I loved this film directed by Craig Gillespie based on the book The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. Tougias & Casey Sherman with a screenplay by Eric Johnson, Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy. Considering the fact that this rousing entertainment was also true only adds to the delight and wonder of what human beings are capable of doing in times of extreme duress. Told from the points of view of the chief engineer aboard a tanker that has been split in two by a massive storm and the Coast Guard crewman who with a limited crew board and navigate a small vessel assigned to go and rescue the ship. After the Second World War a series of tankers were built from scrap metal mostly from former destroyers which proved disastrous to the industry since they often split in two during great stress at sea. What makes this story all the more compelling is that further south off the Massachusetts’ coastline another tanker had split in two that same night with all available aid going there first, when the Coast Guard was made to realize they had another disaster on their hands. With limited availability and a boat that was way too small for such an endeavor they took off and against all odds succeeded. The rescue boat actually completely submerged in hundred foot swells about three times and this is told in stunning detail. I’m still amazed at how realistic the entire film looks and was actually grateful that no one was directly next to me in the theatre for all the twisting and turning that I was doing. If you have a chance to see this film on the big screen then I say do so, for it only adds to the power of this motion picture. Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz and Eric Bana are among a very large cast of excellent actors lending credence to a most compelling true life tale.
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