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The Company Men

7/10
Drama
 

Bobby Walker is living the proverbial American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward and Gene McClary jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands and fathers.

 
Actors: Nancy Villone , Tom Kemp , Eamonn Walker , Suzanne Rico , Craig T. Nelson , Rosemarie DeWitt , Maria Bello , Kevin Costner , Chris Cooper , Tommy Lee Jones , Ben Affleck
Directors: John Wells
Country: UK , USA
Release: 2011-02-11
More Info:
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Kevin Costner, as Bobby's carpenter brother-in-law, does the finest character acting of his career.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • David Denby

    When The Company Men stays with its real business -- the calamity of joblessness -- it is first rate. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p.145]

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    The Company Men is infinitely more despairing and yet also, paradoxically, more hopeful. It suggests that work can actually mean something to people, beyond just giving them the means to afford a nice house or a fantastic car.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    The movie is realistic enough to make all corporate climbers, but especially men over 50, quake in their boots. If you are what you do, what are you if you're no longer doing it?

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Enhanced by superb writing and direction and nuanced performances by an ensemble of great actors, and enough take-home food for thought to keep the mind and senses totally focused from start to finish, The Company Men is pretty damn close to as good as it gets in a disappointing year at the movies.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    That's not a pretty story, of course. But it's a compelling one and, thanks to Wells and a cast that includes Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper, an entertaining one.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    This potent, entirely honorable drama by veteran TV dramatist John Wells actually delivers the goods, pondering the pain and dislocation of the new normal.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Richard Mowe

    Films have punctured The American Dream before, but rarely so devastatingly as The Company Men does.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    John Wells's The Company Men is a juicy, judicious drama, and one of the few current movies to address an issue that affects many of the people who will see it - or, because reality is too depressing, avoid it.

    Time Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    Solid performances, and a sincere faith in the dignity of the average working stiff, save it from getting too preachy.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Scott Bowles

    It's simple stuff, but the movie's heart is in the right place.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    The result is, like its characters, a good and decent film in a world that rather heartlessly demands more.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    Though not blessed with a cinematic eye, Wells is a gifted storyteller who gets nuanced performances from most of his actors.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    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.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Wells is a wonder with actors - Cooper and Jones earn top honors - and a filmmaker with an instinct for the emotions that bleed between the lines. This haunting movie hits you hard and right where you live.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    The extremely well-acted The Company Men ends on a hopeful note, but Wells examines the repercussions of a layoff-based economy with devastating precision.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    The cast doesn't treat The Company Men like a slideshow. They take something overly schematic and imbue it with real anxiety, shame, and humility.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    A lot of this is compelling, after its didactic and heavily thematic fashion, but if you strip most of it away, along with Roger Deakins' handsome cinematography, you're left with the conflict between Jack and Bobby and something like "Shop Class as Soulcraft: The Movie."

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    The Company Men recalls 1946's great post-World War II drama "The Best Years of Our Lives," and the reason isn't simply its trio of protagonists.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Karina Longworth

    The Company Men is maybe best understood as a chick flick about dicks: Before its too-easy conclusion, the movie offers a multifaceted glimpse at what can happen when the connective tissue between a man and his source of income is cut, and rarely suggests that it could be anything less than excruciating to stop the bleeding.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Despite the all-too-harrowing familiarity of these scenes, they seem more like illustrations than dramatizations of trauma.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    When it comes to the emotional state of those being laid off, of their families and even of those doing the laying off, it gets things right enough to make audiences squirm.

    NPR Full Review
  • Calvin Wilson

    As a drama about coping with hard times, The Company Men doesn't come close to being as sharp or entertaining as "Up in the Air" - which starred Wells' "ER" associate George Clooney.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    This isn't "Up in the Air," and we're not dealing with this awful event on a metaphysical level. But there's truth in between the cliches.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    The film remains relatively entertaining, simply because the scenario hits so close to home, no matter where you work.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • James White

    Wells knows how to extract the goods from a great cast, but it's in service of a somewhat mundane story. Still, it'll make you think about the imbalance in the business world, even if the arguments and consequences are nothing all that revolutionary.

    Empire Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    If only the results weren't so respectably dull.

    Slate Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    The pain feels cushioned and secondhand, the characters are not terribly sympathetic or interesting other than for their misfortune, and the film shows little interest in analyzing the situation other than to point fingers at greedy CEOs.

    Variety Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    A quintet of actors carve out a beautiful, ill-fated geometry in John Wells's layoff drama, which might play like a retort to "Up in the Air" if it didn't have shortcomings of its own.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    Has its heart someplace worthy. But its head -- not so much.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    The film itself struggles to do justice to each victim. Turns out three stories are two too many. The Company Men should have been downsized.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    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 gutsier script. Good cast, though.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    For all his years doing "E.R." and other top-line TV series, Mr. Wells hasn't yet tailored his techniques to the big screen.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    There's nothing that feels like real rage, nothing that even remotely approximates the spiritual decimation of a termination.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
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