Out of the Furnace
Starring: Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard, Zoe Saldana
Directed by: Scott Cooper
Run Time: 116 mins
Genre: Drama/ Crime/ Thriller
Opens December 6th
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Also opening this week is a film that assembles some of the most dynamic actors today. Winner of the Best Debut and Second Film Award at this years Rome Film Festival, “Out of the Furnace” director Scott Cooper; will he be receiving more accolades this upcoming awards season? Read on to find out.
Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has always been the protective big brother over younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck); covering his debts, making sure he keeps his head on straight and trying to keep him away from the fighting arena. After covering Rodney’s latest round of debts, Russell drives home drunk one night, resulting in a car crash with two fatalities. Rodney ended up spending some time in the clink, and when he gets out, his life is topsy-turvy. He lost his long time girlfriend Lena (Zoe Saldana) to local police officer Chief Wesley Barnes (Forest Whitaker); his brother is in deep debt with bar owner/ fight promoter John Petty (Willem Dafoe) and his father passed away during his incarceration.
Rodney begs John for fights that will bring in more money. After warning him about fighting with the rednecks of New Jersey, John makes a call to a man whom he owes a lot of money to, Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). Harlan is one not to be messed with as he has a couple of screws loose himself and is usually under the influence of his narcotics products he cooks. When John and Rodney don’t return from a fight that was held up in Harlan’s neck of the woods, Russell takes matters into his own hands trying to figure out what happened to his brother. Will he be able to get to his brother in time or will the unwritten rules of the backwoods usurp any legal jurisdiction of the local authorities?
What this film lacks in term of pacing in the storyline is made up for by the assembly of dynamic actors and strong characters. Each actor delivers a great performance, but the story moves at such a slow pace that it starts to overshadow the other fantastic qualities of the film. The cinematography is amazing as is the set design and locations selected, but it’s not enough to carry the entire film. You be the judge when “Out of the Furnace” opens in theaters nationwide starting Friday December 6, 2013.