Star Trek Into Darkness
James E. Laczkowski
It's more middle of the road than transcendent, but Promised Land offers a quietly engaging and even-handed look at a controversial issue.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
The film never makes a convincing argument against fracking, probably because it's too busy being cloying.
| Original Score: C
Gus Van Sant's Promised Land is an engaging performance-driven drama that works more often than not.
| Original Score: 3/5
... Van Sant's eye and sense of poetry no doubt elevate what's essentially an updated Frank Capra story ...
| Original Score: 87/100
'You can't make natural gas from shale without fracking' doesn't quite have the same ring to it as 'You can't start a fire without a spark'.
The pro-environment message here is more effective because of the film's subtlety, a casting twist featuring the likeable Matt Damon, and a script that doesn't insult its audience.
| Original Score: B-
There are some good scenes early on, and the conflict at the centre is real. But it's sentimental, Capraesque fare ...
underwhelming at best
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Thee film-makers' sincerity so indisputable, that Promised Land never entirely spins off the rails. It's hard to swallow, but easy to digest.
Hydraulic fracturing might not be the most compelling subject for a movie, but it provides a topical backdrop for this engaging drama about ethics.
| Original Score: 4/5
A gentle rather than dramatic film that, once the central argument is laid out, lacks real flair.
A flawed but watchable eco-drama - heavily indebted to a wittier anti-corporate movie, Local Hero, made 30 years ago.
Van Sant is no Frank Capra, so why is he trying so hard to be?
| Original Score: 1/5
Not confident or bolshy enough about the subject, too aware of eco versus economic pros and cons ...
| Original Score: 2/5
The latest film from Gus Van Sant is a thought-provoking and emotionally engaging smalltown drama with a strong script and a terrific central performance from co-writer Matt Damon.
A compelling glimpse into a world of corporate chicanery where unscrupulous business giants casually toss decent chaps like Butler into the fray to take the, er, frack.
The film means well, it just doesn't stir the soul.
| Original Score: 5.5/10
Northern Exposure with Jason Bourne. Which is a backhanded way of saying this is far from the challenging movie it promised to be.
Feels more Hollywoodland than 'Promised Land'.
Quietly powerful, this has a fine cast and yet it's very much Damon's movie, as he delivers his finest, most subtly nuanced performance yet and, remarkably, actually allows himself to look, ahem, older.