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The Company Men

A movie directed by John Wells

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In neither bad company nor good company. Depends on the viewer.

  • Jun 26, 2011
Rating:
+2
**1/2 out of ****

I had a ridiculously hard time accepting "The Company Men" when I was watching it. Usually, with a movie that I have trouble accepting for what it is, I revisit it; but I don't think that this is a film that truly needs to be seen again. Granted, it was well-made, well-acted, and pleasant enough. But damn...it's so hard to relate to, even if you're a person in the same situation as the character.

People get laid off all the time in today's world. Several movies have been made about this matter, and it's good to see that at least one of them is decent. "The Company Men" is completely forgettable, and more entertaining than insightful. This is its fatal flaw; this is also why I stuck around and watched it through its entire running time. I won't say it was intoxicating filmmaking; and I won't say it was insulting either. But out of a premise like this, I expecting something...oh, you know...better.

Bob (Ben Affleck) has a nice job as an employee for GTX, but loses it almost immediately after we meet him. They fire him due to corporate downsizing. He is devastated. He might lose his home. And he will definitely not have his pockets filled with money in this next life he is about to start. To make some cash, he starts working for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) as a drywall installer. Bob has an enthusiastic and positive outlook on life throughout the film, even if he has been fired from a good job.

Phil (Chris Cooper) is fired from a high-paying job, and is having even worse luck than Bob. He cannot find a good, new job due to his age, which he finds outrageous. He's in fits. He is the unhappiest of the central characters in the film. And he's the only one who feels completely believable.

Craig T. Nelson and Tommy Lee Jones play to GTX executives who do not suffer such misfortunes as the first two characters, probably because they are good and somewhat important when it comes to their jobs. Jones' character is well-liked for his sympathetic and eager-to-assist attitude towards those who are not quite as fortunate as he is. He is a likable character; Craig T. Nelson's character...not so much.

The problem with this screen-play is the optimism of Ben Affleck's character. Granted, all the acting on display here is pretty darn solid, but I didn't care for any of the characters. True sadness was not explored here, leaving it up to another film about downsizing to explore darker, possibly more humanely emotional realms of such a topic. This is a film that deserves a better screen-play, better direction. I don't mind it, but it's not a good movie. I enjoyed it, it was an entertaining and breezy ride, but I wouldn't recommend it.

I was interested in the film on a thematic level. It has ambitions and dreams to be a good movie. But it is uneven, sometimes too ponderous and boring, all while being a relatively decent and easy film. Not a bad drama; not a good one. It might serve as decent movie-night entertainment, but otherwise, it lacks the wit or mastery that could have made it a truly great, or even good film.

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June 27, 2011
This one is on my queve. I will see it before I comment further...thanks for the detailed review!
 
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More The Company Men reviews
review by . March 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
You Are Fired!
You take a man out of his shell and he’s vulnerable. The very thing that defines his existence, his job, when it is taken away, well… it’s hard to watch the way he loses his confidence, individuality and light. Yes, that very light that drives him to heights admired by others, including people whom he doesn’t even know. Nonetheless, take a job away, the man loses his gravity.       That’s what this movie clearly demonstrates. A company, GTX, …
review by . February 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         The Company Men tells the story of people caught in the economic downturn that began in September of 2008. It’s a timely and well-crafted film, although I suspect the intention was less about thoughtful examination and more about appealing to the masses. Many films are intentionally designed to garner sympathy, but few are this forthcoming about it; scenes and characters are so perfectly in tune with real events that we’re basically …
review by . January 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
In Bad Company
THE COMPANY MEN Written and Directed by John Wells Starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Rosemarie Dewitt and Kevin Costner   Phil Woodward: You know what’s the worst part?  The world didn’t stop.  I mean, my life ended and nobody noticed.   I’m not sure if you were aware of this but the world’s financial markets crashed hard in the later part of 2008.  Thousands upon thousands of people lost their jobs, their homes and their …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie

Wiki

The story centers on a year in the life of three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing at a major company - and how that affects them, their families, and their communities

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Details

Director: John Wells
Genre: Drama
Release Date: 21 January 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: John Wells
Runtime: 109 min
First to Review

"In Bad Company"
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