The Company Men

The Company Men Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 83 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Bobby Walker is living the American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward and Gene McClary jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands, and fathers. Bobby soon findsBobby Walker is living the American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward and Gene McClary jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands, and fathers. Bobby soon finds himself enduring enthusiastic life coaching, a job building houses for his brother-in-law which does not play to his executive skill set, and perhaps the realization that there is more to life than chasing the bigger, better deal. (Weinstein Company) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Dec 6, 2010
    100
    Kevin Costner, as Bobby's carpenter brother-in-law, does the finest character acting of his career.
  2. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Dec 7, 2010
    88
    Enhanced by superb writing and direction and nuanced performances by an ensemble of great actors, and enough take-home food for thought to keep the mind and senses totally focused from start to finish, The Company Men is pretty damn close to as good as it gets in a disappointing year at the movies.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 13, 2010
    80
    John Wells's The Company Men is a juicy, judicious drama, and one of the few current movies to address an issue that affects many of the people who will see it - or, because reality is too depressing, avoid it.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jan 20, 2011
    70
    A lot of this is compelling, after its didactic and heavily thematic fashion, but if you strip most of it away, along with Roger Deakins' handsome cinematography, you're left with the conflict between Jack and Bobby and something like "Shop Class as Soulcraft: The Movie."
  5. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Dec 10, 2010
    65
    When it comes to the emotional state of those being laid off, of their families and even of those doing the laying off, it gets things right enough to make audiences squirm.
  6. Reviewed by: James White
    Mar 7, 2011
    60
    Wells knows how to extract the goods from a great cast, but it's in service of a somewhat mundane story. Still, it'll make you think about the imbalance in the business world, even if the arguments and consequences are nothing all that revolutionary.
  7. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Feb 3, 2011
    40
    There's nothing that feels like real rage, nothing that even remotely approximates the spiritual decimation of a termination.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 26
  2. Negative: 3 out of 26
  1. Feb 10, 2011
    10
    Not a perfect movie, but so basically intelligent in its treatment of the subject, and the characters, that it is one of the best films I haveNot a perfect movie, but so basically intelligent in its treatment of the subject, and the characters, that it is one of the best films I have seen in years. The editing, pacing, is crisp, economical, never loses focus. The decision to deal with 3 major characters means that there is some thin-ness in treating the family situations of the principals. I'd have preferred knowing more about how the Chris Cooper character's family responds to following the romance of T L Jones's character. But all 3 are needed to cover the corporate relationships that are incisively explored in the film. 10 for me -- beats Black Swan hands down. Expand
  2. Jan 23, 2011
    8
    We are respected enough as an audience to be given a lot of reality. Most of the characters soldier through with less Hollywood and moreWe are respected enough as an audience to be given a lot of reality. Most of the characters soldier through with less Hollywood and more 2011, which is quietly appreciated. Separately, I found it a little ironic that Tommy Lee Jones was at a function in front of "Harvard" alumni, which is precisely where the actor graduated. Expand
  3. Feb 22, 2013
    8
    Affleck does a compelling job of playing a career businessman cast off to fend for his family and himself. Costner fills in and does a niceAffleck does a compelling job of playing a career businessman cast off to fend for his family and himself. Costner fills in and does a nice job in a supporting role. The development of the story is precise and hits on many levels. Expand
  4. Mar 2, 2011
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In "The Company Men", you get more Ben for your buck. When we first meet Bobby Walker, the soon-to-be-fired regional sales manager at GTX, it's the Affleck of Ben Younger's "Boiler Room", an unrepentant capitalist who has no time for losers, or in other words, working men, salt-of-the-earth types like Jack(Kevin Costner), his brother-in-law, the owner of a small construction company, whom he humiliates after the carpenter offers him the job of carpenter's assistant. But as Bobby's search for gainful employment outlasts his severance checks from the shipbuilding corporation that unceremoniously let him go, the finance-related humiliations start to pile up(the nadir being the selling of his Porsche), so with tail between his legs, the once-c*cky s.o.b., Porsche-less and facing imminent home foreclosure, humbly asks Jack if the offer he had made previously still stands, and in due time, turns into the Affleck of Gus Van Sant's "Good Will Hunting"("Good Bobby Walker"?), a blue-collar type with no career prospects. As was the case with Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere", this unflashy but well-calibrated film about the fallout from our ongoing economic downturn, requires an audience who can sympathize with(as opposed to revel in) the misfortunes of the very affluent. Why should we care if the guy in the suit, who pulled in a yearly base salary of a hundred-sixty-grand-a-year, can't afford to pay his monthly fees at an exclusive golf club? Are we supposed to shed a tear when Bobby's son sells his X-Box? After all, this guy knows his way around a feeding frenzy; he's a shark, a cold-blooded meat eater(like his aging pal Phil, played by Chris Cooper, who succinctly makes this point by ordering a rib-eyed steak at a disappointing business luncheon), who under normal circumstances, would have nothing to do with the likes of Jack's construction crew. He loathes the working class, absolutely loathes them. You can tell. He treats his wife's family like a necessary evil, as evidenced by the aura of aloofness he projects at a birthday celebration for Jack's wife. Somebody of Bobby's caliber is just biding his time, nursing a beer by his lonesome, waiting to reunite with his own kind, so he can breathe in the rarefied air of esteemed company such as Phil, and his mentor Gene McClary(Tommy Lee Jones), whom unbeknownst to the unemployed professional, is sleeping with the woman(played by Maria Bello) who fired him. To a guy like Bobby, a man who defines himself by the solvency of his investment portfolio and the toys he owns, anybody who doesn't pull in a hefty salary is dismissed as riff-raff. At a job search center, while the other unemployed men and women, the proverbial riff-raff, participate in a group therapy session, Bobby sits with an expression familiar to the high and mighty, an expression of deeply ingrained smugness, a distancing technique he utilizes on people who aren't of his ilk. Ignominiously left to his own devices amongst the job center's general population, Bobby searches for a cubicle, the omni-present work station emblematic of the anonymous, which to the former executive, is a far cry from his heyday of sequestering behind the door of a climate-controlled office. To make matters worse, a black guy takes pity on him, so by default, Bobby befriends his office mate, even though, judging by the way he chastises an African-American human resources woman at a job interview, in which the insulted interviewee goes so far as taking a potshot at her weight, the "very qualified" applicant has very little respect for minorities. But as "The Company Men" shows, people can change, and during Bobby's stint as a carpenter, he gets Jack to hire his flack friend, a sure-fire signifier that the transformation from corporate shark to working stiff is complete, whose friendship with Danny(Eamonn Walker) recalls Adam Carolla in Charles Herman-Wurmfield's "The Hammer", in which the journeyman carpenter(played by Carolla) calls a Guatemalan illegal his best buddy. In "The Company Men", Bobby Walker, knocked off his pedestal, as a result, becomes a better man, although it remains to be seen, hypothetically, if he'll revert to his old persona, the longer he holds his position at Gene's new start-up. In "Boiler Room", as Jim Young, capitalist Affleck tells a group of prospective stockbrokers: "They say money can't buy you happiness? Look at the f*cking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby." How long will it take for tool belt Affleck to revert back into this a**hole? Your answer will determine your feelings about the film's optimistic climax. How cynical are you? Expand
  5. Jun 8, 2011
    6
    the life of an unemployed is too hard, so that my country is not recession came, anyway, it was the best movie line was between good and bad,the life of an unemployed is too hard, so that my country is not recession came, anyway, it was the best movie line was between good and bad, without the boom factor.!, but it shows the stark reality of what happens or happened in USA. acceptable performances, very good .. Maggie fell in love xD Expand
  6. Jan 25, 2011
    6
    The movie starts with a promise but in the middle it fails to deliver. The screenplay at times becomes too slow and the movie starts to boarThe movie starts with a promise but in the middle it fails to deliver. The screenplay at times becomes too slow and the movie starts to boar you. The story itself is good, but no justice has been done with it. Could have been much better. Expand
  7. Jul 3, 2012
    2
    Psychopath boss grows conscious? Is this a joke? why can't these people (film employee's) deal with the reality that powerful and rich peoplePsychopath boss grows conscious? Is this a joke? why can't these people (film employee's) deal with the reality that powerful and rich people are (most of the time) savages? Oh i forgot that it would reflect badly on them(sarcasm). Expand

See all 26 User Reviews

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