The Company Men

"Excellent"

The Company Men Review


Strangely sidelined during awards season, this downsizing drama might be a bit downbeat, but it's sharply observant and extremely well-played by an impressive cast. It also says some very important things about the effects of capitalism.

Bobby Walker (Affleck) is a high-flying shipping executive stunned when he's fired after 12 years on the job. Company founder Gene (Jones) is furious at the CEO (Nelson) for sacrificing thousands of employees to guarantee bigger profits for stockholders and executives. And his 30-year-veteran colleague Phil (Cooper) is worried that he might get the chop in the next wave of cuts. While Bobby struggles to accept his unemployment, his wife (DeWitt) is more realistic, suggesting that Bobby take a job with her builder brother (Costner) to tide them over.

The film vividly captures the current zeitgeist; set in 2008, the attitude reflects the growing gloom over the past three years. There are some very dark moments in this story, shown without any sentimentality at all. The grim truth is that, in this economic climate, anyone unemployed over age 30 is unlikely to find an equivalent replacement job. So the only false notes are writer-director Wells' attempts to spin a more hopeful perspective.

Even though the film is relatively superficial (depicting but never addressing the real strain unemployment would put on marriage, for example), the actors create vividly authentic characters. Cooper and Jones are men from a different era in which employer-employee loyalty went two ways: a job was for life and staff welfare was just as important as the bottom line. Their open disbelief sits in stark contrast to Nelson's more pragmatic corporate ruthlessness, Bello's cool efficiency (as the personnel officer) or Affleck's denial, anger, guilt and desperation.

Wells conveys all of this with an unfussy filmmaking style that contrasts cold workplace surfaces with introspective emotion. In many ways, this is like an elegy for a lost element of humanity. Even though there are still principled employers out there, it's haunting and often horrifying to think that this is the system we are passing on to our children. And no amount of gentle optimism in the film's script can paper over that fact.



The Company Men

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th March 2011

Box Office USA: $4.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $4.9M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Company

Production compaines: Battle Mountain Films, Spring Creek Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 108 Rotten: 53

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Claire Rudnick Polstein, ,

Starring: as Bobby Walker, as Gene McClary, as Phil Woodward, as Jack Dolan, as Sally Wilcox, as Maggie Walker, Craig T. Nelson as Conal Doherty, Tom Kemp as Conal Doherty, Nancy Villone as Diane Lindstrom, as Cynthia McClary

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.