Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. 40
    Strives to be an inspirational depth charge, but its power is consistently waylaid by some genuinely hokey dialogue and situations.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Just what Gooding needed to restart his stalled career.
  4. 75
    It isn't about thrills and explosions, but about tenacity, and most of it takes place within our own imaginations.
  5. Inspirational biographical movie that really works.
  6. Gooding and De Niro bring their characters to vivid life despite the unsubtle screenplay and hyperactive music score.
  7. 70
    If you don't view it too analytically, Men of Honor provides almost more uplift than a body can handle.
  8. Educational and upstanding, a little overacted and more than a little overdramatized. But it's honorable.
  9. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    A bad movie about a great man.
  10. 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."
  11. Leaves you wanting to know more, and that's not a bad thing.
  12. 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.
  13. 60
    Sunk by its own melodramatic falseness, and it stands as a well-meaning yet lacking tribute to a courageous man.
  14. One of the more uplifting films of the season.
  15. 88
    In-depth performances by De Niro and Gooding Jr. provide the oxygen for this extremely shipshape biopic.
  16. A stalwart military inspirational.
  17. 50
    Leaves you exhausted and even bored.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  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. Loses focus of whom the film is honoring.
  23. Until its unbearably hokey ending, acquits itself reasonably well.
  24. 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.
  25. Reviewed by: Steve Simels
    By the film's big finale, the whole thing has begun to feel distinctly ridiculous.
  26. 63
    Flaws and all, Men of Honor ultimately does its duty. It honors the feats of an incredible man.
  27. 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.
  28. 30
    The filmmakers at once coarsen and dilute a fascinating life into a lumpy puddle of punishing inspirational hokum.
  29. 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.

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