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Parents' Guide to

Out of the Furnace

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Strong performances in grim, violent revenge tale.

Movie R 2013 116 minutes
Out of the Furnace Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 17+

Grim and violent revenge story

I had high expectations but I found the movie pretty boring. It was really slow in the beginning but later it became more interesting. Extremely violent - brutal fight scenes! The performances are very strong. It's a dark and serious story about the hardships in an ordinary man's life.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 16+

Grim, bleak film with strong acting work

You know any movie the selective Christian Bale chooses has to be of at least some substance, and this is a pretty good movie. Scott Cooper maintains his current directorial theme of looking at characters seeking redemption, living on the very hard sides of life. But some of the storytelling is flawed, elements like Russell's time lapse in prison and the inclusion of the dying father (it did nothing to further the story, it just made it that much sadder). If there ever was a bright side to this though, it's the trio of male leads that elevate this material so much, especially Affleck and Harrelson. Affleck plays Randy, Russell's scrappy soldier brother with clear symptoms of PTSD..and phew, Harrelson plays Harlan, an absolute violent psychopath. He's not cartoony a bad guy, he's just a really, really despicable backwoods country villain. You'll remember their performances the most.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

The performances of the entire cast iin this film easily rank with their best work. Former actor Scott Cooper made his directorial debut with Crazy Heart, which won a long-deserved Oscar for actor Jeff Bridges. Cooper follows that film with his second directorial effort, OUT OF THE FURNACE. It's another exercise in superb acting, even if it's sadly lacking in the storytelling department. It's sometimes confusing, glossing over simple details. For example, it's not clear at first why Russell goes to jail, and it's unclear just how long he's there. Cooper succeeds in establishing a deliberate, gritty, moody pace, reveling in a small-town atmosphere. Unfortunately, this pace does not serve the simple, pulpy revenge story. It drags on too long, and it's too grim; the climactic chase appears to be unfolding in slow motion. However, the tone does help to establish the strong characters. Woody Harrelson in particular makes a memorable backwoods villain, vile, vicious, and unpredictable.

Movie Details

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