Oh, where to begin…overall, I enjoyed you. I wouldn’t exactly call you Best Picture material, but you held my interest fairly well. The real problem, however, stems from the line that opens the film: “based on a true story.”
It’s always nice to do a movie based on some weird occurrence from a few years back, but it also limits your storytelling ability – at least, if you actually plan to follow the real-life story, which is frighteningly uncommon these days. Thankfully it appears Mr. Affleck had every intention of sticking true to the facts as much as possible, but this was sadly his biggest challenge. There was no climax, there was very little actual plot development after the first ten minutes or so, and I never even learned the names of the six people that were the focus of the entire movie. How can I possibly care about their well-being if I don’t feel connected to them in any way?
In summation, not a bad movie. The acting was superb (Affleck’s character at the airport front desk was memorably jarring, despite it being a very fleeting moment), the script stayed true to form, and Alan Alda was hilarious as usual. I just have a hard time seeing past the complete lack of any ups and downs for the characters whose names I still don’t remember.
Call each other by name more often so I can feel bad for you later.