September 10, 2015
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.
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July 18, 2014
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.