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The 15:17 To Paris

Clint Eastwood has created some incredible films in the past few years about real life heroes. "American Sniper" was followed by "Sully" and both were terrific films.

Eastwood delivers another compelling film about American bravery with his new film THE 15:17 TO PARIS.

In August of 2015, a Muslim extremist boarded a train from Amsterdam to Paris with a machine gun and over 300 rounds of ammunition.

Three young American men and a French citizen foiled the attack with an incredible act of bravery, saving many lives.

Eastwood and his first time screenwriter Dorothy Blyskal create a very old fashioned film as it details the lives of the three Americans back to their grade school years. To say Blyskal takes things back to basics would be an understatement. It's kind of like asking someone what time it is and having them tell you how your watch is assembled.

That being said, its a compelling if slow-paced back story that informs much of the background leading to the men they became.

Eastwood flashes back and forth between the early stages of the attack and their past. When the terrorist unleashes his madness on the train, it happens in real time and Eastwood stages it brilliantly. It's suspenseful and exciting and as edge of your seat as anything Clint has ever done.

Eastwood's inspiration to cast each of the young men as themselves ultimately holds the film back. None of these guys are actors and its a lot more difficult than it sounds playing yourself.

A lot of the line readings are rushed and kind of painful, as you squirm a bit wanting these brave guys to do a great job. They aren't actors, they don't.

In the end, for me, the recreation of their selfless heroism and ceremony afterward using actual footage of French President François Hollande presenting the three men with the Légion d'honneur is so powerful it elevates the entire film.

The flashback scenes are loaded with terrific comic actors that all play straight roles, including Tony Hale (Veep), Jenna Fischer (The Office), Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) and Judy Greer (Antman).

I was left wondering what film we'd be seeing if Eastwood has gone a different direction. Tom Hanks was a great Sully. Bradley Cooper was an amazing Chris Kyle.

Less than it might have been but a powerful tribute to real life heroes Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos, THE 15:17 TO PARIS saves all its velocity for the end of the ride and gets a C+.

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