Here's a look at the new movie I saw this week.
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, and Graham Greene
Synopsis: Taylor Sheridan is one of the best writers working right now. His movies have a quality that feels real and lived in, he brings his characters to life in a vibrant way, and I love the light he shines on certain subjects. Whether it's predatory lending and the lives it crushes ("Hell or High Water"), the failed attempts in the war on drugs ("Sicario") or the plight of missing Native American women, which he considered in his latest film, "Wind River." This time Sheridan also sat in the director's chair and showed he has a strong eye for composition of shots and pacing of a films as well. The film centers on a U.S. Wildlife hunter (Renner) who comes across the body of a young girl while hunting lions on the Wind River reservation. Being that it's on Federal Land, a young FBI agent (Olsen) is called in to help with the investigation. Together they uncover a sad story and attempt to bring some justice to a people who rarely get any. This is a powerful and beautiful film, and a lot of that is a credit to Sheridan. In 2015, "Sicario" was one of my top five favorite films of the year. I loved what he did with characters and story, and there was a sense of foreboding in the narrative that kept you on edge until a few big action set pieces took over. That same sense is there in "Wind River," coupled with some great character development. While many of the actors do fine work, including Olsen, this movie would be nothing without the great performance from Renner. It is a performance that might be considered unexpected given some of his recent work in franchise films, but he does something beautiful with the part that really helps it stand out. I could easily see him in the running for some awards come this winter, and he certainly helps elevate this material. We went through a summer full of highs and lows this year, and "Wind River" is one of the highs. This is one of the best movies I've seen so far this year, and it will be interesting if it can be another late summer release, like "Hell or High Water" last year, to ride the wave to Awards Season recognition.
Rating: R for strong violence, a rape, disturbing images, and language. Enter with caution.
Verdict: Four stars out of four.
Friday, September 22 - "Kingsman The Golden Circle," "The Lego Ninjago Movie," "Stronger," "Battle of the Sexes"
Friday, September 29 - "Flatliners," "American Made"