Tom Hanks' Greyhound Movie Review (2020)

Tom Hank's Movie Greyhound: The non-stop World War II Battle of the Atlantic movie.

Last night we watched the new Tom Hanks movie, Greyhound. Greyhound is non-stop World War II movie based on the C.S. Forester 1955 war novel called The Good Shepherd. (Find the book here on Amazon.)

Tom Hank's movie Greyhound is based on the novel The Good Shepherd C.S. Forester.
The story is based on true events during the Battle of the Atlantic, which for those who might not know, refers to everything that happened in the Atlantic during World War II. Truth be told, I did not know that until my husband told me last night.

The movie takes place almost entirely onboard the American ship the USS Keeling, whose call name was Greyhound. In 1942, she was one of the ships that escorted a convoy of 37 allied ships carrying soldiers and supplies across the Atlantic through an area know as the Black Pit to the battlefields of World War II.

For five days the apparently inexperienced U.S. Navy Commander Ernest Krause, played in this movie by Tom Hanks, led the effort to fight off Nazi U-boats and help the convoy arrive safely at its destination.  I think that Hanks does a fine job of portraying Krause as a personally modest but professionally decisive man.



In the United States, Greyhound is rated PG-13 for war-related action/violence and brief strong language. It was definitely intense with a few tough moments but overall it was far from the toughest war movie that I have seen in terms of violence or language.


Greyhound is a very focused movie intent on showing one trip across the Atlantic and it did so with little in the way of character development. Some might be disappointed to not know more about the main characters and yes, I think that would have made the story richer, but historically, this movie is a fascinating look at what allied heroes did on the ocean during World War II. Yes, I recommend it for those who are interested in history and want a look at what it might have been like to be part of the convoys that helped bring goods necessary to Europe to end the war.

Writing for Roger Ebert's website, Brian Tallerico gave the movie a scant two of four possible stars. With reference to the sole focus of the movie of one trip across the Atlantic Ocean, he called it one of the "most purposeful war films ever made." He goes on to say that it is a "simple story of well-told heroism that’s almost refreshing." However, he also calls it more "shallow than lean." I think those are fair comments and good ideas to have in mind when you sit down to watch the movie. However, Tallerico closes with, "Hanks reminds us that heroes don’t wear capes and almost never call themselves heroes. Even with the minimalism of Greyhound, it is a comforting reminder in a time when it feels like we could all use a bit more heroism." A good reminder though I think that this year, 2020, with the world battle against coronavirus, we are surrounded by heroes.

Viewers on Rotten Tomatoes give the movie a better score, of 79 percent, with comments like "the role brings out another in the Tom Hanks gallery of seemingly unremarkable men rising to meet extraordinary challenges" and "a really interesting watch, even if it's stripped of the traditional creature comforts of the genre."


Originally scheduled for release at the movie theaters on May 8, Greyhound fell victim to the coronavirus and eventually the theatrical release was cancelled. Instead it was released for streaming on Apple TV on July 10. As I write this, that is the only place you can watch this movie. It is unfortunate that such a big, loud film cannot be seen on the big screen.

If you do watch Greyhound, be sure to come back and let us know what you think!

Happy viewing! I look forward to the distant day when it is safe for us to return to the movie theater.


Quick Links:

Buy C.S. Forester's The Good Shepherd on Amazon.
Tom Hanks in Saving Mr. Banks: A Review.

Tom Hanks' Greyhound movie is based on the historical novel The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester.

Tom Hank's Movie Greyhound: The non-stop World War II Battle of the Atlantic movie.

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