And with a cast to die for—literally.
Written and directed by CRAZY HEART filmmaker Scott Cooper, OUT OF THE FURNACE is a gripping tale of family, fate, circumstance and justice.
The setting is 2008 in the small town of Braddock, PA where Christian Bale is following his family’s tradition of working in the steel mill.
But younger brother and Iraq vet Casey Affleck has no interest in joining Bale in the mill. Instead, he’s hanging with the wrong crowd and ending up in a local gambling fight ring. But that’s not bringing in enough money to pay off his ever growing gambling debts.
So to reach for a bigger purse, Affleck talks local bookie/promoter Willem DaFoe into introducing him to hillbilly loon and drug lord Woody Harrelson who stages high stakes, bare knuckle fights deep in the backwood hills of the neighboring county (and state)—only to pay the ultimate prize.
Harrelson here as the psycho head of his band of inbred thugs pulls off the performance of his career. Or at least ONE of his very best…..
There’s got to be an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor awaiting him in the wings.
Ditto both Bale and Affleck’s strong screen presence, which could bring forth Best Actor and Supporting Actor nominations respectively.
Obviously there’s much more to this intriguing revenge story than outlined in this brief review. I’ll leave it up to you to discover it, including the terrific supporting roles by the likes of Willem DaFoe, Forest Whitaker, Sam Shepard and Zoe Saldana.
These are all characters you can sink your teeth into.
Grim. Gruesome. Gritty—and strong R-rated for violence.
Shades of WINTER’S BONE?
OUT OF THE FURNACE as co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Ridley Scott and it’s one of the most intense films I’ve seen in some time. New this weekend citywide.
I’m giving it a strong B.
(Reviewed at AMC Ward Parkway Theatre)
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. & 8:40 a.m. on KMBZ FM & AM / Also anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411.