Out of the Furnace

Out of the Furnace

Scott Cooper (2013)

111min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Family loyalty counts for everything in this second feature from Crazy Heart writer/director Scott Cooper. It's set in a fading Pennsylvania steel town where dire economic straits send two brothers down dangerous pathways. Christian Bale is absolutely exceptional as a decent man running out of options when his volatile war veteran sibling - Casey Affleck, convincing but typecast in an unhinged role - gets in too deep with local loan shark Willem Dafoe, himself in thrall to badass Appalachian psycho Woody Harrelson. And the downbeat 1970s Hollywood tone, with strong echoes of The Deer Hunter (plus a dash of Deliverance), is a clear sign that the simmering tension will boil over at some point. A strong sense of place and full-on performances keep it watchable, yet it falls short of its evident cinematic forbears by veering off into a bare-knuckle boxing subplot whose gratuitous unpleasantness seems too calculated to provoke an audience reaction. See it for Bale, though, who doesn't just play his part, he seems to live it.

Summary

A steelworker caring for his terminally ill father is reunited with his younger brother, who has returned from service in Iraq. However, the former soldier becomes involved with a criminal gang and disappears without trace. The elder brother is frustrated at the police's failure to find him and takes matters into his own hands. Crime thriller, starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson and Zoe Saldana.

Cast & Crew

Russell Baze Christian Bale
Harlan DeGroat Woody Harrelson
Rodney Baze Jr Casey Affleck
Wesley Barnes Forest Whitaker
John Petty Willem Dafoe
Lena Taylor Zoë Saldana
Gerald "Red" Baze Sam Shepard
Tattooed guy Boyd Holbrook
Dan Dugan Tom Bower
Director Scott Cooper
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: LionsgateGuidance: Violence, swearing, drug abuse.Available on: DVDReleased on: 24 Jan 2014
Drama