The Company Men

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 83
  2. Negative: 5 out of 83

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User Reviews

  1. 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 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 aThis 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. Expand
  2. Jan 22, 2011
    8
    This was a good film that captured the reality of America today. Strong performances all around drive this film. I wish there had been more about the affair but again it was a great start to 2011.
  3. 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 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 aboutNot 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
  4. Jan 24, 2011
    8
    This movie greatly surpassed my expectations. The lead actors (Jones, Cooper, Affleck, Bello, Nelson) are uniformly excellent in roles that could have easily given way to caricature. It's not an "up" movie, but it deals with the realities of layoffs in corporate America much more realistically and empathetically than just about anything I've ever seen before.
  5. 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
  6. 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 nice job in a supporting role. The development of the story is precise and hits on many levels.
  7. Aug 24, 2011
    7
    This is a good, but not convincing flick about an executive that drops a company job to become an ordinary force labor worker. The characters are not developed to a full extent; the contemporary business culture is not analyzed in depth, however it is entertaining and Kevin Costner indeed has a good role in it. To business crash and culture, try Glenngarry Glenn Ross, a movie from the 90sThis is a good, but not convincing flick about an executive that drops a company job to become an ordinary force labor worker. The characters are not developed to a full extent; the contemporary business culture is not analyzed in depth, however it is entertaining and Kevin Costner indeed has a good role in it. To business crash and culture, try Glenngarry Glenn Ross, a movie from the 90s that certainly brings something to the table. Expand
  8. 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 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.
  9. Jun 13, 2011
    8
    A beautiful slice of life story. All the male actors play their roles affectionately and leave you with a true connection to their lives, especially in this terrible economy. Overall, a nice story.
  10. May 11, 2011
    7
    I like this movie because it is really about something. So many movies these days are all about nudity and violence but no message. There is something to be learned here. There is something to think about, this movie leads you to an emotional and intellectual response. This movie delivers what it promises a well acted movie that is designed to make a statement. Good Movie, not a greatI like this movie because it is really about something. So many movies these days are all about nudity and violence but no message. There is something to be learned here. There is something to think about, this movie leads you to an emotional and intellectual response. This movie delivers what it promises a well acted movie that is designed to make a statement. Good Movie, not a great movie...but a good movie. Expand
  11. Feb 12, 2012
    7
    Very emotional, was exactly what I was looking of this film, based of the trailer. Very near to the reality, the cast was able to make rapport with me as the spectator, and make me feel how It could be in the reality of the downsized with no more options than what the characters opted to do in that case.
  12. Jun 17, 2016
    8
    A heart wrenching display of how the economic downturn really proved detrimental for Americans from all areas of life, both blue and white collar. Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, and Kevin Costner, all turn in thoroughly sympathetic performances as their lives are thrown into disarray with the economic turmoil around them. In addition to their general acting ability, directorA heart wrenching display of how the economic downturn really proved detrimental for Americans from all areas of life, both blue and white collar. Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, and Kevin Costner, all turn in thoroughly sympathetic performances as their lives are thrown into disarray with the economic turmoil around them. In addition to their general acting ability, director John Wells does a good job making us feel compassion for the three highly privileged characters and turns them into really tragic figures for a variety of reasons. Additionally, the story has been called mundane, but to me, it was very briskly paced and never really slacked. It did a good job generating drama and, honestly, thrills, as you waited to see what occurred in certain scenes. Essentially, The Company Men is a mildly uplifting, but largely moving display of how we need to shed the shackles placed on us by our jobs and find something that we are truly passionate about. Overall, The Company Men is a very good film from director John Wells. Expand
  13. Aug 10, 2012
    7
    While the characters aren't terribly empathetic and the film stretches reality in spots, this does serve as a quality character piece for Affleck and Jones.
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Feb 10, 2011
    58
    Has its heart someplace worthy. But its head -- not so much.
  3. 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.