The 15:17 to Paris Movie Review


Jake Ditto, Staff Writer

This is the worst movie that director Clint Eastwood has ever made. The first thing that Anthony Sadler says in The 15:17 to Paris is, “You may be wondering, why I am in a car with two white people?”

Actually, I was wondering why an Academy Award winning director like Clint Eastwood would hire three people who aren’t professional actors to play the leads.

This movie is about Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone as they save passengers from a terrorist attack on a train going from Amsterdam to Paris. We are also shown these three characters’ childhoods and what happened before those events.

The film stars Skarlatos, Sadler and Stone as themselves, which is one of the worst decisions Clint Eastwood has made. This has happened before, like in the 2012 war movie Act of Valor when they had active duty Navy SEALs portray the SEALs that were shown in that movie. In both movies, it does not work. Everyday people do not know how to act, no matter how heroic they are. The three leads never show any emotion throughout, unless it is a smile. Even during the train incident in the end, they don’t show any concern or nervousness. They are just there to play the part and clearly don’t know what they are doing.

The film is divided into three acts and the first act is the childhood of the characters and how they became friends. The three child actors that portray the children are also terrible, as are the mothers played by Judy Greer and Jenna Fischer, and is disheartening because they are professional actresses. Not only is the acting (this time, by real actors) terrible, but the writing is as well. The child actors overact almost every time they are on screen, while the writing is cringeworthy and does little to build these characters. The moms are shown to be very religious in an effort to make you care about them, but you just find them crazy. For example, in the very beginning, a teacher is telling them about her concerns that two of the boys have ADD, and instead of taking her advice and getting medicine for the boys, they say that their God will cure the kids. There are also teachers that are extras that didn’t know how to deliver their lines, and everytime they said something serious I was holding in my laughter.

The second act is even worse. The first 25 minutes of this are about the three as they go to high school, and then as Skarlatos and Stone go to the military. They make stupid decisions and the audience is almost guaranteed to stop caring 45 minutes into the film. After that, Spencer and Anthony travel all across Europe while Alek goes to Germany to see a girl. In this sequence, nothing is shown to build these characters in any way, except that Anthony likes to use a selfie stick and take pictures of everything. I felt like these first two acts were thrown in the movie to try to make uninteresting characters seem interesting.

The third and final act is the only redeeming quality about this movie. This act shows what happens on the train where the terrorist act occurred. It was a very entertaining and suspenseful sequence and was the only thing that actually told me that an oscar-winning director was behind this movie.

There are also lazy mistakes that could have easily been avoided. The best example is when Anthony and Spencer are watching college football. The characters are shown to be juniors or seniors in high school and are watching Marshawn Lynch on TV. The problem is that Marshawn Lynch went to the NFL in 2007 and the main characters are shown to be in elementary school in 2005. This is something that is a simple mistake that anyone can just look up and could have easily been avoided.

While Clint Eastwood has made phenomenal films like Unforgiven, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, this is easily his worst movie and I would not recommend it to anyone.


Grade: D