Meek's Cutoff - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Meek's Cutoff Reviews

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April 2, 2017
I love Reichardt's direction in letting the atmosphere portray everything and staying out of the way of any forced character drama or plot. The film does wear it's welcome out I think and doesn't gain much interest as it progresses but is still a fascinating 70s throwback Western and exercise in minimalism which is rare in this genre.
March 30, 2017
Meek?s Cutoff is a simple film about a group of settlers crossing the US in the mid 1800s. It is a very quiet film that emphasizes atmosphere over action. The way they establish that atmosphere is extremely effective because I felt the heat, and the monotonous strain of crossing the desert. There isn?t a lot of dialogue in the film, but there are moments where voices get raised as they debate the choices they are making. The actors were all fine, although there weren?t many big acting moments. I cannot express enough how little happens in this movie. There are tons of scenes where they are literally just walking, and most of the conversations are framed in the same way about the same subjects. Now, like any road-trip movie, there are a few obstacles or distractions along the way. These are the moments where the tension is supposed to build, but most of it is almost down-played and not much comes of it. We never see a shining ray of joy or a truly tragic event, just small shifts in tone that are slightly more melancholy or slightly more hopeful. The ending was an interesting choice, and it did seem like the kind of thing that would make an audience talk extensively after leaving the theater, but it wasn?t enough to get me excited about what I had just watched. I still give Meek?s Cutoff credit because, for a movie that seemed to be almost entirely about setting a mood, it was spot on. I felt the struggle of these characters, even if I didn?t enjoy the journey all that much.
February 27, 2017
Awesomely but almost too moody. Performances are excellent. The realism is grand and hushed.
December 3, 2016
Contemplative tension is the most effective kind of tension.
½ November 26, 2016
161126: I liked this movie all the way through, and then it ended. At first I was confused, and a little disappointed. Then I did some research and thought about it some more. I now like this movie a lot but just can't give it a four...yet. It has no beginning and no end. It's not a modern blipvertz film so don't come in expecting that. The pace is slow but suspenseful. Obviously purposeful dialogue and sound, or the lack thereof, adds to the tension. It has almost no action but what an amazingly barren landscape, beautiful stage for this story. Great acting with characters you'll eventually find yourself siding with. Well, at least you'll find yourself siding with a position. I've read about the hardships the settlers encountered and this film brings it all to life. I loved when The Indian (Rod Rondeaux) first shows and Emily Tetherow (Michelle Williams) signals for help. The slow loading black powder firearms are a joy to behold. You'd definitely want to have more than one, an alternate weapon, or at least someone loading others while you shoot. Ouch. So, with all that, if you want a thought provoking slice of history go for it. Just don't expect to get your heart rate up. Blood pressure perhaps, but not heart rate.
½ November 14, 2016
"Meek's Cutoff" is visually-mesmerizing, but it moves as slowly as Meek's wagons and towards the same destination - nowhere.
October 27, 2016
Kelly Reichardt films are not for everyone and "Meek's Cutoff" is no exception. She makes films that unfold at the speed of life; she has a way of finding grace and intimacy in seemingly mundane moments, and that is a quality you don't see very often. I love its minimalistic style, I love the cinematography, and I really like the performances here, particularly Michelle Williams and Bruce Greenwood. At times it gets too slow and some scenes are shot with very little light that you can hardly see anything, but I totally get why she decided to film that way. This is a very interesting film and the kind of film that you never see anywhere.
June 19, 2016
I wish Netflix warned users about movies with ambiguous/open endings. After two hours of watching, the central question of this movie remained unresolved! Beautiful shots of the Oregon desert, though.
½ June 10, 2016
Despite the slow pacing, "Meek's Cutoff" is a rewarding survival story with a moral lesson about blindly following ignorant leaders.
May 30, 2016
Si usted es de los que acude a una sala de cine a ver películas que lo golpeen de manera rápida y furiosa con efectos especiales, chistes estúpidos y escenas de sexo, encontrará a "Meek's Cutoff", el western minimalista de Kelly Reichardt la peor película de su vida. Aquellos que disfrutamos de otros ritmos y de contemplar unas bellas imágenes en la pantalla, encontraremos a "Meek's Cutoff" como una extraña joya del cine norteamericano. La historia ubicada en 1845 acerca de 3 familias que son guiadas por Stephen Meek a una tierra promisoria, es tan solo un pretexto para mostrarnos un Lejano Oeste tanto salvaje como romántico, unos personajes de carne y hueso (interpretados por unos excelentes Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Will Patton y Shirley Henderson) y para envolvernos con misterios, interrogantes y preguntas que el público de los Multiplex no quiere (y tal vez no puede) soportar.
May 7, 2016
Kelly Reichardt's pseudo-western is methodical and carefully drawn, with some really great cinematography, and an effective atmosphere that's intense without being violent. It's not without its meanderings, but Meek's Cutoff is another quietly effective meditation from one of America's most unmistakable indie voices.
May 5, 2016
Long, boring movie with no resolution at the end!
April 3, 2016
#52FilmsByWomen no. 8 Meek's Cutoff (2011) dir. Kelly Reichardt. A small group of families on the Oregon Trail in 1845 must survive unknown threats in their search for water and the west. Slow and meditative, the tiny human figures standing out in sharp relief against the massive landscape, this beautiful film is shot in 4:3 ratio, not widescreen. This is a slow burn and has no real resolution. Don't expect three acts, pitched battles with 'Indians' or a hero's journey, but this is a powerful observational piece that tells an authentic story of the struggle to hold onto hope in a harsh and unforgiving country.
½ March 24, 2016
Respectably made, and beautifully shot, but overall, it's one of the slowest movies I've ever seen. I've seen many long films in my life, but this is just under an hour and a half, and yet it felt like three hours. Not really something I'm into, but I understand it's acclaim.
Super Reviewer
½ March 22, 2016
Not even for Zoe Kazan.
Wow, what a dull movie. I managed about 20 minutes before I'd had enough.
March 13, 2016
It's easy to say that nothing happens in a boring movie. However, in this movie I genuinely feel that nothing of any importance happens and it feels like it'll never end.
½ November 3, 2015
An existential journey to nowhere. Methodical in its pacing and meticulous in it's detailing, Meek's Cutoff is an exercise in the blending of image and sound. From the gathering of cool water from a stream to the creeky sounds of a slow moving wagon, Oregon trail life is carefully and quitely observed with precision and patience. The film's foreboding score, expansive scope and limited dialogue create an atmosphere of underlying dread. Never to be sure what's over the next mountain or plain, Meek's Cutoff is a mind fuck in expectation. When a mysterious Native American is captured by the roaming settlers, a very curious and subtle transition occurs. The mystery of the journey deepens, paranoia runs rampant and a strange presence is abruptly felt. Horrific in it's impact on the traveling settlers but all too familiar to the lonely native, the presence of something beyond the progress of human civilization takes over. Meek's Cutoff is a true testament to the bending of consciousness to the mysterious and spiritual force that is mother nature.
½ July 20, 2015
With these fine actors-especially Williams-Kazan and Dano, one would reasonably infer that the movie they all signed up for was going to be SPECIAL. Instead, what I viewed was a slow paced-NOTHING HAPPENS !- experience. How could this be? Who signs up for such a clunker? Surely not these bona fide compelling talented actors!
The dialog is so minimal-one would think that what is spoken would be profound. It's not-it's weak and uninteresting. The storyline is this- a fgew determined settlers are pushing westward to start new. enriched lifes. They get led astray in an effort by their hired guide and indian soldier, to hasteb their journey. Water is scarce and food likewise. They encounter a LONE indian, capture him, decide to trust him to lead them to life-saving water and thus continue onwards to their new , promising home. The only noteworthy, or slightly interesting scene is when Williams character asserts herself strongly-pointing rifle at the hired guide who wants to kill the Indian. Her befriending the indian is the climax[if there is a climax at all] in this amazingly boring, vapid story. What a waste of time and talent!! NOTHING happens in this movie !!
Robert Redford would be hard pressed to make this movie interesting and entertaining. But he would, and we would have a lot of interesting dialog. We would discover the very personal inner selves of all these travelers, There would be INTENSE interactions between the characters, inner struggles and outward actions we clearly seeand find compelling. We would be drawn into their quest west, we would be traveling right along with them..feeling their anguish, hopes, and joys. Sex-YES ! Intrigue-YES! Some meaningful
It seems that Meeks Cutoff would best serve as a prologue/pilot of what would then lead into all the needed intrigue/action/drama etc. The water is found by the Indian-but-soon afterwards a small group of savage indian warriors attack-the indian/guide fights to save Williams[he is MUCH better looking and very sexy]. The settlers go onto their destinations, while the Indian goes looking for Williams who was abducted by 2 of the surviving savages[who killed Williams husband]. NOW--we view each character in their new home-their new challenges and intrigue that develops, while we also view the Indians quest to rescue Williams. . NOW we have a storyline and NOW the fine actors can entertain us with their brilliant acting.
June 14, 2015
Meek's Cutoff is a western film without empty stereotypes and full of hard choices to survive in the hostile western United States.
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