The Finest Hours movie Review

Not only about animated cartoons, now the production house Walt Disney Pictures has tried several well-known films with genres that are unusual for Disney, namely action-thrillers . Is The Finest Hours which was released in 2016 ago. The director, Craig Gillespie, concocted this true story in a film with a duration of 117 minutes.

Tells the story of the rescue action by the United States Coast Guard on the crew of the SS Pendleton which was split apart by storm waves off the coast of New England in 1952. Several well-known actors were lined up to play the characters in the film, those who joined included Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, until Eric Bana.

Synopsis The Finest Hours

  • Year of Release 2016
  • Genres Action , Drama , History
  • Director Craig Gillespie
  • Cast ∙ Chris Pine ∙ Casey Affleck ∙ Ben Foster ∙ Holliday Grainger ∙ Eric Bana ∙ Graham McTavish

A crew member at the Chatham Coast Guard Station, Massachusetts, Cape Cod named Bernard Webber (Chris Pine) or better known as Bernie goes on a blind date with his best friend Gus (Beau Knapp). Bernie was very nervous because he was worried that the girl he was going to meet wouldn’t like him.

But it turns out that the girl who becomes Bernie’s date, namely Miriam Pentinen (Holliday Grainger) likes him and they love each other. After dating for a long time, they decide to get married on April 16 with a note, Bernie must first ask permission from his commander, Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana).

After a few days, a T2 type tanker named SS Pendleton which was sailing off the coast of New England experienced serious problems. Before the big incident occurred, the ship’s engineer , Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), asked the ship’s captain to reduce the speed to 3 knots due to storm conditions.

But the captain didn’t heed Sybert’s advice and asked them to keep going at a speed of 7 knots in the middle of a storm and winds reaching 80 to 96 km/hour. The ship’s hull which had just been welded after being repaired was not strong enough to withstand the weight of the ship and the crashing of the waves at once, as a result the ship split into two.

At the time of the incident, Sybert and the other crew members were not conscious, until one of the crew members asked by Sybert to inform the captain that there was a hole in the hull was shocked to see that half of the ship’s hull was gone and had sunk. The rest of the ship’s stern can still float because it has lots of sealed space and is not heavy.

The Finest Hours

The Pendleton finally broadcast a distress code which was received by several offshore officials. Most of the station’s crew immediately sent aid, but as conditions were so bad from the winter storms, all ships were damaged and could share the fate of the Pendleton.

When Bernie had to report and seek permission about his wedding plans, Commander Bernie first assigned Bernie to carry out a rescue action aboard the CG 36500 motorboat after the SS Fort Mercer became unusable in such a situation. Bernie is not alone, he is accompanied by several volunteers.

Among them are Andrew Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner), Ervin Maske (John Magaro), and Richard P. Livesey (Ben Foster) who are all sailors. They immediately went rushing to the location of the Pendleton Ship which was starting to sink. There are at least more than 30 crew members trapped in the ill-fated ship.

Back on the ship, Sybert began looking for a way so that all of those remaining on board could stay on board until help arrived. After deliberating, it was decided that the ship’s stern would be directed to a slightly shallower part of the sea so they could ‘hook’ until the rescue team arrived.

Miriam, who knew about the rescue action carried out by her future husband, was shocked, she knew that Bernie was facing death, which meant it was a suicide mission. Miriam immediately went to Commander Cluff to ask Bernie to return, but instead he was cursed at and thrown out of the room.

Many do not believe that Cluff sent Bernie and 3 other people to go after the Pendleton Ship, the local community considers Cluff to be reckless because he is not from the area so he does not control the terrain. The information eventually spread widely in the Chatham area.

Bernie, Andrew, Ervin and Livesey started to enter the offshore area where big waves started to confront them. Bernie tried hard so that the motor boat could penetrate the waves and arrive at the scene. Many times Bernie managed to beat the waves, but the last wave was so strong that he lost his compass.

The compass that Bernie used as the only means of direction was gone and this made the journey even more risky as they would most likely get lost even further. But Bernie, with all his experience, tried to find a way to use the wind direction and his efforts were successful.

All the crew who knew that the rescue ship had come immediately rushed up to the deck. They were overjoyed to see Bernie and the others. However, Bernie realized that the capacity of the motor boat was only for 12 people. This leads the volunteers to ask Bernie for a round trip.

Bernie doesn’t want to do it considering that it could endanger the remaining crew in the shipwreck. Finally Bernie broke the rules to include at least 32 crew. The rescue mission was not easy because the wind and waves kept hitting the ship so that it started moving again.

This even killed one of the Pendleton Ship crew members when hit by a wave that directed itself at the ship’s propeller blades. The rescue process was finally successful. After everyone got on the motor boat, the Pendleton Ship slowly shifted towards the canyon and sank slowly.

Managed to gather the survivors, now big homework for Bernie, because they have absolutely no idea where to go. While the others were desperate, Bernie was desperate to do his skill again, namely relying on the wind direction. The temperature started to drop and it snowed too. There was no sign that land was in sight yet.

Miriam, who was anxiously waiting for Bernie’s news, finally decided to gather at the hall with the people displaced by the storm. They both listened to the rescue information on the radio. They hope everyone can be safe. Unluckily, Chatham’s koa turned off the electricity so the beacon didn’t turn on.

Review The Finest Hours

That would make it difficult for Bernie and the others to find land. Eventually Miriam and other residents got together to the pier and turned on their car lights to guide Bernie. It worked. Bernie saw the rows of lights along the pier from afar which made Bernie grateful.

Bernie’s arrival with the survivors was warmly welcomed by the residents. Miriam is so happy to see Bernie again. Bernie couldn’t wait to get married a month later. Thanks to the rescue efforts put in by Bernie and volunteers, they get their hands on a Rescue Medal.

The Finest Hours Review

Bernie’s True Story

The story of Bernie’s rescue is a true story written in a book called The Finest Hours: The True Story of the US Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman. Although there have been some changes that occurred in the real world or in the book with the film.

For example, when Bernie returns to the pier, in a true story, the lights in Chatham don’t turn off. Bernie actually relies on sound lights back then while in the film, all the residents turn on their car lights instead of beacons. Another example is Miriam not welcoming Bernie due to illness in the real story.


The character Bernie, played by Chris Pine, was played by the 1980-born actor very well. He really studied Bernie Webber’s character because he felt Bernie’s life story was very interesting, especially when Bernie agreed to a request for a suicide mission to save people, which at that time he could have refused.

In his interview with DesdeHollywood , Chris said that he liked Bernie’s character. He learned a lot from Bernie about commitment and humility and he practiced it 100% in the film. As spectators, we can immediately know how good Bernie’s character was even before the suicide mission occurred.

The Finest Hours Review

Little Drama

From the duration of 1 hour 57 minutes this film lasts, the director doesn’t include much drama. This allows us to watch The Finest Hours without having to get bored seeing how Bernie and Miriam met and got married and so on. Bernie and Miriam’s introduction was made very briefly, only at the beginning of the film.

Meanwhile, in the next minute, we can see ferocious waves from all directions attacking the Pendleton Ship as well as Bernie’s motor boat which he used to save the remaining crew members. This is very exciting to see rather than seeing and hearing dialogue that is considered boring. Good job Craig Gillespie!

The Finest Hours film managed to collect a total profit of $ 52.1 million from its worldwide broadcast and received an A- rating from CinemaScore. Meanwhile, judging from the story, actor selection, acting quality, CGI and cinematography, according to Bumareview, the film The Finest Hours deserves a score of 4.3/5.


Zephyrine is an experienced film critic who has worked for many magazines and websites specializing in cinema. She has a deep education in film history and theory, as well as a passion for classic and independent films. Writing style: Zephyrine always evaluates films objectively and honestly, not influenced by external factors such as the fame of actors or directors. She often focuses on the content, screenplay, technique, and personal feelings to provide insights and reviews of the film. Her writing style is easy to understand and familiar to readers, but also professional and profound. Notable articles: "Step Up" - Success comes from the perseverance and relentless effort of young people "The Social Network" - A fantastic documentary film about the birth of Facebook "Moonlight" - A touching story about love and the essence of humanity "Nomadland" - A poignant journey of a mature woman "Parasite" - A sensational film of Korean cinema with profound social messages.

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