Even though it's Disney-fied, this movie a is pretty cool historical action sea adventure.
1. This movie, based on the book of the same name, tells the true story of the 1952 Coast Guard Rescue of crewmen aboard the SS Pendleton, which split in half during a storm in New England.
2. It focuses mostly on Chris Pine, who plays Bernie, a very simple Coast Guard crewman, who falls in love with a town girl, Miriam. The agree to get married, but then a storm hits and Bernie has to go out and rescue a bunch of people, while Miriam sticks at home and worries.
3. There are three stories going on here. Two of them are interesting: the efforts of a crew of a broken ship to stay alive, and the efforts of the Coast Guard to reach them. The script does a good job of providing enough backstories to make you care about the guys.
4. I don't want to say the movie is a little sexist, but... the movie is a little sexist. The third story focuses on Miriam. She knows what she's getting into by marrying a Coast Guard man. So it's really annoying that when he has to go do his job, she's more worried about her engagement than about the fact that men are dying on the ocean (in real life, they were already married, and she didn't wander around the town wailing about her man. She was home with the flu).
5. There is a lot of technical nautical language in the movie, and I didn't understand it all. But I still learned a lot about how ships and Coast Guard rescues happened in the 1950's.
6. The storm-and-ship action scenes are tense and exciting, although a few of the computer effects were showing.
7. One highlight of the film is Chris Pine. This is probably Pine's best performance of his career so far, playing a guy just a few steps above Forrest Gump, who is torn between following orders and thinking for himself. It's a huge change from being Captain Kirk.
8. The other highlight is Casey Affleck. Affleck is usually an indie actor, and not as well-known as he should be. He is superb here as Ray, the guy that runs the engines of the Pendleton. He has a weird quiet intensity that is perfectly appropriate for his role.
9. This movie doesn't really offer anything new in the way of storytelling, but the great acting and cool storms make this a pretty entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.