Reel Freak

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Reel Review – Out of the Furnace (2013)


With all of the big releases this Winter, it’s easy for a movie without a ton of promotion to go unnoticed.  But as one of those rare movies that is fueled by quality over quantity, Out of the Furnace turned out to be one of my favorite films of 2013.

Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) delivers a very heartfelt film that never strays from feeling realistic.  The story follows Russell Baze (Bale), a working-class citizen who can’t seem to catch a break.  After a mistake that lands him in prison, upon being released he finds that his younger brother Rodney (Affleck) has turned to illegal fighting to help pay off his debts.  Things go wrong and Rodney goes missing, and with the police not following through, Russell decides to take matters into his own hands and hunts down Harlan DeGroat (Harrelson), the criminal Rodney had gotten involved with.

The acting was very realistic.  There were certain times where you felt like you were watching two people having a conversation, especially during more emotional scenes.  The ensemble cast also included Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard, who were all equally fantastic.  With a run time of roughly two hours, this is a very slow-paced movie, but the substance more than makes up for it.

With awards season around the corner, it seems as though Out of the Furnace isn’t getting much recognition at all, though I think Bale should’ve received a nod for Best Actor, as well as Affleck for Best Supporting Actor.  But then again, some of the best movies don’t receive many awards.

Simply put, Out of the Furnace is the best movie few people are rushing out to see.

My Reel Rating: 7.5/10

Written by Josh Sazin on December 24th, 2013


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