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A slow burning, provocative gem.
Troy_Campbell11 August 2017
There has been next to no fanfare for the release of this murder mystery. Which is surprising, considering the talent involved in front of the camera (Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen) and behind it (writer-director Taylor Sheridan). Fresh from joining the ranks of top-tiered screenwriters after the amazing one-two punch of Sicario and Hell or High Water, Sheridan continues his stellar run with a heart-wrenching study of loss and grief wrapped in a taut crime thriller narrative. Also having a crack at directing, Sheridan allows the snowy Wyoming setting to completely envelope the characters in a world that feels like it has no exits, both physically and emotionally. When this Native American community is hit with a homicide it feels like another tragedy in a long line of tragedies; their shock is replaced with deeper sorrow, their outrage is replaced with solemn defeat. Entering the scene like a fish out of water, Olsen's junior FBI agent Jane Banner must traverse the tricky cultural complexities if she's to understand the clues in front of her. Luckily she has Renner's local hunter Cory Lambert to assist, himself battling with a past family disaster. Renner and Olsen are both in terrific form, the former hiding his grief under a stoic veneer, the latter balancing big-city attitude with a genuine desire to find justice for the victim. Veteran character actor Gil Birmingham is also superb as a father unsure of how to deal with his earth-shattering loss. If this all sounds a bit heavy, well it is, but Sheridan's careful to inject a healthy dose of suspense and mild action to keep the drama gripping rather than overbearing; the finale in particular turns the movie on its head in an unpredictable but extremely effective manner. An intelligent, slow burning and provocative viewing that enthrals from start to finish, Wind River is an understated gem that deserves an audience.
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An Engrossing Murder Mystery That Respects Its Subject _ and Audience
kckidjoseph-116 September 2017
"Wind River" is a gripping murder mystery-thriller written and directed by Taylor Sheridan (Best Original Screenplay Oscar nominee for "Hell or High Water") starring Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen and Graham Greene, featuring an unusually strong supporting cast that includes many fine Native American actors.

Renner and Olsen play a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker and an FBI agent, respectively, attempting to solve the murder of a young woman whose body is discovered by Renner under mysterious circumstances as he patrols the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

The film scrupulously avoids clichés and is tightly edited with nary a wasted moment, yet never feels rushed or artificial in performance or plot. Everyone and everything is there for a reason, and best of all, the audience is given credit for being able to keep up and connect the dots.

The violence, which is absolutely necessary, is kept at a bare minimum as a narrative device, explaining and clarifying rather than assaulting the senses.

Every character, even the most heinous, is portrayed as a fully developed human being rather than as stereotype.

We learn how the Native American culture is victimized in a way that takes us inside their world and their souls, but the journey is skillfully handled and never heavy handed.

The photography is perfectly rendered, celebrating the icy Wyoming scenery in a muted style consistent with the mood of the story.

Renner, Olsen and Greene are excellent and believable, but in no small way this is an ensemble piece whose potency and effectiveness derive from the palpable passion and belief of everyone in front of and behind the camera.

This is an engrossing story well worth your time and money, and kudos to everyone involved for having faith that a discerning audience will find and appreciate it.
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Suspenseful! A perfect thriller!
Ramascreen1 August 2017
The screenwriter who gave us "Sicario" and "Hell or High Water" has come back with "Wind River" which he also directed and I am now convinced more than ever that Taylor Sheridan is one of the best storytellers of our time. There's something about his thrillers that are just so cunning and sharp and profound, like a great American classic, even novelist Dennis Lehane probably couldn't come up with materials that are as skillfully played as this. And with "Wind River" Sheridan's personal artistry mission to do some effort to right the wrongs that the system has committed against the Native Americans, continues.

The story is about a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) who teams up with a tracker/hunter (Jeremy Renner) with a tragic past in order to investigate the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American Reservation.

Sheridan has tackled themes surrounding the Native Americans before but with this latest one, it's not so much that he's preaching about it but he ties it into this entire fabric of community where you sense the clash between outsiders and locals, between whites and natives, so there's a level of frustration about that arises from this murder investigation that brings up all kinds of cultural suspicions, on top of which there's also a game of jurisdictions. It's a complex yet cleverly woven thriller that starts out as a whodunit and evolves into a thirst for retribution. And the fact that it's set in a very cold harsh environment just adds to the film's chilling effect.

In many ways, Elizabeth Olsen performs here like Jodie Foster's Clarice Starling where at some points you kinda know that Olsen's character may be out of her elements, but at the same time that factor actually gives her a good vantage point. Jeremy Renner plays his character like an old timer western hero who knows the ins and outs of everything, a man of few words but gets tough when needed. Their dynamic is not some kind of odd couple cop duo, this is more like each of them trying to prove themselves while bringing justice to the family of the unfortunate girl. And the way Sheridan crafts the mystery from a small radius to a much larger scheme is one that will have you hooked. "Wind River" is highly suspenseful, it's a perfect thriller.

-- Rama's Screen --
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Renner's potrayal of a broken man who is keen on hunting any kinda predators, Sheridan's superb writing, the snowy landscape as another character makes this a must watch.
Fella_shibby17 December 2017
I saw this few days back on a Blu-ray. As an avid fan of Taylor Sheridan, was looking forward to this without watching the trailer. It is a very beautifully shot, well acted and distressing crime drama. The vast landscape becomes more than a vivid backdrop, it becomes a character in the film. Wind River is able to showcase Sheridans directing and storytelling strengths. From the dark border area (Sicario), to the scorching plains of Texas (Hell or ...) and to the frozen mountains in Wyoming in Wind river, the writer/director managed to make the landscape a character in the film. Jeremy Renner potrayed the role of a broken man who is keen on hunting the predators very well n he deserves an Oscar for his performance. The less said about the plot is better because one has to see this film rather than read about its plot. The film has a very strong social message. The films conclusion with the message was very horrifying n distressing.
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Heat to the Cold Sheridan's fantastic crime thrillers work beyond change in weather
Equalizer169 September 2017
After the southern heat of Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan gives us the cold wintery thriller Wind River.

In the frosty Wind River Indian Reservation of Wyoming, the body an 18 year old Native American girl is discovered by Wildlife service agent Cory Lambett (Jeremy Renner). Lambett with his knowledge of the mountain assists foreign FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olson) to track down the killer, but also his own personal reasons wants to find the killer in an attempt to wrestle his own demons.

Inspired by true cases of missing native American girls, Wind River has cold hearted passion in its story-telling. A very melancholy murder mystery drama exploring grief and vengeance but also the neglect of the Native Americans in the mountain regions in the USA.

During a time this week while I was pondering the significance of different crime thrillers, with also the approach of the The Snowman in November, Wind River is real important stand out. The film itself although is about a murder is more centred on the atmosphere and location. Repetitive vibes of a hellish land resonate throughout the film. This mostly breathed life by the chilly aerial shots of the cold mountain land, identifying misery through the snow breeze and wind (an atmospheric format that was similar expressed in Hell or High Water). The most haunting aspect is the character brought to Wind River by Nick Cave and Warren Elis eerie soundtrack, echoing the dark past of the freezing land.

What leads us into the desolate mystery of Wind River is Jeremey Renner superb performance as the experienced hunter possessed by the past but also enriched with perception of his home land and its welcome. Renner very much appears as himself, however is a perfect casting choice with his neutral expression hiding his deeper emotions. Opposite is Elizabeth Olson, the most convincing FBI agent I've seen on screen for a while. But her city slicker style does not prepare her for the divergent law enforcement experience in the isolated Wyoming. These two leads are the perfect casting, with a enigmatic presence that makes you completely believe in them.

While Wind River has deeper meaning at its centre, Sheridan knows how to thrill his audience in quiet sensational but violent sequences. Loud sound effects of the gun shots bring light to the silent landscape that the characters dwell, and present a sense of realism to the experience.

Sheridan's third feature in his trilogy of modern American law enforcement, following, Sicario, Hell or High Water, has shown his strength in creating masterful crime thrillers with much to reflect about the real world. This capacity has also lead stronger confidence his potential prospects in directing a Bond film. 9.2/10
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Well Directed, Beautifully Shot, And Quality Acting!
Obi_Bamm_Karaoke8 August 2017
When actors decide they want to make the transition to the other side of the camera and direct films, it can be a dicey proposition. It makes me even more nervous when said actor to director decides they don't have the acting out of their system and want to keep acting, but with "Wind River," Taylor Sheridan (best known for "Sons of Anarchy," but also the writer of both "Sicario" and "Hell or High Water" with this completing his American Frontier Trilogy) separates himself in order to focus on directing a wonderful based-on-a-true-story tale.

Jeremy Renner plays Cory Lambert, a tracker who works for the Fish and Game Commission in Wyoming who gets caught up in the investigation of the murder of a young Native American woman on a local reservation during a series of brutal snowstorms. He partners with FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) as they try to navigate the elements and even the law as it pertains to the reservation itself and a very thin law enforcement department headed up by Gen (Graham Greene).

I know there is not much to the above summary, but that is all you really need to know about this film, besides the fact that I REALLY enjoyed it as one can do with the material involved. Make no mistake: this is a dark film that deals with very haunting subject matter, so there is quite a bit of weight to it, but Sheridan treats this story with the highest level of respect by allowing his very well written script to drive it while still shooting it beautifully. To see such beautiful landscaping (actually shot in Utah) take my breath away while still understanding the danger of what the elements bring from the wildlife to the weather and even the inhabitants add a great layer to the story, but what takes it to the next level is the score from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (not THAT Warren Ellis) that frames each and every scene perfectly without giving what is coming up ahead.

From a performance standpoint, I really dug the way that both Renner and Olsen dialed it WAY back within their characters with Renner keeping Lambert simple and focused on the task at hand and Olsen showing how Banner is just trying to do the right thing while attempting to understand the situation she in AND asserting the authority she has representing the Bureau. Greene gives great balance and levity to their dynamic while keeping his character involved as a reminder of the heightened sensitivity of their situation.

The Weinsteins' eye for film strikes again here, and I am also looking forward to where Sheridan's career behind the camera goes as well. For this being the second time he has helmed a film, this is incredibly impressive and should at least be on your "need to check out" list if not all the way to "must see".
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"You are looking for clues, but you are missing all the signs"
paul-allaer19 August 2017
"Wind River" (2017 release; 107 min.) brings the story of Wildlife Officer Cory Lambert. As the movie opens, reminding us "Inspired By Actual Events", we briefly see a woman running for her life in the snow. We then are introduced to Lambert, who is hunting down wolves. Lambert visits his ex, where he picks up his young son for the day. Lambert then visits the parents of his ex, as their life stock has been attacked, possibly by a lion. In the course of starting his investigation, Lambert finds the frozen body of the woman we saw running for her life. Because it looks like a possible homicide, an FBI agent is called. At this point we're 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this movie marks the second directing stint of highly praised writer (and erstwhile actor) Taylor Sheridan, whose previous two movies, 2015's "Sicario" and last year's "Hell or High Water", were among the top movie of the year for me. "Wind River" is for me one of the most anticipated movies of the year, period. With "Wind River", Sheridan goes in a very different direction again as compared to "Sicario" and "Hell or High Water", digging into a murder mystery, set in an Indian reservation in snow-covered Wyoming. Jeremy Renner brings perhaps his finest performance of his career as the Wildlife hunter/tracer Cory Lambert, who himself carries a heavy secret. Elizabeth Olsen is Jane Banner, the wide-eyed inexperienced FBI agent who is in way over her head but is determined to do what is right. "You are looking for clues but you are missing all the signs", remarks Lambert early on, and she begs him to help her. And there are plenty of potential suspects--it's not a coincidence that this is set in a community that has more than its share of crime and misery. Sheridan leads with confidence as the tension in the movie rarely lets up. Bottom line: this is another nice movie from Tayalor Sheridan, who in just a matter of a few years has become one of Hollywood most accomplished writer-directors. Can't wait for his next movie, "Soldado", a sequel to "Sicario", to be released next year.

"Wind River" opened this weekend at my local art house theater here in Cincinnati on not one, but two screens, a rarity. The Saturday matinée screening where I saw this at was attended very nicely for a matinée. I imagine that "Wind River" will benefit from the strong word-of-mouth that this will surely generate. If you are in the mood for a top-notch mystery drama with some stellar performances, you cannot go wrong with "Wind River" be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. "Wind River" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Taylor Sheridan has done it again
wlk6823 June 2017
I was lucky enough to see this at the Nantucket Film Festival back in June and I thought it was excellent. And based on the response of the people around me in the packed theater, I wasn't the only one. The applause at the end was loud and long. The movie ended up coming in second at the festival, right behind behind The Big Sick.

I enjoyed it as much as, if not more than, Hell or High Water. Definitely more than Sicario.

The scenery, the score, the dialogue and the acting were all on point. Some of Jeremy Renner's best work. He's been spending so much time playing spy and superhero lately that I think people tend to forget that he was nominated for Hurt Locker and The Town. His performance here is even better.
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What a Start For Taylor Sheridan
ThomasDrufke19 August 2017
Crime dramas have always been one of my favorite genres of filmmaking, especially the ones that take themselves seriously and pose interesting questions about life. Wind River takes the genre up in the cold, snowy tundra of the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. Gritty, brutal, and well-timed action, Wind River builds a simply structured crime film into an important conversation about missing persons with a great storyteller and one great cast.

Coming from writing the likes of Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan is really making a career for himself. It's hard to imagine it's the same guy who made those short acting cameos in Veronica Mars back in the day, but Sheridan is separating himself from the pack in terms of his writing skills. I won't say that Wind River reaches the heights that either of his other two writing efforts did, but the sheer power of the subject matter of this film may take this film into Oscar season.

Jeremy Renner stars as Corey Lambert, a man with a tragic past, teams with Jane Banner (an FBI agent played by Elizabeth Olsen) to solve a murder. It's easy to label Banner as the "out of place woman who needs the help of a hardened man", because it can appear that way at first glance. But I'll view it as two people who cross paths with each other and end up working together to better their current situations. It also doesn't hurt that both Renner and Olsen have pre- established chemistry from the Marvel films, and dynamite together on screen.

However, I do believe that Sheridan could have done a slightly better job of directing the tone of Wind River. There were times where it seemed the actors were giving endearing performances and monologues, only to be sometimes interrupted by a subtle joke or a lighthearted comment. I think that just a minor change in direction of his actors would have changed those moments for the better. With that said, Sheridan's brutal touch of action when the film calls for it is impressive to say the least. It's those moments that helps put a realistic layer to Wind River.

Overall, Wind River is a grounded but moving take on murder, rape, and missing persons cases. Solid performances, sharp script, and nuanced storytelling, Wind River is a fascinating crime drama.

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Grim, slow-burn crime thriller marks Sheridan's directorial debut
PotassiumMan4 August 2017
Taylor Sheridan's achievement in this film lies in his success in crafting an old school crime drama that doesn't try to re-invent the wheel but instead relies on good old-fashioned storytelling. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen are both exceptional as a dissimilar pair who out of sheer happenstance form an alliance to solve the mystery of a young woman's brutal death on an Indian reservation. Renner is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker. Olsen is an FBI agent sent on an assignment very much alone.

The narrative remains low-key but gradually builds toward its gripping conclusion. We come to learn quite a lot about Renner's character through his backstory. He's quite understated and effective in this role. Olsen enters the picture as an outsider to the bleak region of despair that the American wilderness is portrayed as here. She must learn quickly in order to do her job or leave a possible crime completely unsolved.

Because this film deals with life on an Indian reservation, much of the social and economic woes might seem unfamiliar at first, but the film does a good job of providing a snapshot of the hardship that pervades in this part of the country and the difficulty that law enforcement has in conducting even a workmanlike investigation. Sheridan depicts a world that is sympathetic and troubled at the same time, masking its tears with courage and doggedness. Recommended to everyone.
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Taylor Sheridan depicts another dilapidated region of America
Jared_Andrews30 August 2017
If you've seen any of Taylor Sheridan's previous work, you probably noted that he has a certain style. He tells stories about ways of life in dilapidated regions of the country. He blurs the lines between "good guys" and "bad guys," instead framing the status of the selected region as the truest villain. What's right and wrong, considering all the unique variables of each story, is not always clear. At least, that was case in Sicario and Hell or High Water.

In Wind River, the region is still presented with all the strain that is causes on the lives of its residents, but a much more obvious villain is revealed before the movie is over.

Hell of High Water frames the crumbling economy of a certain Texas region as the real source of evil, rather than any characters. Whereas in Wind River the source of evil is definitely the rapist. I mean, the rapist attempts to blame the cold and silence, but his actions were clearly much worse than bad weather.

Sheridan's previous films also left doubt about who were the heroes, who the audience should be rooting for. This time it was much less ambiguous—they were the people searching for the rapist.

An emerging theme in Sheridan's movies appears to be Tarantinoesque eruptions of violence, sometimes near the conclusion. They don't always reach the levels of the Django Unchained shootout, but Sheridan clearly isn't shy about showcasing the unforgiving damage that can be inflicted by firearms.

Complaints, I have a few. On more than one occasion, I legitimately could not understand what a character had said, so I was left wondering if I missed something important. I'm not sure if this manner of speaking was a choice made by the actors or if this was a decision made by Sheridan to establish a certain tone. Either way, I could have used less mumbling.

The other complaint that I have, and this is more serious, the middle third of the movie felt like it contained a lot of empty moments. This may or may not have been related to the times that I couldn't understand what a character said. Still, the movie could have used a bit of its fat trimmed. It wasn't as crisp and clean as Hell or High Water and Sicario. And I know I keep comparing this movie to Sheridan's others, but that's bound to happen when a writer sets the bar so high with two gems.

On the whole, I consider this a success for Sheridan in his directorial debut. I'd happily watch another story of his about justice and an overlooked culture.
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Could have been good ...
PlasmaX_789 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This movie had a lot of good things going for it. Great, scenic location. A good cast. A decent story to start out with. But, it's like the editor or whoever screened the story had their head in the sand when it came to big events that happened in the movie and how the audience would react. I won't even get into the FBI agent / high Native American shooting scene which didn't make any sense.

Let's talk about the climax. A group of local police officers and an FBI agent head out to a drill site to look for the boyfriend of the victim. Shortly after arriving the security at the drill site attempts to flank the cops and one of the local cops notices this and calls them out on it. Guns end up being pointed and of course the heroine (FBI agent) has to step in and calm everyone down. As soon as they put their guns down she should have arrested them on the spot. Instead she chooses not to listen to the local cop and basically almost dismisses the security guards as a threat. Of course, the security guards kill everyone but her. Fast forward to the end of the ending of the movie ... Jeremy Renner gets his revenge but nothing is even mentioned of the local police and police chief that were savagely gunned down. Also, Renner convinces the FBI agent that she wasn't just lucky to have survived. What he should have said was that she was an idiot and got the rest of her colleagues killed by not recognizing an obvious danger.

Left a bad taste in my mouth.
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Engrossing and dramatic.
Sleepin_Dragon8 April 2019
This is a truly gripping, engaging and dramatic film. The first thing anyone will be aware of, is the quality of the production values, it is superbly made, gloriously acted, and meticulously filmed. A very classy production indeed.

You have to credit the sheer quality of the source material, a wonderful and sad plot, with plenty of twists and turns. Murder mystery fans will enjoy, thriller fans will also enjoy.

There are some truly big moments, one that will make you empathise with the victim's family, one that will leave you with your mouth open, as a big fight occurs.

So impressed by this movie. 9/10
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"She ran six miles barefoot in the snow and died of frozen burst lungs ..."
alexdeleonfilm30 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A female FBI agent teams with a veteran game tracker to investigate a bizarre murder on a remote Indian reservation. Director Taylor Sheridan. Stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as the FBI agent. Viewed at Cannes, 2017, where it won the Best director award in the Un Certain Regard sector.

Rape and murder on the reservation with Jeremy Renner really coming into his own as a not particularly handsome leading man. Very strong as the predator hunter with high powered rifle on high speed snowmobile. The picture opens with a long sequence of a woman running barefoot across a vast nighttime snowscape until she finally drops dead. Eventually we will find out that she was brutally gang raped and was fleeing for her life. Reservation great white hunter, Renner, starts an informal investigation on his own. An FBI agent, (Olsen) is called in to assist with the investigation. A junior woman agent is all the FBI cares to spare for this case, obviously regarded as unimportant because who. cares about Indians! But, since only the FBI has police authority on Indian reservation territory they have to make at least a token contribution to the investigation

At the end of this snowy subzero nail biter, Renner having tracked down the main rapist subjects the now wounded and fleeing central SOB to a most satisfying form of vigilante justice -- making him crawl on his belly bloodied and barefoot in the snow to a hideous painfully slow death -- the same kind of death the multiple rape victim at the beginning had to endure. The fetching female FBI agent called in on the case (Elizabeth Olsen) provides a slightly romantic angle to an otherwise edgy all male Indian reservation thriller. Beautiful snowy mountain photography throughout is more than noteworthy. Overall one of the best films of the Cannes week.

Kudos to director Taylor Sheridan and all others involved in this remarkable outdoor production. This Weinstein brothers prod was filmed in Utah although the setting is supposedly Wyoming on the Wind River Reservation. An added reality perk, real Indians, not Hollywood palefaces, portray the Native American characters. And do it so well!

The Wind River Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation for the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes of Native Americans in the central western portion of the U.S. state of Wyoming. The entrance to the Wind River Reservation is the small town of Lander, Wyo. which is actually seen in one brief scene, but the magnificent mountain snowscapes we see are all in Utah. Geographical poetic license. Highly recommended off-beat scenic thriller with highly satisfying retribution at the end.
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Watch this film...
richard-davis-987-67661513 November 2017
There aren't many films that I'd specifically recommend to watch, but this is one of them.

I didn't know anything about when I went to watch it. I'm glad I didn't. It came as a fantastic surprise.

It's bleak and eerie. It has a little "Insomnia" mixed in with some "Jodie Foster/Clarice Starling" thrown into the mix. It's a little dark, suspenseful and interesting right through the reveal at the end.

The story, whilst nothing shocking in of itself, is realistic and believable. The reveal towards the end is satisfyingly on the money, and it tugs at the emotional strings to see very believable and well acted grief on the part of the family that suffered the loss. The acting was excellent and carried the drama very well. More crime thrillers should deliver like this did.

Just watch it - you'll be glad you did.
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I'm left wanting more and wondering if I watched the same movie as other reviewers.
sassy-1461328 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
i completely disagree that this movie should be categorized as a thriller or mystery. The story has a predictable outcome that I could see coming from the beginning. The writer did nothing to try and even lead us in a different direction. In the first ten minutes the vicitims family leads us to a boyfriend no ones ever met. Obviously they're going to try and find him, once they do we're hand delivered the entire story. There was no work for the audience to do and zero surprise. I kind of like being lead down a few different paths that can be misleading before letting us know what really happened and who the killer is. I found the characters to be predictable from The tracker/hunter male that's good at everything And always figures it out before the young female law enforcement character that's in over her head. Throw in the local cop that's a bit slow and blasé about his job. It's been done a 100 + times and I think it's been done better. I'm actually starting to wonder whose reviewing movies. I'm sorry but 8/10 on IMDb when there's many many more movies that score 6/10 that have better story, writing and acting. Was this movie awful? No. It's not a terrible movie but it's definitely just average.
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So Truthful
ruthillia6 April 2018
Although very, very small errors crept in this story it is very true. As someone who lived right off the Wind River Reservation and whose husband worked for the Northern Arapaho tribe (one of three non-native employees) I can say that without a doubt this is what happens too many times on the res there. The natives often live in deplorable conditions but it's not all the other guy's fault either. However, the treatment of women and the disappearance of women, and yes men too, is horrific. There is often no closure. Things are so confusing and convoluted and corrupt that it's no surprise these things happen. We've since moved away but some of the experiences and events will never be gone. I wish that the people there, on and off the res, can find some resolution to the atrocities. It's a beautiful area and everyone should visit the Wind River mountains. It's on most people's way to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Stop at Brooks lake and see the beginning of the Wind River. And the rest of the beauty there. Just don't go up on the res unless you're with a local.
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Really good, underrated movie
godsdesign26 February 2019
This movie was SO good! It's a hidden gem that showcases the strengths of Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as actors.

It IS a drama/suspense film. Don't expect that it'll be packed full of action just because it contains 2 Avengers. I'm really glad they don't go heavy down this route. Pay attention though. Otherwise you'll have to rewind multiple times like I did to see how you missed piecing everything together. The pace of the movie makes you really appreciate the story that being laid out for you.

I wish there'd been more publicity for this movie because it definitely deserves it. If you're down for a solid drama/suspense film (sans kids), this will be great for movie night.
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Grim, generic thriller
rrpjr21 August 2017
Atmospheric, capable thriller but feels shopworn and its production marred by TV-style shot selection and editing. Story of Indian reservation killing is chock-a-block with grim and squalid images we've seen in other stories with same old Hollywood virtue-signaling about awful white man's depredations. Two leads are adequate but nothing remarkable in the writing to lift or distinguish their characters. We've seen it before. Hunter/tracker Renner offers awkward exposition speech about his family tragedy (we know its coming, and it does not come seamlessly for the story). Scenes of brutality are fairly predictable, and so are the antagonists. For great take on murder on Indian reservation story check out Thunderheart.
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Please speak up
spencer-5219 December 2017
I liked the movie from all aspects except the dialogue which was often inaudible,. Olsen mumbles and breathes her lines in the standard contemporary actor trained closed mouth soft emotive method. I have very little idea what she said. I watched on iTunes and was constantly turning the volume up and down. In the end, it didn't matter about the dialogue. The plot and the scenery carried the film. Would someone please get these actors a speech coach?
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WOW. Just wow.
Her-Excellency12 October 2017
FINALLY a movie you can really sink your teeth into and be carried away by. I thought it was excellent and at no time while watching it, was I distracted nor did I grow bored. It is slow and long, but every moment is perfect.

Yes, it has been done before, but it has not been done this well for a while now. It is well-written, dramatic, suspenseful and engaging.

Watch it.
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Not as clever as it thinks it is.
adnarish3 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Taylor Sheridan writes and directs a visually appealing, but fairly mundane story that doesn't transcend the basic premise of the plot. Sheridan uses his experiences of working with director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) to good effect, albeit it without quite matching the latter's work, and the acting is solid across the board, but the subtleties and conflicting motivations bubbling beneath the surface, present in Sheridan's earlier work, are largely missing. Some more details, and spoilers, below.

The film ends with a sombre note that no missing person records are kept for people living on Indian reservations. After spending what little time we had with the public officials of said areas being focussed on disputes about authority and their rights to be, or not be, somewhere - this kind of absolutist statements feels like it's missing a lot of context. Who isn't keeping records, the FBI? The local police? Can't they? Won't they? There's a lot missing here, and this goes back to the rest of the film: it's not as profound and clever as it - seemingly - thinks it is.

At the moment main character Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) finds the body of Natalie (Kelsey Asbille) that sets off the chain of events that is the film's plot, he is seen in his job as a hunter. He is portrayed as such, says he is, and again emphasises he is later - and his quips are all about hunting, too. It is also quickly revealed that his own daughter was lost in the wilds and found killed, and that he still suffers from this - almost to the exclusion of other motivations. Are we as an audience supposed to have any doubt as to what this man's motivations are going into this story?

Renner does a fine job portraying Lambert as he is written, that's not the issue. But I'm struggling to find out what Sheridan wanted his audiences to feel. Are we supposed to cheer on his subsequent killing(s)? Are we supposed to feel as though Lambert is crossing some sort of line? And what line would that be, when the other characters in the story - from Natalie's father to FBI agent Banner - are all cheering him on to do what he ultimately ends up doing; making what is by then the only surviving man who assaulted Natalie suffer the same fate she did.

Speaking of which, when the police goes to confront the security workers at a drill site any remaining subtleties go flying out the window when the security engages in a wild shoot-out with police and FBI. Eh... why? What did they think was going to happen, that nobody was going to check on the place where they had just lost half a dozen law enforcement colleagues - and that they were going to get away with their crimes? Not likely! Sheridan then doubles down by introducing a lengthy flashback scene of the moment when Natalie and her boyfriend were attacked by said workers. The point of this is unclear. There is no need to know Natalie wanted to move to California with her boyfriend to appreciate that the assault was horrific, and her death a tragedy.

Furthermore, it further reduces the villains to caricatures. Fitting, for it allows Lambert to see them as stand-ins for the men- never outright stated, but hinted at - who were probably responsible for his own daughter's death, too. Contrast this to Sang-il Lee's Akunin ('Villain'), where the young man who kills a young woman ends up becoming the main character of the story. I get that Sheridan wasn't going for that, but he went way over to the other side, robbing us viewers of any ambiguity about what was the right thing for the protagonists to do. Moreover, it makes the confrontation with the villains one of self-defence, except for that last guy, and not a case of - perhaps questionable - revenge.

Quick note on the other actors: Julia Jones is fine as Lambert's ex-wife Wilma, Kelsey Asbille did a good job as Natalie with the little screen time she had in what can't have been easy scenes to film, Graham Greene makes for a very believable local police officer, Gil Birmingham and his character Martin go a long way towards making the setting in the Indian reservation meaningful (why wasn't the Lambert character part of the local police?!), and ... oh, Elizabeth Olsen as FBI agent Jane Banner!

I like Olsen, she makes the 'big city FBI agent' work, but I am just unclear as to what her purpose in this story is. She is of no help in the investigations, she can't actually be there because of jurisdiction issues - until she somehow can, she is attacked twice, rescued twice, and she in no way limits Lambert's all-too-obvious quest but instead encourages him to go his own way. Sheridan perhaps didn't want to retrace the steps he took in Sicario, where he also presented a female FBI agent as a moral compass of sorts (Emily Blunt) - but I'm sure he could have done better here.

Ultimately then, a decent film - but it takes more to make it great than adding landscape shots of Wyoming and a few run-down trailers of people named Littlefeather.
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Dances with the Wind
Tweetienator29 September 2017
Jeremy Renner is cool as f***, but that's nothing new. Wind River got good acting and fantastic pictures of raw nature but what it lacks is imo a suspenseful and captivating story, so I wouldn't call Wind River a thriller or a crime/detective story but more kind of drama about loss and being lost spiced up with some hunting and shooting.

Not bad, not exceptional, but okay, thanks to the good acting and the great supporting act called nature.
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Why does every line of dialogue need to be a social commentary?
Reznik_T5 November 2017
Sure, this movie has some stuff going for it. The scenery is beautiful, cinematography is fine, Jeremy Renner is a likable guy, Elizabeth Olsen is pretty, and the local cop/sheriff (played by Graham Greene) is a believable character who acts like an actual human being. Too bad he's the only one. Wind River - even more so than Hell or High Water (written by the same guy) - is filled with dialogue where people talk in metaphors, where there's always a deeper meaning to what they say, in other words, it doesn't sound like normal, everyday people talking to each other. If they only did that in certain key moments, it would be fine, it could work if that's what the story demands. But when that's all you hear throughout the whole film, it becomes pretentious and irritating.

Also, I'm tired of the notion that certain movies feel the need to hit you over the head with their social commentary. When the young female FBI agent arrives, everybody is surprised, obviously because they don't think a woman is fit for the job (aka sexism). When they arrive at the home of the native American family, the father asks the FBI agent: "Why is it that whenever you people want to help us, you always insult us first?" (Because that's what white people always do, I guess.) When the Indian boy, who sells drugs, gets caught and confronted by Jeremy Renner, the conversation is about him fighting against the whole world, and how Jeremy Renner shouldn't say "we", because the only native American thing about him is his wife. And if that's not enough lecturing for you, then wait for Elizabeth Olsen thanking Jeremy Renner for saving her life, and Renner replying by saying, "you're a tough woman, you saved your own life". Obviously the problem is not the idea of "strong women", but the fact that instead of making it a natural part of the story and the characters, the director decides to shove it down our throats through such clumsy, heavy- handed dialogue.

There's a shoot-out scene towards the end of the movie, that I thought, was written and executed pretty poorly. First of all, at one point I couldn't even tell who's on whose side, and who gets shot by who. It felt like they tried to recreate the amazing border shoot-out scene from Sicario (also written by the same guy), only this time in the snow. The problem is that we don't know anything about most of the people who are in this scene, as they were just introduced two minutes earlier, but all of a sudden we're supposed care whether they live or die.

Anyway, if you're a huge Jeremy Renner or Elizabeth Olsen fan, you might as well go and check it out, but be prepared, it's not a very good one.
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Cements Sheridan as a director to watch
tomgillespie200213 November 2017
If you weren't already aware going into Wind River of just who is the brains behind this tough, tense and distinctly masculine drama, then it won't take very long for you to guess that it is Taylor Sheridan, the so-hot-right-now scribe behind the likes of Sicario and Hell or High Water. Rounding off his trilogy based around the American frontier, Sheridan directs for the first time here, and proves to be as equally adept with bringing his work to life as he is with penning it. To dub him the new Cormac McCarthy may be slightly condescending to the talented writer, but the comparisons are certainly there to be made. This is the world of tough, lean men doing what they have to do in order to survive or get by in their increasingly dire economic surroundings, and it's certainly a setting Sheridan feels comfortable in, or at least wishes he was part of.

While Sicario placed us in the terrifying, claustrophobic choke-hold of the Mexican drug cartels and Hell or High Water delivered outlaw hi-jinks with serious social and economic undertones, Wind River is a movie of quiet, simmering tension played out against the backdrop of the freezing, desolate mountains of Wyoming. Hard times have come to the titular Indian Reservation and the surrounding areas, but so little apparently occurs here that a police force of over 6 officers is trusted with covering an area the size of a large city. When a young Native American girl (Kelsey Asbille) is found barefoot and dead in the snow 5 miles from the nearest residence, the minuscule department find themselves clearly ill-equipped for the investigation. The girl died from suffocating on the blood in her lungs, brought on by the sub- zero temperature, but she has also been raped. The man who found her, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner), uses his knowledge and experience as a hunter to start making connections.

Renner has spent so many years in superhero costumes or starring in forgettable, little-seen box-office under-performers that it's easy to forget just how he made the jump from supporting character actor to leading man material. In movies like The Hurt Locker and The Town, he demonstrated an uncanny skill at playing introverted characters emotionally scarred by past experiences. Yes, he was an outright psychopath in Ben Affleck's thrilling The Town, but it always felt like he was masking something deeper. Lambert is living with his own trauma. He pays visits to his Native American ex-wife to see his son, but their separation was clearly brought on by tragedy. In a moving monologue to the father of the murdered girl (a marvellous Gil Birmingham), he reveals through choked-back tears that his daughter had passed years earlier. It's quite possibly the best work he's ever done; utterly convincing as the strong, silent hunter who can spot a snowmobile track from a mile away, and as a potential romantic interest for FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen).

She is sent from her office in Las Vegas, and arrives completely ill-prepared for the brutal conditions of Wind River. When she quickly realises she's out of her depth, Banner leans on Lambert to help her navigate the perilous conditions and vast landscape. It's a character seen many times before - even in Sicario - and although Olsen is perfectly fine, her role seems somewhat diminutive and over-reliant on her male counterpart. It's an issue Sheridan should perhaps address in his next venture, but Wind River proves that he is more than capable of visualising his own work. He shoots the wilderness as a cold, unforgiving place, where only the toughest - humans or animals - can survive, turning them wilder and more primitive in the process. The score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis also give the land a mystic ambiance, similar in many ways to their work on The Proposition. Although it does digress into Quentin Tarantino territory and the final pay-off seems over-eager to highlight good from bad, Wind River deserves some recognition come awards season, as does Sheridan as a director to watch.
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