Promised Land - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Promised Land Reviews

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½ January 19, 2016
You can't lose a game that's still being played.

A salesman and his female colleague head into a small farming community to try and convince them to vote for a natural gas power plant to be built. There are some that are very against the movement, but the town really needs the money. A group arrives to thwart the salesman and convince the town to vote against the power company. Things become intense as the vote night approaches.

"It's just a job."

Gus Van Sant, director of Good Will Hunting, Milk, Finding Forrester, Elephant, Paranoid Park, Restless, The Sea of Trees, My Own Private Idaho, and To Die For, delivers Promised Land. The storyline for this picture is fantastic with wonderfully written and delivered characters. This has a Fargo feel to it in some ways. The cast delivers awesome performances and include Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, Hal Holbrook, Joe Coyle, and Benjamin Sheeler.

"I'm going to let you figure out how stupid that sounded."

I recently came across this on HBOGO and had been meaning to see it for some time. This was way better than I anticipated. The characters are intense and well written and the stories and subplots are very well delivered. I really recommend seeing this.

"I'm not a bad guy."

Grade: A-
Super Reviewer
½ January 6, 2016
For the most part, this is an engaging and thought-provoking drama with excellent dialogue and complex characters facing complex ethical issues, but it is terribly frustrating to see it all reach an unjustifiable revelation and an unconvincing - yet thematically consistent - conclusion.
October 12, 2015
Simple movie, some really noteworthy moments, but overall just a pretty good film nothing to write home about.
October 9, 2015
This is an earnest and pleasant enough movie from Gus Van Sant. In Promised Land, Matt Damon and Frances McDormond play representatives of a fracking company, sent to a small town in the American mid-west in order to persuade the locals to sell them their farms in order that they can be developed. They have no trouble putting their case forward to the poor, rural com until a local science teacher raises objections and it is decided that the town will hold a vote to determine the fate of the town. The two executives face further problems when an environmental campaigner shows up hoping to paint the frackers as the bad guys. It is a fairly simple tale with uncomplicated characters. Damon's character believes in what he's doing in order to bring economic prosperity to the community while the locals opposed to him are doing so in order to preserve a landscape, heritage and way of life. There are some attempts to add depth to the plot by making a bit of a twist part way through, though, to be honest, it isn't that much of a surprise. It's always a joy to watch Matt Damon and I particularly like Frances McDormond as an actress but neither of them are particularly stretched by this movie which plays in a very predictable and linear manner. A shame as I think there's an important story to be told by this modern situation and I think it could have been handled with more care which could have brought us a really thought-provoking movie.
½ October 5, 2015
It was a little slow but interesting for most of the movie. However, the ending was stupid. Matt Damon's character suddenly realized the company he worked for was evil? I was cheering for the company for being so clever but then he was uncharacteristically sensitive. The final scene with his love interest didn't feel developed enough. The whole movie just felt like anti-fracking propaganda.
September 24, 2015
Although well-intentioned, I don't think this movie came out as well as conceived. Great cast though. Classic man vs. corporations story, just not very interesting to watch.
½ July 17, 2015
Good acting, good directing, good story. So I can't quite understand why it was just a little bit boring.
½ July 1, 2015
Nice enough, but a little to neat and tidy in what could have been a genuine reflection of current environmental issues instead of simply a sentimental piece of fluff.
June 22, 2015
This film had such promise. But, too many flaws couldn't be overlooked. 1) We were a step ahead of the twist 2) Damon's character had a farming background so he should've been more curious/concerned about the farms that his company were going to drill on. Either he should've done some research on his own company, or show us why he couldn't research for himself. Ultimately, we felt unfulfilled at the end.
June 7, 2015
I Like Matt Damon, One Matt Damon Film, 1998's Saving Private Ryan Is One Of My Favorite Films.
April 20, 2015
The film takes a current complex issue and turns it into a fluff piece. The ending is absolutely infuriating and not a bit earned.
½ April 14, 2015
Enjoyable to watch with excellent acting and ... well, it has a story. We're prepared to get angry or manipulated or relate to Matt's moral dilemma, but it just doesn't take us there, because that's the easy thing for the writers to try and easy doesn't cut it.
April 12, 2015
Not bad.
But really a movie that tries everything and then, all over sudden, going back to square one, accomplishes nothing. Maybe never intended to. Looking at the subject matter that is quite ignorant.
Thats why I gave the one star.

Francis McDormand is, as always, portraying herself in all the varying degrees of personality she always seems to portrait.

Matt Damon is awesome.
He rules!
But I wish he would grow up a little more.
Always so conjested, conflicted.
Again and again and again.
Always the soon-to-be-a-father kind of guy.
½ April 9, 2015
Interesting story and good acting
February 19, 2015
Okay Gus Van Zant film. It was a little on the disappointing side given the fact that it's a "Good Will Hunting" reunion between Gus Van Zant and Matt Damon, but all the elements don't really add up and I would of liked to have seen them team up again on another project besides this
February 19, 2015
Okay Gus Van Zant film. It was a little on the disappointing side given the fact that it's a "Good Will Hunting" reunion between Gus Van Zant and Matt Damon, but all the elements don't really add up and I would of liked to have seen them team up again on another project besides this
½ January 15, 2015
Upset my girlfriend when I figured out the twist right away, after that all I could do was think about ways I could have improved it and made the ending hit a bit more. The build up to the "confrontation" between damon and krazinski was hit or miss, too much time was spent on a love interest instead of the competition between their ideals. Which would have been great if not for the twist...
½ January 4, 2015
I'm not sure how this movie hasn't received more recognition. It caught me off guard. Great performances by all.
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