‘Worth’ (2021) | Movie Review

Directed By:

Sara Colangelo

Written By:

Max Borenstein


Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, Amy Ryan


Biography, Drama, History

Rated:PG-13 for some strong language and thematic elements.

‘Worth’ was a 2020 Sundance debut and was talked about throughout the festival. I remember not being able to attend by the sheer number of people in line to watch the film, so I had to wait until now to see what it’s actually about. Centered around the 9/11 tragedy, Michael Keaton plays an attorney Ken Feinberg in Washington D.C. that volunteers to represent the victims of the attack, and assign the monetary value for each victim for their families. Politics and bureaucracy rear their ugly heads as Ken tries to find the right equations to give these families something for their loss. 

This is a tough watch but important, because it shows us how much can be swept under the rug and hidden from the American people in regards to care and support, and tells the true story of battle still being fought to give the victims and first responders of 9/11 the support they need. John Stewart has been a big proponent of the 9/11 First Responders bill that only in 2019 was passed, so this film though it’s talking about things over a decade ago, it’s still haunting us today.

Where the film shines is in its terrific performances by Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, and Amy Ryan. This is an ensemble cast that all give great performances in this film. I appreciated director Sara Colangelo focusing on telling the victims stories, about their loved ones’ lives and their impact. Seeing Ken listen to these stories and feeling the impact and loss from each wife, husband, or child is incredibly powerful. As well the story does a good job of realizing that while there are accomplishments in the relief fund passing- many were left out of it that didn’t need to be. 

Where there tend to be problems in the story comes from the writing mostly. I feel that a lot of the important moments in the movie needed to be more emotionally impactful to the audience and also to the character of Ken, who is written to be too cold and calculating in certain moments. I wish we learned more about other characters more, and the pacing while yes is a slow burn, isn’t incredibly engaging through most of the 2nd act.

Overall this is still a great acting performance from Michael Keaton and an important film for people to watch. Go in knowing it’s a tough watch but be open to learning about how the American people are what saved Americans here, not the government, or private entities.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Patrick Beatty
Patrick Beatty

Patrick Beatty is a film critic and creator of PatrickBeattyReviews.com and the Gaggle of Geeks Podcast network. Watch him Friday’s on ABC4 Good Things Utah talk about movies and follow all his work in the link below.

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