Film Review – The 15:17 to Paris (2018)

Title – The 15:17 to Paris (2018)

Director – Clint Eastwood (American Sniper)

Cast – Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer, Tony Hale

Plot – The true story of three American best friends Spencer, Alek and Anthony and their act of bravery that stopped a potentially bloody terrorist attack on a French train in 2015.

“My God is bigger than your statistics”

Review by Eddie on 01/08/2018

During the time I spent watching The 15:17 to Paris, my brain was trying to come to grips with the fact that this is a film made by the one and only Clint Eastwood.

How could the man responsible for Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Unforgiven, Gran Torino , Changeling and even to a lesser extent films like Sully and A Perfect World be the man that directed this?

So bad is Paris that’s hard to even conjure up the right words to describe its ineptitude as a feature film and it’s hard to begin to even imagine how a screen legend like Eastwood thought that this re-telling of a real life terrorist incident on the French railway in 2015 was a good idea.

To be honest, despite the act of bravery that this terrorist act brought forward in the form of American friends Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone stopping an armed gunman from enacting a likely bloody act of carnage, the story of this at the time world renowned incident wasn’t exactly crying out for a feature length experience, which at the very core, is a large part of why Paris is such a non-event as a viewing exercise.

With the actual key incident at the heart of Paris over and done with in a few, largely thrill-free minutes, a large chunk of screen time is set aside by Eastwood to establish these three friends to provide background to their lauded act, but with downright atrocious script work by Dorothy Blyskal (honestly Paris features one of the worst scripts for a big-budget film in recent memory) and Eastwood’s lack of emotion or engagement to the material makes this 90 minute film feel like a torturous and laborious nightmare.

Making matters even worse is the fact that bewilderingly Eastwood cast the three real life heroes to play themselves and these non-professional actors are about as good as you’d expect them to be (e.g.; terrible) meaning that as our heroes go about their thrilling Europe holidays in the lead up to their heroic showdown, we are treated to some student film like acting skills, that when combined with Blyskal’s trite dialogue, make for something spectacular in its awfulness.

How anyone involved in the making of this film couldn’t of seen the train wreck happening before their very eyes is a question worth asking but at the end of the day, blame must sadly lay at the feet of Mr. Eastwood himself.

Final Say –

The 15:17 to Paris is a failure of epic proportions. Quite possibly the worst film of Eastwood’s 60 plus years involved in the industry, this is a feature without a redeemable quality and is saved from 0 star humiliation purely by the fact one feels sorry for the real life heroes who had to be a part of it.

½ a jammed AK-47 out of 5

17 responses to “Film Review – The 15:17 to Paris (2018)

  1. Clint Eastwood, at his worst, is a peddler of American Jingoism. He only did this because of the American heroes.

  2. Definitely agree with you about this movie. No one can ever deny the real life heroism that three displayed that day on the train, but the movie is so lackluster….it’s not even entertaining. Couple with a weak script, vague narrative threads, a boring travelogue across Europe that goes on forever, bad acting. It’s definitely a blackmark on Eastwood film career.

  3. This movie hasn’t gotten a single good review I think. While I usually form my own opinion when I see so much negativity on a movie, it’s usually true. Real shame 😢

  4. This movie was pretty much a Wikipedia page, but not as entertaining. It is a good story of heroism, I tried to consider how you should make such a brief event into a film and I feel that it could only work if you take a heavy amount of creative liberty or just make it a 10-ish min short film. Nice job with the review, well said.

    • You’re spot on! I did very much the same thing in my mind and couldn’t see how on earth anyone thought it was a great idea to make a 80 minute plus feature, it just doesn’t warrant it!

  5. I have heard horror stories about this film, which is a shame because I’m sure it’s a fascinating story. It’s not impossible to make a good film with an amateur cast as City of God demonstrated back in 2002, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that The 15:17 to Paris doesn’t come anywhere close to that level.

    • Oh mate its vert very far from that level ha. Its not even that the actors are bad its just a badly made film.
      It honestly feels like one of the most amateurish Hollywood films I’ve seen in years. Can’t believe Eastwood made it.

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