The 15:17 to Paris is a 2018 American biographical drama film that was produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Dorothy Blyskal, and is based on the autobiography titled The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes by Jeffrey E. Stern, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatkos. The film stars Stone, Sadler, and Skarlatkos as themselves and follows the trio as they stop the 2015 Thalys train attack. Judy Greer and Jenna Fischer also star in the movie.
The film starts off following Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatkos as they are attending a suburban private Christian high school. They bond over their shared interest in guns, and are often sent to the principal’s office for disciplinary action. Once, while sent to the office, they meet another student who is known for misbehaving in school, Anthony Sadler, and the three become close friends. Spencer and Alek are from single mother homes, and their mothers often stick up for them when called to the school for their misconduct.
The 15:17 to Paris was released in the United States on February 9, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures and overall received negative reviews from critics. It has ended up grossing $57 million worldwide against a $30 million production budget.
The Film Itself (3/5):
The 15:17 to Paris is a movie that tries really, really hard to pay tribute to the heroes who helped stop the terrorist attack on that fateful day in France. However, while the story certainly had the best of intentions, the acting of those three gentlemen who were involved in that attack was really, really bad and the overall collaborative effort from everyone involved sort of just fell apart. I did like the look back into the childhood of those three servicemen and how they all met each other, and thought that it was really cool to see Jaleel White making a cameo.
Picture Quality (4/5):
Overall, The 15:17 to Paris looked really damn good as it played out across my living room television. Everything from the various sceneries from their small childhood towns to the scenic backdrops that were caught during the train sequences were really, really nice. If I were to make a reference for any scene that stood out the most, I’d definitely have to go with the scenes that covered the events on the train as there wasn’t any distortion in the experience at all; but those scenes looked exactly as I would have expected with a standard Blu-ray release. I do wish that there would have been a 4K UHD release for this film because I feel that it would have benefitted significantly with HDR; but, beggars can’t be choosers.
Audio Quality (5/5):
Bundled with an English Dolby Atmos audio track, The 15:17 to Paris offers an all out immersive experience for its viewers that does an absolutely fantastic job at placing its viewers right into the middle of everything. Dialogue was spoken clearly and easily understood without having to manually adjust the volume levels as it progressed. The part that really stood out the best with me personally would definitely have to go to the scenes that occurred as the three friends were training. The work and dedication those men put forward as they work toward the physical fitness tests for the service is something that hits really close to home from when I had taken these tests and this film did a really great job at capturing that.
The Packaging (2.5/5):
The Blu-ray release of The 15:17 to Paris comes packaged in your standard two-disc Blu-ray amaray case. Within that case is the standard Blu-ray copy of the film as well as the standard DVD copy of the film. Neither of the two discs feature any artwork whatsoever outside of the standard release text and generic black background on either disc. There is a digital copy redemption pamphlet included for the various streaming options as well as a slipcover that features the same piece of artwork that’s provided on the case art.
Special Features (2.5/5):
The Blu-ray release of The 15:17 to Paris comes with a couple special features that offers a nice extended look into the storyline behind the film and some of the work that went into making the film. While there’s only two features that have been provided, I do feel that a couple of additional features would have done a better job at offering more information about the real life events that unfolded that day, or even a feature audio commentary with the guys who were there. Included with this release is:
- The 15:17 To Paris: Making Every Second Count – Join Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler – the three Americans who stopped the terrorist – as they take us moment-by-moment through the real-life drama, just as they lived it.
- The 15:17 To Paris: Portrait Of Courage – Join Oscar winner Eastwood and his creative team as they reveal the aspects of the story that moved them and why they took the bold step of casting the three Americans to play themselves in the film.
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (23.59 Mbps)
Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Original Film: 94 minutes
Overall, I was really glad for the opportunity to sit down and check out The 15:17 to Paris. Especially since this event is something that has happened in my lifetime, the film offers a perspective of those events that wasn’t necessarily covered by mass media. The story, while it’s one that I feel should be heard by many, wasn’t really carried out very well by Eastwood’s team; and the acting performances of the three Americans who experienced this really showed that they really weren’t into the idea of recreating these events for a film. The visual and audio experience of this release was really nicely done, and I’m kind of bummed that we won’t have the opportunity to see this film with HDR; but it is what it is. If you’re considering checking this film out for your collection, I would highly recommend that you rent this film before purchasing it to see if it’s something that you might enjoy. The 15:17 to Paris will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning on Tuesday May 22, 2018.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.