Tom Hanks sure was busy with Greyhound, the WWII drama about a rookie captain in charge of a convoy of Allied supply ships who battles hordes of Nazi U-boats in his first crossing of the North Atlantic. Hanks stars as Capt. Ernest Krause, but he also produced and wrote the film based on CS Forester's 1955 novel The Good Shepherd. His efforts and those of director Aaron Schneider have been awarded with a 76% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is now streaming on Apple TV+. Four takes:
- It's "repetitive though still absorbing dramatically, a string of action vignettes separated by tense interludes," writes Joe Morgenstern at the Wall Street Journal. He argues the best parts are when the drama plays out on Hanks' face. "There's no one better at portraying a good man's self-doubts and a frightened man's courage." Still, there's something lost in having such a film appear on small screens opposed to the big screen, Morgenstern writes.
- "Even on a small screen, this new project feels like a well-timed if low-key offering for these troubled days," writes Jocelyn Noveck at the AP. It's "not so much a thriller as a very spare, economical drama—a tightly focused account of one voyage, from one perspective." But "what carries the movie is Hanks' affecting, unshowy portrayal of a man who is highly professional but also scared as heck." Even in troubled times, "it's comforting to watch [Hanks] run the ship."
- But Glenn Kenny calls this a "surprisingly ordinary picture" and "one of Hanks’s most perfunctory." The 91-minute flick "feels like a movie that was conceived as an epic but could not quite muster the necessary force," he writes at the New York Times. He also criticizes the use of CGI, noting "a good deal of it is not entirely convincing."
- It's "sturdy if unspectacular," with "a throwback feel that smacks of old Hollywood," Brian Lowry writes at CNN. The action, almost all of which takes place on the USS Keeling (call sign "Greyhound"), "unfolds at a brisk pace," though there seems to be no time to "get to know anybody other than the captain." Overall, "the movie has a fair amount in common with its protagonist: unassuming and low-key, but competent enough in carrying out its mission," Lowry concludes.
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