33 movie poster

In 2010, a Chilean copper and gold mine collapsed, trapping 33 men over 2,000 feet below ground. This is a dramatization of that, with the emphasis on "drama" — ginned up, ladled on, and overbaked. The film is largely content to depict the rescue effort on the surface — vigiliant loved ones (including a weirdly cast Juliette Binoche), heartfelt political speeches, mechanical breakdowns, etc. — rather than drilling down to the sustained, monotonous suffering of the men below. And when it does make the descent, it generally keeps things histrionic and/or physical. There are a couple of happy exceptions, in particular, an act of repentant generosity that gives rise to a flight of happy fantasy amid the grim and grimy reality. But mostly, The 33 aims for easily mined deposits of nerves and heartstrings, rather than the more stubborn, more rewarding veins of character and soul. Directed by Paricia Riggen., and starring Antonio Banderas. 2015.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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