Cut Bank

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Cut Bank Movie Poster Image
Predictable thriller has lots of violence, some swearing.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 93 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Get-rich-quick schemes usually don't work, especially when they involve criminal conspiracies and fake murder plots.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There's little honor among thieves in this film; a group of men concocts a scheme but then start to turn on each other when the heat gets turned up.

Violence

Several bloody conflicts, starting with a graphic, close-range gunshot murder. Also some brutal fist fights that involve knives and other objects. Battered bodies are shown in gory detail.

Sex

A couple hugs and kisses.

Language

Frequent swearing includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "piss" "hell," "whore," and more.

Consumerism

A few truck brands are mentioned by name.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink beer. One scene at a bar shows a group of friends getting drunk together.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cut Bank is a con-gone-bad thriller starring Liam Hemsworth and John Malkovich that centers on a scheme to collect a large reward. When the plan begins to unravel -- and it does, quickly -- the conspirators turn on one another, leading to some brutal, graphic brawls, a few shoot-outs, and several corpses, many maimed and bloody. Strong language includes "f--k" and "s--t"; there's also some drinking, sometimes to the point of getting drunk. The only sexual content is some hugging and kissing between a loving couple.

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What's the story?

All Dwayne (Liam Hemsworth) wants is to get out of CUT BANK, the small Montana town where he's spent his whole life. But the longer he stays, the more entrenched he gets, working for his girlfriend's dad and caring for his ill father. When Dwayne accidentally films the murder of beloved local postman Georgie (Bruce Dern), he realizes he may be due for a huge reward, money the could be his ticket out of town. Then the sheriff (John Malkovich) starts looking into the killing and discovers that some of the pieces don't add up. The more the case unravels, the more Dwayne's plans for a new start begin to slip away.

Is it any good?

The best thing about Cut Bank is the strong supporting cast. Dern is in fantastic as the crotchety old postman, and Malkovich is an eccentric delight as a veteran lawman who's sharper than he looks. Billy Bob Thornton also catches more than he lets on as Dwayne's boss. But Dwayne isn't all that interesting, and that's largely because Hemsworth doesn't give us much to watch. He's there at the center of the story, but his performance makes the character recede into the background.

Even the town's resident kook, Derby Milton (Michael Stuhlbarg), is more appealing to watch; for a guy who's too shy to even look people in they eye, Milton has little trouble finding all the flaws in the half-baked scheme that sets the action moving. Viewers also should have an easy time finding the holes, in both the plan and in this unoriginal film.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role of violence in Cut Bank. Do you think all of it is necessary to tell the story? What are the consequences?

  • How does this film compare to other con movies/heist flicks about people who come up with "foolproof" schemes to get rich? What message does that plot send viewers?

  • Talk about Dwayne's plan. Was it a smart plan to collect a huge reward or poorly planned and executed? Why did it fall apart?

Movie details

For kids who love thrills

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