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Out of the Furnace (2013)



Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 178
Fresh: 94 | Rotten: 84

While it may not make the most of its incredible cast, Out of the Furnace is still so packed with talent that it's hard to turn away.


Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 19

While it may not make the most of its incredible cast, Out of the Furnace is still so packed with talent that it's hard to turn away.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 41,645

My Rating

Movie Info

From Scott Cooper, the critically-acclaimed writer and director of Crazy Heart, comes a gripping and gritty drama about family, fate, circumstance, and justice. Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has a rough life: he works a dead-end blue collar job at the local steel mill by day, and cares for his terminally ill father by night. When Russell's brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns home from serving time in Iraq, he gets lured into one of the most ruthless crime rings in the Northeast and



Scott Cooper, Brad Ingelsby

Mar 11, 2014


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Latest News on Out of the Furnace

July 15, 2014:
Now Streaming: Noah, Out of the Furnace, and More
This wee on streaming video, we've got the latest from Oscar-nominated director Darren Aronofsky, a...
December 5, 2013:
Video: Christian Bale's Movie Tattoo Has a Real-Life Inspiration
Out of the Furnace is not only about Braddock, Pennsylvania, but it was shot there too. Stars Casey...


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All Critics (178) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (94) | Rotten (84) | DVD (1)

Aims for Bruce Springsteen with its blue-collar big themes and stadium-rock emotion but ends up as a bandana-wearing cliché.

January 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a movie that might have been a great drama at four hours with a more ambitious script and a director with a vision or something to say.

December 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Grantland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie has an undeniable, dour force, but it's basically conventional macho filmmaking, and it's extremely violent.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Good actors really earn their pay when they have to negotiate bad scripts.

December 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A down-and-dirty revenge picture whose classy cast elevates it above its gritty, grimy trappings.

December 8, 2013 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the best movies I've seen this year.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Richard
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Set in a place where the American Dream has been dead for so long that no one even thinks to question its loss, the picture features terrific performances from its game cast.

August 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Forbes

Casey Affleck proves to be one of the most talented actors working today, bringing such raw rage to his broken soldier.

July 28, 2014 Full Review Source:

Almost as if attempting to recreate the setting of a Bruce Springsteen song ... it's wonderful to look at if not necessarily to watch.

June 30, 2014 Full Review Source: Quickflix

This tragic revenge drama about a pair of blue-collar brothers battered by fate in a dying rust-belt town is almost unrelentingly grim, but the cast's powerhouse performances keep you watching, as does the film's vividly atmospheric sense of place.

June 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

A working-class morality play that's unrelenting, bleak and full of indelible acting performances.

April 23, 2014 Full Review Source: Columbus Alive
Columbus Alive

Seems bound to the conventions of crime and revenge tales to the point where everything in it works toward those conventions without much regard to thematic cohesion.

April 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

Manly words spoken by manly men: that's one of the dry pleasures of the sturdy burnt-case male melodrama "Out of the Furnace."

April 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Newcity

Intense acting doesn't save Furnce from the fires

March 23, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

A pungent reek of testosterone stinks up this high-toned apologetic for vigilantism and revenge. Still: great performances!

March 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Solid, dark, tough-as-nails working-class drama about violence, desperation and Woody Harrelson's unparalleled ability to play an inbred hick.

March 9, 2014 Full Review Source: 3AW

This is tough, unrelenting and uncompromising stuff, conjuring a doomed atmosphere with honourable parallels to the 1978 classic The Deer Hunter.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

Out of the Furnace feels like America regressing into the wilds of the frontier.

March 2, 2014 Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show
2UE That Movie Show

Out Of The Furnace is an all too rarely seen type of film: a big-feeling drama that proves that ambition doesn't have to be solely connected to the size of a film's budget and the number of special effects shots that it has.

February 28, 2014 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

A great and bleak look at the often limited paths to redemption for individuals in the lower class...

February 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Christian Bale still makes this rather run-of-the-mill proposition appealing, regardless of how oddly unfashionable he may currently be.

February 23, 2014 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

The varied performances yield much kindling for warming the heart, especially the scenes between the two brothers.

February 14, 2014 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Out of the Furnace trundles along with no apparent purpose and at several key points makes no sense.

February 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Irish Independent
Irish Independent

An incursion of downplayed macho movie clichés.

February 4, 2014 Full Review Source: SF Weekly
SF Weekly

With little in the way of originality, and much that is mockably macho, Out of the Furnace requires a fair amount of heavy lifting from the cast to elevate it from well-worn mundanity.

February 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

See it for Bale ... who doesn't just play his part, he seems to live it.

January 31, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Audience Reviews for Out of the Furnace

Scott Cooper's Out of the Furnace relies a little too heavy on stereotypes and the odd cliche but the character driven performances make it a worthwhile watch. It would probably loose every game of poker it played but it more than makes up for this in mood and grittiness. It's everything you want from a ballsy American drama. It's an age old story, Hollywood was built on it, Out of the Furnace is the retelling of countless classic westerns, classic War films and Noir thrillers of the 1940's. Fate, circumstance, justice ...and the American way. You say predictable, I say American classic in a new suit.
July 22, 2014

Super Reviewer

After finally helping Jeff Bridges to a long overdue Oscar in "Crazy Heart", director Scott Cooper follows up that tale of a downward spiralling musician with another one of downward spiralling blue collar workers. Narratively, it's lacking a certain something but one thing's for sure with Cooper; he certainly knows how to bring out the best from his actors.

With a cruel twist of fate, Russell Baze (Christian Bale) lands himself in prison after a driving offence. While inside, his terminally ill father passes away and his younger, ex-soldier, brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) takes to bare-knuckle fighting to pay off debts. When Russell is released, he finds that Rodney is in over his head with a ruthless crime ring led by Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). When Rodney eventually disappears, Russell takes matters into his own hands.

If the town depicted in "Out Of The Furnace" feels familiar then that because it's likely reminding you of the same Pennsylvania steel-mill town that was the setting for Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter" in 1978. It would also seem that Scott Cooper is intent on regularly referencing Cimino's classic throughout this films duration; it channels a similar theme of a lack of opportunities for the characters and even though some serve their country in war (Iraq steps in for Vietnam this time) they are forgotten about when they return home. We also get to stare down the scope of a hunting rifle now and again, and there's even a scene where actual deer hunting takes place. And the point of it all, I hear you ask? Well, to be frank, I'm not particularly sure. Maybe Cooper is trying to tell us that so many years - and wars - down the line nothing has changed for these working class people. They're mere fodder and left to go back to their land of opportunity were opportunity doesn't really exist for them. This could be Cooper's intention or it could just be that I'm reading into his script a little too deeply when it's highly possible that there is no depth in the first place. Somewhere there's a commentary on the economic state of contemporary America but the message is muddled somewhat, as it veers into a generic backwoods crime thriller.

The film is a strangely frustrating experience whereby what you see in front of you is visually commanding but it's hard to connect to the character's and their plight. The weakness of the script is apparent and it's hard to grasp the film as anything more than a revenge flick that leaves a slightly nasty aftertaste. That being said, Cooper is certainly a director that has a good eye and feel for detail and he has a full command over his splendid ensemble. It's the solid performances that really make the film tick. Not that any further proof is required in terms of their acting abilities but a smoulderingly intense Affleck and a snarling, brutish Harrelson really excel and solid (all-be-it, underwritten) support is delivered from Whitaker and Dafoe. It's Bale who impresses most, though, in one of his most effective and understated roles. There's nothing heroic about him. He's simply a soulful man with a deep sense of family commitment and refuses to yield when anyone threatens that.

As much as I couldn't see what the point of the whole affair was, I still went along with it. It's deliberately paced and still manages to hold your attention. As a director, Cooper shows a lot of promise but he needs to tighten up on his writing duties. When that happens, I suspect we'll see a real improvement on this potentially solid filmmaker.

Mark Walker
May 23, 2014

Super Reviewer

No great cast could save this from becoming an excruciatingly dull and predictable experience - a pointless film with an uneven structure where the first act takes more than an hour just to shape its simple premise and whose development is nothing that we haven't seen before.
May 2, 2014

Super Reviewer

A bit too slow for me. Besides, the content isn't gripping either. Only the performances are appreciable.
April 15, 2014

Super Reviewer

    1. Russell Baze: We got a problem here?
    2. Harlan DeGroat: I've got a problem with everybody.
    – Submitted by Moe J (9 months ago)
    1. Russell Baze: My Brother was suppose to meet me here a half an hour ago.
    – Submitted by Tyler B (13 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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