Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review WIND RIVER, a new film directed and written by Taylor Sheridan (SICARIO, HELL OR HIGH WATER) starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.
Veteran tracker Cory Lambert (Renner) on the hunt for a trio of lions causing trouble in the Wind River reservation discovers the body of a Native American girl on the Wind River reservation. When the FBI sends in a green young agent, Jane Banner (Olsen) to investigate, the two team up to uncover the mystery.
Sheridan's brilliant writing shows in this realistically bleak and desolate picture of life on the reservation. The pacing is slow which only furthers the sense of despair. Renner and Olsen deliver equally adept performances aided by a supporting cast of familiar veteran Native American actors most recognizably Graham Green (DANCES WITH WOLVES) as tribal police chief Ben. It definitely feels like a film that's directed by a writer -- not that that's a bad thing. But the film could be tightened up a bit. That note aside, it's a powerful statement on Native American culture with a well crafted story that makes you care about the characters deeply long after you leave the theater. 8.5/10
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