Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
Watch On
  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: David Denby
    Dec 13, 2010
    90
    When The Company Men stays with its real business -- the calamity of joblessness -- it is first rate. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p.145]
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 10, 2010
    90
    The Company Men is infinitely more despairing and yet also, paradoxically, more hopeful. It suggests that work can actually mean something to people, beyond just giving them the means to afford a nice house or a fantastic car.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Dec 9, 2010
    90
    The movie is realistic enough to make all corporate climbers, but especially men over 50, quake in their boots. If you are what you do, what are you if you're no longer doing it?
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 20, 2011
    80
    That's not a pretty story, of course. But it's a compelling one and, thanks to Wells and a cast that includes Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper, an entertaining one.
  7. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 20, 2011
    80
    This potent, entirely honorable drama by veteran TV dramatist John Wells actually delivers the goods, pondering the pain and dislocation of the new normal.
  8. Reviewed by: Richard Mowe
    Jan 14, 2011
    80
    Films have punctured The American Dream before, but rarely so devastatingly as The Company Men does.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Jan 20, 2011
    75
    Solid performances, and a sincere faith in the dignity of the average working stiff, save it from getting too preachy.
  11. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Jan 20, 2011
    75
    It's simple stuff, but the movie's heart is in the right place.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jan 20, 2011
    75
    The result is, like its characters, a good and decent film in a world that rather heartlessly demands more.
  13. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Jan 20, 2011
    75
    Though not blessed with a cinematic eye, Wells is a gifted storyteller who gets nuanced performances from most of his actors.
  14. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 19, 2011
    75
    Although the actors are convincing and the film well-crafted, The Company Men delivers few satisfactory character portraits because the movie isn't really about characters, it's about economic units.
  15. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 21, 2010
    75
    Wells is a wonder with actors - Cooper and Jones earn top honors - and a filmmaker with an instinct for the emotions that bleed between the lines. This haunting movie hits you hard and right where you live.
  16. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Dec 10, 2010
    75
    The extremely well-acted The Company Men ends on a hopeful note, but Wells examines the repercussions of a layoff-based economy with devastating precision.
  17. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Dec 9, 2010
    75
    The cast doesn't treat The Company Men like a slideshow. They take something overly schematic and imbue it with real anxiety, shame, and humility.
  18. 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."
  19. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Dec 10, 2010
    70
    The Company Men recalls 1946's great post-World War II drama "The Best Years of Our Lives," and the reason isn't simply its trio of protagonists.
  20. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Dec 7, 2010
    70
    The Company Men is maybe best understood as a chick flick about dicks: Before its too-easy conclusion, the movie offers a multifaceted glimpse at what can happen when the connective tissue between a man and his source of income is cut, and rarely suggests that it could be anything less than excruciating to stop the bleeding.
  21. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 22, 2010
    67
    Despite the all-too-harrowing familiarity of these scenes, they seem more like illustrations than dramatizations of trauma.
  22. 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.
  23. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Feb 3, 2011
    63
    As a drama about coping with hard times, The Company Men doesn't come close to being as sharp or entertaining as "Up in the Air" - which starred Wells' "ER" associate George Clooney.
  24. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jan 26, 2011
    63
    This isn't "Up in the Air," and we're not dealing with this awful event on a metaphysical level. But there's truth in between the cliches.
  25. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Jan 20, 2011
    63
    The film remains relatively entertaining, simply because the scenario hits so close to home, no matter where you work.
  26. 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.
  27. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 22, 2011
    60
    If only the results weren't so respectably dull.
  28. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Dec 8, 2010
    60
    The pain feels cushioned and secondhand, the characters are not terribly sympathetic or interesting other than for their misfortune, and the film shows little interest in analyzing the situation other than to point fingers at greedy CEOs.
  29. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Dec 7, 2010
    60
    A quintet of actors carve out a beautiful, ill-fated geometry in John Wells's layoff drama, which might play like a retort to "Up in the Air" if it didn't have shortcomings of its own.
  30. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Feb 10, 2011
    58
    Has its heart someplace worthy. But its head -- not so much.
  31. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Jan 21, 2011
    50
    The film itself struggles to do justice to each victim. Turns out three stories are two too many. The Company Men should have been downsized.
  32. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 9, 2010
    50
    I'd like to think the earnest sentiments and machine-tooled dramatic complications of Wells' script could find a receptive audience in late 2010. I'd like to think, too, that the mess we're in demands a gutsier script. Good cast, though.
  33. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 9, 2010
    50
    For all his years doing "E.R." and other top-line TV series, Mr. Wells hasn't yet tailored his techniques to the big screen.
  34. 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.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 80 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. Jan 30, 2011
    4
    A great cast, grand actors yet this flick doesn't make it. It may be the setting (Houston or some dull town), it maybe the weather...A great cast, grand actors yet this flick doesn't make it. It may be the setting (Houston or some dull town), it maybe the weather... something doesn't add up. Not even singling out a struggling Affleck wanting us desperately to believe he is older and unfortunate. A wise but dull Tommy Lee Jones. This film is supposed to be a cautionary tale to uplift us after recession. It doesnt. At best it is a chapter of The Wire (the boring season). #Fail Full Review »
  2. 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). Full Review »
  3. Aug 13, 2011
    9
    This was a very accurate movie of the tragedy of downsizing. I work in HR and have been on the company side and I have been laid off, all isThis was a very accurate movie of the tragedy of downsizing. I work in HR and have been on the company side and I have been laid off, all is a correct portrayal of what happens. Whether certain characters weren't emphasized, or lousy editing, whatever, the point of the movie is how losing one's job can devastate one's self-esteem, finances, family, and reason for living. It is a reminder for those of us with jobs to have empathy and to do what we can for those who do not even now in 2011. Superb acting by everyone. Full Review »