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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Men of Honor (2000)



Reviews and Comments

Men of Honor is a moving biopic, chronicling the relationship between Carl Brashear (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), the first black U.S. Navy Diver, and Master Chief "Billy" Sunday (Robert De Niro), who trained him. The screenplay is strong, though not without occasional lapses into moments dramatized to the point of artificiality. (Hal Holbrook's character, for example, is an unnecessary and unbelievable extravagance of fiction.) The two stars are more reliably strong, carrying the film through its low points and enhancing its high points. Gooding and De Niro are just right for these roles. The former is gentle and patient and easy to sympathize with, while the latter is well-practiced at the difficult task of making a character insensitive and offensive while still commanding our respect.