Christian Living


The Finest Hours: Movie Review

Chris Pine in The Finest Hours
Star Rating
Movie Info


PG-13 for intense sequences of peril


Action, Drama, History


January 29, 2016


Chris Pine, Holliday Grainger, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Kyle Gallner, Eric Bana, Graham McTavish, Michael Raymond-James


Craig Gillespie


Walt Disney Pictures

More on this movie at IMDb.com

CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

“Based on a true story” … are five well-known words real-life movie fans love to see. Walt Disney's new picture, The Finest Hours, offers that crowd a solid option at the theaters this weekend with its whopper of a true story.

Starring Chris Pine (Star Trek), The Finest Hours chronicles the heroic Coast Guard rescue of the S.S. Pendleton off the shores of Cape Cod in the early 1950s. This inspiring true tale captured for the big screen by director Craig Gillespie (Million Dollar Arm) has a PG-13 rating, making it a viable option for teenage and adult moviegoers.


Bernard “Bernie” Webber (Pine) knows the sea. What scares him is meeting his telephone gal pal, Miriam (Holliday Grainger, Cinderella), face-to-face for the first time. As love blossoms, Miriam soon discovers the toll being in the Coast Guard can take on a man, and his woman. Both of their mettles are tested when a dangerous rescue mission requires Bernie venture out into a treacherous nor’easter. Bernie and his crew of three are the only hope the souls trapped on board a sinking tanker have. In the face of unfathomable odds, the four men go out to sea.


What The Finest Hours has going for it is the unbelievable true story it’s telling. It immerses you in this perilous fight for survival, all while tracking along with Bernie and Miriam’s love story. Staring at the angry, 3D seas ahead of Bernie’s crew, you’ll marvel at the sheer magnitude of what these four men braved to save dozens of strangers, who for all they know were already lost to the sea.

Pine captains this movie. It’s not just in his decisive action that we see Bernie’s courageous spirit, but we’re also given a glimpse at his frailty and moments of doubt. The cast, which also includes Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Ben Foster (Lone Survivor), and Eric Bana (Star Trek, Munich), support Pine and Grainger well. The varying accents are a bit tricky at first, but wade through that and you meet some interesting, albeit familiar, characters.

The Finest Hours could have gone deeper. Bernie and Miriam's love is a fine one (and turns out to be long-lasting in real life), but it's not the sweeping love story needed to match the thrilling action seen on the seas. Also, one of Miriam’s scenes midway through the movie feels convenient (and was confirmed to be a plot point added to the script that didn’t actually happen). Distracting background dialogue also disrupts the ending.

Officially rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril, The Finest Hours also contains foul language. Scenes and dialogue point to a miracle working out in their midst and that their fate is not in the hands of luck. One scene shows the tanker’s crew in silent prayer, before a troubled seaman's panic gets the best of him.


Against all odds, dozens of souls were saved that night off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The bravery of four men saved their lives and their historic heroics should be celebrated. The Finest Hours is a pleasant movie and rightfully honors these heroes, but it’s more than just a movie about this daring Coast Guard rescue attempt. It’s also a personal, old-fashioned story about one man, his battle to overcome his fatal failures, the life-long love he finds when he opens up his heart, and the inspiring courage he found when he needed it most.

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