THE COMPANY MEN
Release Date: January 21, 2011
Runtime: 109 minutes
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Director: John Wells
Executive Producer: Barbara A. Hall
Writer: John Wells
Address Comments To:Bob and Harvey Weinstein
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Bobby Walker (played by Ben Affleck) is a suburban shipbuilding executive making over $150,000, with a loving wife and a somewhat distant teenage stepson, who finds his world shaken when he’s laid off amid mass corporate downsizing. Soon, he finds that his friends and mentors (played by Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones, plus lesser-knowns) are also being cut. The movie follows their attempts over a year to adjust amid a crippling labor market with age standing against them.
COMPANY MEN slowly and subtly details the ways in which Bobby’s life unravels, following him and his family as they give up their house, car and even the stepson’s Xbox. Yet, it tries to provide uplift and positive family values as Bobby’s brother-in-law Jack (played by Kevin Costner) gives him a chance to try blue-collar work as a home builder, leading Bobby to become less self-absorbed and enjoy life on a more basic, yet deeper level.
Other characters don’t fare as well, with one man carrying on an affair and another committing suicide. Even so, the movie commendably portrays these kinds of actions in an unfavorable manner. [SPOILER ALERTS] It also shows that Bobby finds strength by attending an unemployed support group that encourages its members to have faith in a general God and chanting about faith powering them through the hardships in life. Ultimately, Tommy Lee’s character saves the day by improbably spending his personal lay-off windfall to start a new ship building company and giving all his friends good jobs in the new venture, but this plot point comes out of nowhere and rings false.
Overall, COMPANY MEN is a depressing movie that’s only redeemed quality-wise by its actors and by some positive elements extolling family and a general belief in God. Ultimately, it’s also pro-capitalist, though it criticizes giving very high salaries to CEOs, especially when many other employees are getting laid off. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for the movie’s strong foul language and mature themes.
COMPANY MEN is a depressing movie that’s only redeemed by some fine acting and by some positive elements extolling family and a general belief in God. Ultimately, it’s also pro-capitalist, though it criticizes giving very high salaries to CEOs, especially when many other employees are getting laid off. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for the movie’s strong foul language and mature themes, which include suicide and adultery. Please visit Movieguide.org for reviews of the latest movies being released at your local movie theaters.