The Finest Hours is the first movie released in 2016 that I’ve reviewed. It is also one of many new movies based on a true story, which I found to be pretty good. If you enjoyed “The Perfect Storm”, then chances are, you’ll also like “The Finest Hours”. Handsome Chris Pine plays Bernard “Bernie” Webber, who falls in love with Miriam Pentinen Webber (Holliday Grainger). Bernie is a crewman at the Coast Guard station in Chatham, MA on Cape Cod. The new Chief Warrant Officer, Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) is new to the station and is making questionable decisions. After learning that an oil tanker was split in half somewhere off the Chatham coast, as a result of the current nor’ easter, Daniel sends Bernie and his crew out on a suicide mission to rescue the damaged oil tanker (SS Pendleton). After picking his crew, Engineman Third Class: Andrew Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner), Seaman: Ervin Maske (John Magaro) and Seaman: Richard P. Livesey (Ben Foster), they head off into one of the worse storms they’ve encountered as a rescue team. Adding to an already bad situation, Bernie’s lifeboat (CG 36500) was not adequate to make it over the bar in the current storm or large enough to rescue the oil tanker.
The Finest Hours is an emotional thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat with tears rolling with the waves and a new respect for the coast guard. The year was 1952 and technology was not what it is today. On the way to the rescue, the CG 36500 lost it’s compass, making it almost impossible to find anything. I loved the way the movie was filmed, showing the problems on each side of the rescue, simultaneously. Many of the scenes focused on Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) who was so devoted to the SS Pendleton, he was able to keep it afloat despite one half of the ship was missing. There are many lessons to be learned, both on land and at sea. Of course there were a lot more problems than mentioned in this review but as usual, I don’t want to spoil the movie by telling all. I recommend The Finest Hours and think you’ll enjoy it whether you elect to see it in 3D or 2D/standard format. BTW: The real Bernie Webber and his crew received the Gold Lifesaving Medal for their rescue efforts, which was a great honor.