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The Guys

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jan
The Guys

from Film Forum, 04/10/03Real heroes honored in The Guys

Sigourney Weaver (Heartbreakers) and Anthony LaPaglia (Lantana) star in The Guys, the first big-screen drama to directly examine September 11, 2001. Religious press critics say that The Guys, contrary to so many other current movies, offers glimpses of real heroism, as well as a rewarding examination of grief.

Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films) says, "The Guys is not an entertainment, or even a story, but a simple, direct portrait of grief amid overwhelming circumstances. There's a transparent honesty to this film, an immediacy and insistence of emotion, that makes clear this is not a product of a calculated decision about the topicality of 9/11 stories. The deliberate lack of artifice makes The Guys a quietly moving experience; given another approach, it could easily have come off as crassly opportunistic or sensational." He also highlight's the film's focus on "what God wants and how we can relate to him."

Movieguide's critic agrees. "The Guys is a powerful tribute. Though it displays the staged aspects of the original theatrical play on which it's based, the movie is totally absorbing, dramatic and heartfelt. It is an extraordinary American film that reminds us all of the dignity and value of each and every human life. The Guys clearly shows moviegoers that how we die is not the only important thing to remember, but how we lived."

Lynn Nusser (Preview) calls the movie "an encouraging memorial of the sacrifices made by those who tried to rescue as many as they could on that fateful day."

The film's profound tribute is impressing critics everywhere. You can review their raves here. Stephanie Zacharek ( writes, "The scenes between LaPaglia and Weaver, directed and played with a straightforward austerity that occasionally moved me to tears, make up for every one of [the film's] flaws." Dan Fienberg (L.A. Weekly) says of the film's star, "The Australian actor taps into something miraculous here—LaPaglia's ability to convey grief and hope works with Weaver's sensitive reactions to make this a two-actor master class."

from Film Forum, 01/02/04

"One of the year's least-seen worthy films was The Guys," says Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films). He describes it as "a small, intimate film both written and set in the days immediately after 9/11. Transparently honest and deeply affecting, it is a simple, direct portrait of grief amid overwhelming circumstances.

"In one scene, a character reflects on the futility of trying to bargain with God on the one hand, and the intolerability of accepting or becoming reconciled to the horror of evil on the other. In taking these false options off the table, The Guys takes what could be a first step toward faith and trust in God on his own terms—or at least a step away from superstition and despair.

"Though The Guys is at times hard to watch, those who aren't put off by its austerity will find it more than capable of rewarding them." The raves of mainstream critics are available here.