stars due to the stereotypical and confusing screenplay and direction. It is appropriate for ages 10 through 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952. Starring Chris Pine, Holliday Grainger, Casey Affleck. Directed by Craig Gillespie.
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