MOVIES BY THE SLICE — “The Boys in the Boat” rows to success

Published 12:02 am Saturday, January 6, 2024

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This week, I had the pleasure of watching “The Boys in the Boat,” a compelling portrayal of Washington State University’s rowing team as they competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin against the backdrop of the Great Depression.

Directed by the talented George Clooney and adapted from the novel by Daniel James Brown, this sports drama follows the journey of eight young men who formed the university’s celebrated rowing team during the challenging era of the depression.

One of the film’s standout features is its historical setting, which offers a poignant glimpse into the hardships faced by many during that time.

Patrick Bennett

The scarcity of work and money left people with little more than the clothes on their backs and often inadequate food. Yet, amidst these dire circumstances, the emergence of national heroes like the university’s rowing team provided a beacon of hope and unity for the nation.

The attention to detail in the sets and costumes is commendable, capturing the essence of the era with authenticity.

Personally, I found the film’s portrayal of the 1930s so captivating that it made me wish fedoras were still a fashion staple today.

While the acting is solid and the characters are well-developed, I felt that the film lacked the emotional impact I was expecting.

Despite its engaging storyline, it didn’t resonate with me on the same level as other underdog stories like “Rocky” (1976).

The backstory and character development, while present, didn’t fully immerse me in the characters’ journeys, leaving me wanting more.

Overall, “The Boys in the Boat” is an educational and enjoyable film that offers a glimpse into a pivotal moment in history. While it may not have reached the same heights as some of its counterparts, it is still a worthwhile watch, especially for those interested in historical sports dramas.

I would rate this film 6 out of 10 stars, acknowledging its merits while recognizing others may find it more impactful than I did.

If you do watch it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

To reach Patrick Bennett, email