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THE 33 | Movie Review

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THE 33 | © 2015 Warner Bros. Pictures

Unity isn’t just about numbers

August 5, 2010, had begun like any other day for the men who worked the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile. As the 33 miners descended deeper and deeper into the cavernous mine, they could not have imagined the events that would place them at the center of a drama that hijacked the entire world.

Sixty-nine days later, on October 13th, more than a billion people (including you and I) watched as, one by one those same men emerged from the ruins of the then-collapsed mine, which had held them captive for more than two horrifying months. It was a miracle for the miners and their families and a victory for the Chilean government and the international team of rescuers. But there was much more to their inspiring story yet to be told.

In a nutshell, the film is more than just about the miners’ plight, or working up to the ending we all saw. In many ways, it’s two films. Two films that follow the personal stories of those above and below ground, who held onto their love and their faith for an outcome that seemed extremely impossible.

It’s an interesting piece. Not as heart-tugging as a documentary I saw not too long ago, OR the actual events that unfolded live on television, THE 33 does a decent job covering the ordeal. There is a gripe though, ladies and gentleman. I felt the authenticity of the piece would have been that much more elevated had the film been in Spanish, but it’s a business… So, I get it. Kind of a shame though because although well executed with stunning performances, I’ll never understand why they made a Chilean film, with many actors whose native language is Spanish, in English, especially when we have characters singing in Spanish and even speaking in the language in a few scenes.

Despite its artistic slip, overall, it’s a piece that regenerates the ordeal and exposes the strength of love, will, desire, and hope!


Grade: B- / Genre: Drama / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 2:00

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Bob Gunton, Gabriel Byrne

Directed: Patricia Riggen


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