'The Company Men' Review: Money Well-Spent for the Unemployed

Sally Mercedes

The Company Men posterWith all of the big names in The Company Men, it's a wonder it hasn't gotten more buzz. The movie is about layoffs at a cushy job and what happens to the men who realize just how tough it'll be to get back on their feet. Starring Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, and Maria Bello, the trailer looks promising, but the verdict lies with the critics. The general consensus among them is that most of the acting is authentic, but the movie itself could be better.

Read on for a look at some of The Company Men reviews.

Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle:

Wells' interest in the alienation of the modern American employee -- that quasi-Marxist disconnect between the worker and the work -- drives much of the narrative [...]. Solid performances, and a sincere faith in the dignity of the average working stiff, save it from getting too preachy.

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:

I'd like to think the earnest sentiments and machine-tooled dramatic complications of Wells' script could find a receptive audience in late 2010. I'd like to think, too, that the mess we're in demands a tougher, gutsier script. Darn good cast, though.

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times:

Although the actors are convincing and the film well-crafted, “The Company Men" delivers few satisfactory character portraits because the movie isn't really about characters, it's about economic units.

Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post:

[T]he film feels painfully real. [...] And what's most interesting, if devastating, is that, like the layoffs, it all feels a bit arbitrary. Any of the characters could go either way. In other words, maybe it is worth spending money to see this reality after all.

All in all, the reviews for The Company Men certainly aren't bad, but they don't seem good enough for a movie that few people even realize is opening this weekend.

Of course, now that we're heading into a weekend when it's not snowing in most of the country, maybe people will be looking for something to do that takes them out of the house. This is certainly as good an activity as any. Plus with the honest portrayals and true-to-life situations these people find themselves in, it seems completely worth it to connect to the bigger message on the big screen.

Were you looking forward to watching The Company Men this weekend?


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