The 33 tells the story of the Chilean miners who were trapped deep in the earth when a mine collapsed around them in 2010. They spent 69 days underground, part of that time rationing food and water and hoping someone would find out they were still alive, and the other part of that time wondering if the people who found them could actually get them out.
This big-screen treatment of their ordeal is full of familiar faces and names; Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, Lou Diamond Phillips, Martin Sheen, and James Brolin all lend their talents. While many of the performances are good, they are limited by roles that often reduce this interesting, diverse group of men to caricatures when what you want most is an intimate look at their inner turmoil.
On the other hand, there are intense moments of suspense as the men flee from the rock falling down around them, when they can hear the drills coming toward them, and when their possible escape route seems impossible. When an event that was covered so widely in the international press can still hold suspense for the viewer, the director is doing something right.
The men must overcome both the physical suffering and turbulence amongst themselves. With hints of faith and an emphasis on the human need for forgiveness and community, this mediocre movie may still be satisfying for fans of inspirational stories. (Alcon Entertainment)