Meek's Cutoff

2010

Adventure / Drama / Thriller / Western

90
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 12,367

Synopsis


Downloaded times
December 13, 2020

Cast

Michelle Williams as Emily Tetherow
Paul Dano as Thomas Gately
Zoe Kazan as Tammy Greenwood
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
943.52 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
PG
23.976 fps
104 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.89 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
PG
23.976 fps
104 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jmc4769 7 / 10 / 10

The least you need to know

This movie is much loved by the critics, but you know there is some kind of problem when the critics meter on RottenTomatoes.com stands at 87 while the audience meter is at 65. Personally, I don't think it's a bad movie, but before you decide to see it, you at least need to know that: --It is a very minimalist movie, even more so than Somewhere (which I loved). You don't even get a good look at the actors' faces until 15 minutes or so into the movie. The dialog is so sparse that the actors probably didn't need to start studying the script until the night before shooting began. (Don't be fooled by the trailer--it contains most of the dialog in the movie.) The screen is almost completely black in the many barely illuminated night scenes. You can hear the dialog, but you can't see much of their faces or see what they are doing. Although these scenes are highly realistic, the director seems to have forgotten that film is a visual medium. And too much of the dialog is unintelligible. I couldn't decide whether the problem was poor enunciation by the actors, poor placement of the microphones, or both. --This is one of those "make up your own ending" movies. After you spend 104 minutes watching these people trek through a parched landscape looking for water, you long for answers. The dramatic tension in the movie arises primarily from not knowing whether the Indian they have captured will lead them to water or into a fatal ambush. But don't expect any clear-cut resolution. Yes, there are clues at the end. But some viewers will be unhappy to discover that there is no unambiguous answer to the central question of the movie. With that said, I still think Meek's Cutoff is worth seeing because it gives you a good feel for what life was like in a wagon train. The film is not so much a drama as a reenactment of life on the trail. No matter that the dialog is sparse. No matter that there is no real ending. The director isn't much interested in character development or storyline anyway. She just wants to put you in the shoes of these pioneers for a few days. And on this level, the movie works very well. Although it may not be entertaining (after all, life on the trail was boring most of the time), it is informative.

Reviewed by dharmendrasingh 9 / 10 / 10

An unorthodox take on the Western

Its unorthodox – 'revisionist' – take on the Western will stimulate more debate than the story itself. It's sure to be praised for its presumed artistic qualities, but I watch Westerns for their brio and sense of fun, never as art. My verdict is that 'Meek's Cutoff' is slow – definitely slow and not 'well-paced' – desultory and monotonous. And yet every time the film was on the cusp of being disengaging, it did something to regain my attention. I saw the film twice and still couldn't decide what it was about. This is a film of suggestion. We're responsible for how the story ends. After a wordless opening, we encounter a motley crew, some Irish but mostly American. They're being escorted, along with their few wagons, donkeys, horses and oxen, across the beautiful and baleful Oregon plains to a valley, where we assume they will settle. Their escort is Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood), a loquacious, over-friendly cowboy, who has a tacit propensity for violence. An etching by one of the band (prolific youngster Paul Dano) on a dead tree updates us on their progress: 'Lost' (something inhabitants never are in Westerns; their sense of geography is always mind-bogglingly good). They've been travelling for several days in the wrong direction and are in desperate need of water. Meek insists they will reach their destination soon. Film factotum Kelly Reichardt, here director and editor, keeps us in the dark for much of the film. The camera pans back when there is conversation. What dialogue we do hear is muffled and limited (or incomprehensible when spoken by Meek). It's like we're eavesdropping and aren't supposed to know something. A solitary Native American is spotted. His presence in these deathly quiet lands frightens the band. He is captured by Meek and Solomon Tetherow (Will Patton). Some argue that he will lead them to more Indians, so should be killed; but Solomon reasons that he can be used to lead them to water and their destination. The band continues their voyage, taking 'The Indian' with them. Still nothing happens. Gradually, an ominous sense creeps in, made palpable by Jeff Grace's eerie score and Chris Blauvelt's atmospheric cinematography. (Both men have played second fiddle on big films, but show their competence as lead fiddlers here.) Suddenly the possibilities abound. Is that a smile 'The Indian' affects when one of the wagons is demolished? Does he plan to ambush them? Will the band ever reach the valley? Apart from film students and die-hard Western fans, I can't tell who to recommend this critically acclaimed film to. I found the vistas beautiful to behold and I appreciated the tranquility. There's a faintly mystical quality. But I found it plodding and I can't forgive the ending, which I thought was criminally abrupt. www.scottishreview.net

Reviewed by Nikolai1968 9 / 10 / 10

Beautiful non-narrative film

It is interesting reading all of these angry people here, who seem to appreciate having seen an amazing film but don't understand why it does not have a 'three act structure' or Hero's journey. If you are a fan of early Michael Haneke or even Tarkovsky (to a lesser extent), then you will like this film. It is a very gentle observational piece which takes its time to even let you hear human voices. It wants you to feel the wind on the scrub desert or to hear the bubbling of the river. To make a film like that, especially in America where the audience is weened on cleanly prepared stories that have beginnings, middles and ends, is brave, stubborn and amazingly lucky that Kelly Reichardt was able to raise the money to make it. Fantastic. Unique, Beautiful. But just do not expect to be 'told' what happens next, because nothing massively important actually does. Just like life really.

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