The Film Stage
The cancer-diagnosis plot device is certainly well-worn and can often be viciously maudlin, but Haley does well in utilizing it as a means to work on something a bit more nuanced.
The Hollywood Reporter
Luckily, Elliott succeeds in pulling you into Lee's emotional orbit and holding you there even when the movie falters.
With Elliott front and center of every scene, The Hero pulls off the kind of acting showcase that its fictional star can never achieve.
We Got This Covered
Anchored by a top-notch performance from its lead, The Hero surpasses its cliches and becomes an ideal vehicle for its star. In Sam Elliot we trust.
Haley and Basch have mistaken what the AARP calls “movies for grownups” for a kind of mushy feel-good pablum, throwing together a handful of familiar clichés in the hope that Elliott’s charm will carry the day.
It’s as if Haley viewed his star’s strengths — laconic wit, unforced masculinity, polite romanticism — as the only elements needed for a Sam Elliott showcase, rather than as the building blocks from which to mold an original character.