Monday, December 11, 2017

Film Review: Wind River (2017)

Wind River (Review)
United States/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Vudu
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the best movies of 2017."

A hunter for the Fish and Wildlife Service helps an FBI agent track the suspect of a young Native American woman's murder.

Wind River follows Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner), a veteran tracker for the Fish and Wildlife Service. While hunting a mountain lion, Cory stumbles upon the frozen body of 18-year-old Natalie Hanson. Rookie FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is brought to the scene to aid in the investigation. Specifically, she's brought to the Wind River Indian Reservation in order to determine if Natalie's death was a murder so she can call in a full FBI investigative unit. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned. So, Jane enlists the help of Cory to track and capture the suspect. While doing so, Cory attempts to redeem his tragic past and Jane's eyes are open to life on Wind River. There's a lot more to the plot, especially to the characters, but I won't spoil anything else. It leads to a fantastic climax and a great ending.


Wind River is another stellar crime film from writer Taylor Sheridan, who also serves as director this time around. The plot is rather straightforward. Yes, it has a few twists and turns, but, for the most part, it plays out like a typical whodunit—and that's 100-percent okay. Thanks to Sheridan's masterful skill, Wind River comes to life as a suspenseful, tragic, and compelling crime film. The main characters are deep and interesting. The setting is desolate but intimate—it serves as a character on its own. The dialogue is engaging and powerful. The action sequences, although limited, are incredibly tense. The mystery and its twists are probably something you've seen before, but it's still effective. And, finally, it delivers a message without preaching. I suppose the pacing is a bit off at times, but it's otherwise fantastic.

Jeremy Renner delivers his best performance in years—probably the best performance of his career. Elizabeth Olsen, as usual, performs well, delivering a wide range of genuine emotion. The supporting cast was also great. The film was beautifully shot, perfectly capturing the scenery. The music matched the tone of the film, too. The film was written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water. Sheridan is a fantastic crime writer. He knows how to craft a story of crime and tragedy without sacrificing character. With Wind River, he's also proven himself as a skilled director. I look forward to seeing his future work.

Overall, Wind River is a fantastic film. It is one of the best movies of 2017. It is a dark, compelling, and suspenseful crime thriller that you can not miss. I still think Sicario is the best of this trilogy, but Wind River sits above Hell or High Water for me. If you liked those two, you'll most likely enjoy this one.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some sex and partial nudity. The film also features a brief rape scene.

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