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Out of the Furnace

  • Thriller
  • Crime/detective
  • 2013
  • Scott Cooper
  • 111 mins
  • 15

Summary

Thriller starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson. Pennsylvania, USA: Iraq War veteran Rodney Baze struggles to adjust to civilian life and takes part in bare-knuckle fights for local crooks instead of finding a normal job. But when he goes missing, his brother Russell will do anything to get him back, even if it means having to confront fearsome crime boss Harlan DeGroat.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

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.

Credits

Cast

rolename
Russell BazeChristian Bale
Harlan DeGroatWoody Harrelson
Rodney Baze JrCasey Affleck
Wesley BarnesForest Whitaker
John PettyWillem Dafoe
Lena TaylorZoë Saldana
Gerald "Red" BazeSam Shepard
Tattooed guyBoyd Holbrook
Dan DuganTom Bower

Crew

rolename
DirectorScott Cooper

Details

Theatrical distributor
Lionsgate
Released on
2014-01-24
Languages
English
Guidance
Violence, swearing, drug abuse.
Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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