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The collapse of The Company Men

John Wells tries to squeeze in too much, but it still isn't enough.


Like Up In the Air, John Wells' film aims to dramatize the destructive effects of the late-aughts recession on the American soul. That soul is represented here by Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones, three generations of men who've become ludicrously wealthy as executives at a ship-building company. When the global economy sinks, though, their careers go down with it, leaving the men emasculated and, by their lofty standards, financially strapped. Affleck's response is defiant denial, while Cooper spirals into depression and Jones is paralyzed by his own conscience. Affleck's character is the least interesting but gets the most screen time, and Wells strains too hard to wedge his oversimplified critique of capitalism and last-minute dose of uplifting redemption into the same movie.

Related Film

The Company Men

Official Site:

Director: John Wells

Writer: John Wells

Producer: John Wells, Claire Rudnick Polstein and Paula Weinstein

Cast: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Chris Cooper, Rosemarie DeWitt, Craig T. Nelson, John Doman, Liam Ferguson and Tonye Patano

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