From a director/screenwriter friend: “I’ve seen The 15:17 To Paris. It’s basically the sort of made-for-cable movie that National Geographic airs with Keifer Sutherland doing the narration. Paul Greengrass probably could have found the meat alongside these potatoes. It’s hard to critique the non-actors playing themselves, as they’re bona fide heroes. United 93 used the actual FAA guy (Ben Sliney) and that was amazing. That same verisimilitude doesn’t happen here.”
Manhattan Get-Around Guy: “Sacre blows!”
Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman: “It’s all startlingly matter-of-fact. For a few minutes, the film rivets our attention. Yet I can’t say that it’s transporting, or highly moving, or — given the casting — revelatory. The film keeps telling us that what took place aboard that train was the fulfillment of something, but neither the event nor the three people re-enacting it seem entirely real. They seem like pieces of reality trapped in a movie.
“It doesn’t take long to grow accustomed to Stone, Skarlatos, and Sadler’s casual semi-non-acting, because they’re appealing dudes, quick and smart and easy on the eyes. The oddity of the movie — and this is baked into the way Eastwood conceived it, sticking to the facts and not over-hyping anything — is that this vision of real-life heroism is so much less charged than the Hollywood version might be that it often feels as if a dramatic spark plug is missing. I’ve long argued for authenticity in movies (especially when they’re based on true stories), but