Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. 88
    In-depth performances by De Niro and Gooding Jr. provide the oxygen for this extremely shipshape biopic.
  2. 80
    Passes muster as an old-style biopic with its heart in the right place. There won't be a dry eye in the house.
  3. 75
    It isn't about thrills and explosions, but about tenacity, and most of it takes place within our own imaginations.
  4. Inspirational biographical movie that really works.
  5. One of the more uplifting films of the season.
  6. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Just what Gooding needed to restart his stalled career.
  7. 70
    The main body of the film earns comparison with the military parables of John Ford, particularly "The Long Gray Line" and "The Wings of Eagles."
  8. 70
    If you don't view it too analytically, Men of Honor provides almost more uplift than a body can handle.
  9. Educational and upstanding, a little overacted and more than a little overdramatized. But it's honorable.
  10. A stalwart military inspirational.
  11. 63
    Flaws and all, Men of Honor ultimately does its duty. It honors the feats of an incredible man.
  12. Goes to such great lengths to show the greatness of its Navy diver hero that it neglects to add much depth to his character - or the story.
  13. 60
    Sunk by its own melodramatic falseness, and it stands as a well-meaning yet lacking tribute to a courageous man.
  14. 60
    In its quest to create "wholesome" entertainment, the movie industry is furiously turning back the clock four decades or so, to the days when men were men, girls were cute but knew their place and pencil-necked Poindexters stayed out of your damn face.
  15. Leaves you wanting to know more, and that's not a bad thing.
  16. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    There's something refreshing about its utterly unembarrassed embrace of the familiar. The director, George Tillman Jr., either doesn't notice or doesn't give a hoot about the way Scott Marshall Smith's script piles up cliches.
  17. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy/ David Stratton
    Those in search of positive role models and films detailing little-known aspects of black and military history, or stressing the value of tenacity and hard work, pic has something to offer.
  18. Gooding and De Niro bring their characters to vivid life despite the unsubtle screenplay and hyperactive music score.
  19. 50
    In an effort to turn Brashear's life into a larger-than-life sermon, Men of Honor almost manages to make it all feel like an overbearing crock.
  20. Gooding can't will this well-meaning film into life.
  21. It's hard not to like a movie like Men of Honor, but it's entirely possible.
  22. 50
    Leaves you exhausted and even bored.
  23. Until its unbearably hokey ending, acquits itself reasonably well.
  24. Storytelling like this weighs heavier than a standard diving suit, and it's really up to you, if you're ready to take the plunge.
  25. Loses focus of whom the film is honoring.
  26. Reviewed by: Steve Simels
    By the film's big finale, the whole thing has begun to feel distinctly ridiculous.
  27. 40
    Strives to be an inspirational depth charge, but its power is consistently waylaid by some genuinely hokey dialogue and situations.
  28. 30
    The filmmakers at once coarsen and dilute a fascinating life into a lumpy puddle of punishing inspirational hokum.
  29. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    A bad movie about a great man.

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