A self-sufficient teenage girl raising her younger siblings must hunt through the desolate terrain of an Ozark Mountain town to find her deadbeat, drug addicted father, who put their family home up as collateral for his bail. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
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Terse and tightly drawn as its characters and their reality. Not the ‘pulse-pounding thriller’ it’s marketed as, but a sparse, unsentimental story of necessity, developed in an atmosphere of wary, hardened tension. A respectful, non-exploitative (but compelling and gritty) portrayal of the effects of poverty in isolated, rural America.
Still one of the best independent films of the past decade - the tension of the world feels so real it might suffocate you. Though Lawrence is very good, it is Hawkes who steals every scene. Losses points for that awful dream sequence and all the blown-out highlights outdoors.
"Here's a doobie for the walk back" ... LOL! They havent been called "doobies" since the Doobie Brothers were topping the charts. "I guess blood dont mean nothin to the Big Man" ... sure thing, little girl, but if I was blood-related to people like the subhuman white trailer trash portrayed here, Id cut my own throat to drain it all out. One of THE most overrated films of all time.
Incredibly overrated. Much has been made of the authenticity of its depiction of life in the Ozarks, but that doesn't mean much when the story is so tedious and plodding, and - for all its gritty, self-important indie bravado - surprisingly given to cheap Hollywood plot contrivances. Some of the performances were decent, but that's about it.
the growing backlash against lawrence's oscar nod/performance highlights everything that's so wrong with the way most performances are assessed. it's a turn devoid of any loud, big moments of "actressing". this is a brilliant performance in every sense of the word – slow, internalized, meditative creation of a fascinating character. it's a beautiful turn in a beautiful, beautiful film.
Frightening southern-fried murder mystery set among backwoods meth-labs creates a strong atmosphere of foreboding. Jennifer Lawrence is a revelation, and the film is a memorable piece of American gothic.
I wish I could give this film more than 5 stars.
I grew up in Arkansas... the characters in this film are VERY real. Unfortunately, I knew people like the characters in this film. I think that's why I liked it so much- because unlike films such as Gummo, the characters are too real. You may think the story is a little weak, but it's more realistic than any film I've seen in a very long time.