I can suspend my disbelief about aliens, machines underground, Tom Cruise finding the only working car in New Jersey, an advanced race that doesn’t know about antibiotics…
What took me right out of the movie was the portrayal of the main character as a poor working class schlub. I have no problem with Cruise’s work, I thought he did a good job. What didn’t work was having the main character living in a shitty row house under the Bayonne Bridge, can’t afford child support, can’t help with the kids tuition (“You don’t pay for it, Tim does”). The guy is a crane operator at Port Elizabeth. Did Speilberg bother to ask how much they make? A regular longshoreman makes over 100k a year. The crane operators are a very skilled and well paid and there aren’t very many of them. With overtime they make well into 6 figures. Someone as skilled as Cruise’s character is supposed to be would be making a lot more than “Tim”.
Without a hardcore gambling problem to explain it, I just don’t buy it (I don’t say drugs because I hope they test for that). Why pick that profession? If you want to make him blue collar make him a mechanic or something.
For the record I have never been a longshoreman but I did work for a shipping/container freight company.