The Finest Hours

Published July 9, 2016

The Finest Hours

Film info

  • Title The Finest Hours
  • Director Craig Gillespie
  • Year 2016
  • Run time 1hr 57m
  • Genres
  • Tagline 32 survivors, room for 12

This heroic action-thriller is based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small-boat rescue in Coast Guard history. In 1952, a massive winter storm strikes off the coast of Cape Cod, ripping a T-2 oil tanker in half and trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly sinking stern. When word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard, four men led by Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) set out in a 12-seat boat on a daring mission to rescue the stranded men, braving freezing cold, 60-foot waves and hurricane-force winds, and guided by Webber’s vow that 'We all live, or we all die.' Packed with thrilling, larger-than-life action and anchored in a belief in the strength of the human spirit, The Finest Hours is a triumph.

Background info

Title: The Finest Hours Director: Craig Gillespie Year: 2016 Run time: 1hr 57m

Live blog

1:15 – Yea! 1950s cars are the best. 5:23 – “Just more water.” That’s reassuring. 10:39 – Don’t much fancy learning to dance in amongst all those people though. 14:10 – You have to get permission to marry from your Coast Guard boss? 18:49 – “I know he can’t understand you, he doesn’t listen to anyone anyway.” 23:41 – “Praying’s great, but it ain’t everything. We need to actually do something.” 24:49 – Amazing, how is it even still afloat like that? 36:14 – The lifeboat in a billion pieces! Eeeek. 40:07 – I love how much he loves the regulations. 48:19 – “This isn’t what any of the other girls do.” “So?” Good answer! 1:09:26 – My god, that was all so crazy tense, I forgot to type for twenty minutes. 1:12:28 – I don’t understand everything they’re doing but they sound like geniuses. 1:13:24 – Just because you’re single and childless, doesn’t mean your life is worthless. Boo the fifties. 1:15:24 – “I lost my hat!” That’s the least of your worries. 1:17:01 – The child did a real life shrugsie emoji! 1:22:08 – Found it!! 1:25:11 – It’s not an elegant solution but they appear to be making it onto the boat. 1:31:12 – I know he’s trying to give him a compliment but it seems the most dangerous position to be in! 1:46:06 – It’d be funny if he crashed into the pier, in his exhaustion. Perfectly understandable but also hilarious!


This was a fascinating one. I remembered from the trailer that it was going to be something of an action movie with big waves, but it wasn’t your traditional blockbuster. It was a lot more slow-moving, building tension every step of the way and really engaging with the character so that you care what happens in those horrifying conditions.

It was treading a fine line, where it could easily have dipped into boring and drawn out, but it didn’t, it was just the right pace to keep things interesting, but not be too predictable. The start, perhaps, with the budding relationship, was a little slow but you could see they were just trying to give backstory to the main character.

My only real complaint was that sending out the coast guard crew in the first place was a bit confusing, and it wasn’t explained quickly enough. There was quite a lot of nautical terms being bandied around that we weren’t sure of. Webber’s fiancée was our way in to the story and she didn’t ask the questions until we’d already had to guess what was going on.

Rating: 4/5.

Rating: 4 / 5

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