Had me transfixed from the moment it began; a precisely-crafted gritty goulash of familiar western tropes & 70s low-buck crime drama with well-defined three-dimensional characters (of both the two & four-legged variety).
I’m sure I’m supposed to extract some deep meaning from this, but my only takeaway was the direction “slower & with no emotion” must’ve been uttered every time there was a take 2 (which, judging by the final product, was not often).
Criticizing this movie would be like mocking a deaf child for not being able to hear, which is almost as cruel as having to endure the pain of watching it (although I’m sure working on it was even more painful...).
Chicken-fried thriller serves up a Cracker Barrel-like buffet of some of the worst characters & upsetting situations I’ve ever seen in a movie; though completely abhorrent, like a grisly car crash, I found it difficult to look away.
Disturbing character study disguised as a comic book origin story holds its audience captive by grounding Joaquin Phoenix’s mesmerizing performance in an authentically gritty world; could serve as a great first act in a larger narrative.