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The Finest Hours 

Wednesday, Jan 27 2016
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Craig Gillespie's popcorn-muncher The Finest Hours is what you'd expect from a Disney film about a perilous rescue at sea. It's based on the real-life 1952 Coast Guard rescue of the USS Pendleton off the coast of Massachusetts. Bernie (Chris Pine) is a recently engaged Guardsman who leads a suicide mission into a gnarly storm to rescue the crew, who are being kept alive by the outside-the-box thinking of engineer Ray (Casey Affleck) as he struggles to keep the broken-in-two ship from sinking. It's both a classic Sweaty Men Doing Sweaty Things film and a not-always-convincing CGI-fest, but The Finest Hours is buoyed by the performances of Pine and Affleck as working-class schlubs who aren't heroes, just men doing their very difficult job. Also of note is Bernie's fiancée Miriam (Holliday Grainger), who in the third act proves herself to be the smartest person in town. The Boston accents are deliciously thick, and they say the word "bar" dozens of times, but the sanitized language becomes distracting. The Finest Hours is rated PG-13 for "intense sequences of peril," and even a few contextually accurate F-bombs — they're sailors, for fuck's sake! — would have pushed the film into R territory. The Finest Hours prides itself on its historical accuracy, but as usual, the MPAA keeps things from being entirely fine.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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