UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands
Thriller, Western, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Martin Koolhoven
Guy Pearce as The Reverend
Jack Hollington as Matthew
Carla Juri as Elizabeth Brundy
Ivy George as Sam
Emilia Jones as Joanna
Naomi Battrick as Narrator
Dorian Lough as Street Preacher
Kit Harington as Samuel
Paul Anderson as Frank
Vera Vitali as Sally
Adrian Sparks as Eli's Father
Storyline: A triumphant epic of survival and a tale of powerful womanhood and resistance against the unforgiving cruelty of a hell on earth. Our heroine is Liz (Dakota Fanning), carved from the beautiful wilderness, full of heart and grit, hunted by a vengeful Preacher (Guy Pearce) - a diabolical zealot and her twisted nemesis. But Liz is a genuine survivor; she's no victim - a woman of fearsome strength who responds with astonishing bravery to claim the better life she and her daughter deserve. Fear not. Retribution is coming.
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Stellar Film, But Be Warned. A very Dark Tale
Yet again I find myself questioning the right of the feeble minded to give a 1/10. The story alone warrants a higher score. The acting was amazing, yet the monkeys with guns vote 1/10.......Rant over and so to the film....... Told in 4 chapters it is an extremely dark, yet compelling tale of what appears a mystery cum horror but as the tale pans out it is actually a supremely told tale of an abusive husband/father. A sick example of how aligning oneself with religious beliefs gives the abuser carte blanche to carry out heinous acts upon others, especially those closest. Inconceivable? Just think of the catholic priests abusing children. I cannot stress enough that you need a strong constitution to watch some of the abuses carried out. Guy Pearce in his best role since Momentum is compelling in a role that you cannot turn away from, in fact like a car crash, you cannot avert your eyes to his evil deeds and Dakota Fanning clearly demonstrates her ability to transform from a child actor to female lead in her own right. I gave The Revenant 10/10 and genuinely I enjoyed this more so a 10/10 is a given. Even the child actors showed maturity beyond their years to make this a faultless, absorbing story. The ending, which I have no issue with, is a little Hollywood, with an effort to try and tie up loose ends. I pray for the day when Hollywood realises that not all films have to have a happy ending or a solution. Minor gripe, stellar film and acting.
Within the first few minutes of watching the artistic, way too long, camera shots - with a high dependency on drones, I realised that this was most likely a written and directed by the same person movie. Arrrrgh!

When will they learn that they need someone else's artistic direction to tell them that they are making a mistake!

When our heroine was standing hidden in the corridor, and the priest was sitting in the lounge room, I knew that if he suddenly, unexpectedly knew she was there, my worst fears had been confirmed. He then said, "I know you are there" (paraphrasing). How? Did he have esp? Our writer/director never explains. He/she (as in the director) knows, and we are just expected to accept it.

The bad guy certainly seems to always be in the right place at the right time.

This film is obviously the directors pet project, and he/she has decided to cut nothing. It is way too long.

It is way over the top as well. Why, when the lady falls overboard, in chains, and starts sinking, would anyone shoot at her? Why waste the bullets?

Like wise, don't waste your time, and watch something a lot more interesting, like the grass growing outside your house or apartment.
Excellent acting, pacing and scenery
I am willing to give this film great reviews, but there is something underneath the plot that left a bad taste in my mouth. It seems that when it comes to victimized female fighting the heavy hand of male authority, the story manages to appear like something you'd get from a weekend workshop for feminists fighting the patriarchy.

In other words, this plot structure is tiring, false and deceptive. Too many movies taking the easy route of evil white patriarch.

Apart from that, excellent acting all around and a movie that almost reached excellence, apart from the Political Correctness.
Calvinist torture movie disguised as feminist western
I read somewhere that it was a feminist western. I also read it had a strong (anti) religious message. These two things had me mildly interested, but – boy – was I in for a different ride...

The movie is chronologically messed up and I understand why (more on that later). It starts with a mute midwife in a Dutch community, Liz, helping a woman in labor, while a mysterious reverend (Guy Pierce) comes to town. My first thoughts were that this reverend is going to make her life miserable because she is not letting God decide what happens with the women and their children and the rest of the movie will show the struggle between religious conservatism and science based progress…

No. That's not what happened. Instead we switch back and forth in time to show that the reverend is actually Liz's father that lusts after her, that she escaped his evil clutches only to be sold into prostitution in a mining colony and that she cut out her own tongue to imitate her dead friend.

The film basically is a shower of dread pouring over poor Liz. After 2 hours you are completely numbed by all the dreadful things that happen to her or people she cares about. It's about as "feminist" as the original I Spit On Your Grave was, except that it doesn't grant Liz any revenge at all. In other words: the "feminist" label is deeply deceiving. In fact, if you hate women and like to see them suffer, then this is an class A movie. The only thing that is feminist about it, is that Liz remains a resilient woman in spite of what happened to her… yet not resilient enough to escape prostitution.

So, after 2 and a half hours of misfortune, torture and pain you hope that the woman finally gets a chance to take revenge, but instead we get one of the most anti-climatic villain death scenes in cinema history.

Then, in the epilogue her daughter expresses what a strong woman she was, as her mother is taken to be hanged. At that point you wonder if the secret message of the movie is how pointless being resilient and rebellious is, which is exactly (!) what orthodox Dutch Calvinism says.
Not as advertised
Is it possible to "un-see" a movie? I wish I could erase the last couple of hours from my memory. Have you sat through the first fifty minutes and are hoping it's going to get better? It's not. You're at 1 hour 20 and still hoping? Give up. This is not Tarantino. It's not building up to something monumental. It's just awful, soulless. Bleuh.
How to put it in words? I haven't been left so overwhelmed by a movie since the 2006' illusionist. This is a Masterpiece. This is Cinema. Everything in this movie is perfect: the script is amazing; the filming and editing are beyond words; the acting is perfect. Obviously as as been written, the movie is violent but i would't say that it is not easy to watch: the violence is just there, as a part of the world and its protagonists and no concessions are made in showing it. For me, probably one of the very best movies I ever saw; along with 1986' 8 million ways to die and the 2006' the illusionist. Simply amazing.
Wow... Ridiculous
I really don't write many reviews but, having just watched Brimstone, I couldn't help it... Let me just say that I'm a big horror fan and have absolutely no problem with violence or gore in movies, even if used only for shock value, IF it's done right. This of course is not a horror film by any means. It's a wannabe thriller with no point, no message and, worst of all, the director is trying to make you believe it has the depth of a Tarkovsky film. It makes no sense in terms of character development - the main female character, who has witnessed and also committed horrible acts of violence, who has been tortured by her deranged perverted father, who had the guts to cut her own tongue out at one point just to be able to fake her identity, suddenly becomes a scared little bunny when the main villain who had destroyed her life finds her again and wants to keep tormenting her... She takes no action whatsoever which, by this point in her story would be highly unlikely... She doesn't even warn her family that the new reverand is basically the boogie man. I mean, the guy survived getting his throat slit wide open, entered the house somehow (while the female protagonist was guarding the only door) and murdered her father in law in complete silence, than magically appeared in front of her, then kept it cool and motionless and even remained talkative while being lit on fire... If this was supposed to be a supernatural thriller, it certainly wasn't convincing, since this super villain died way too quickly in the end. All of the violence is mostly against women, and the end didn't feel redeeming at all - hardly any retribution really... So many bs religious references, attempts at survival genre, elements of horror, thriller, western, drama, €12,000,000 budget - all for nothing. If some violent movies such as Hostel or The Human Centipede at least offer shallow entertainment due to the dark humor, this movie takes itself so seriously that even the supposedly "shocking" violence leaves no impression. I'm not even going to get into script flaws (for example how the reverand decides to rent the whole bordello for some reason so that nobody catches him doing it (also in another town) then just happens to instead stumble upon his daughter that just happens to now work in that particular town at that bordello, and it all happens precisely on the very last day before she is supposed to run away... I mean, my god... etc......) Don't watch this film - not because it's violent, iconoclastic or upsetting (they just want you to find it controversial, it's really none of these things). It's just a boring, predictable, pretentious film that has no point and is absolutely empty in every way.
Great but horrible
This movie was a good movie in my opinion. The story was well- constructed, the themes were relevant and compelling and the acting was extraordinary, especially the reverent and Dakota Fanning (saw her in American pastoral too the other day, she is a force to be reckoned with in the acting world). So yes, this is a good movie.

But would I recommend watching it to any of my friends or family? No, probably not, because although it was a good movie it made me feel horrible afterwards (as in crying in the bathroom horrible), and this is coming from someone who has seen her fair share of horrors and thrillers throughout the years. I don't know why, but there was something so incredibly heart-wrenching about this movie for me that i have barely slept last night. It was not because of the graphic violence per se, although it didn't help of course, but just because of the atmosphere created throughout the movie.

So if you are planning on watching keep in mind that it is not for the faint-hearted (I feel like Albus Dumbledore warning about the Triwizard tournament lol)
A Reflection Of The Industry's Accepted Abuse!
Spoiler Alert: Really?? What this movie proved to me is that this present society, within and outside the movie industry have not learned a single thing from our history or present day news. Why else would free women and civilized men praise a movie about a little girl and woman being sexually abused, beaten, and silenced. Why would anyone call this "Art"! The main character lives in fear and runs from her evil abuser. Yet, She never warns a single soul about who he is and what he is capable of doing, even to those she loves dearly. The viewer is tricked, played by the reversal of the order of events, not through flashbacks! But by the mixed-up chapters. The people in the church never ask a single question or even look shocked from the actions of the self proclaimed GOD/leader even when the evidence of his EVIL is right in front of them. Sound a little like the recent news? I sat through it hoping the protagonist would do something, anything unpredictable. Instead, I watched her continue on as the never ending victim for years on end. So at last I became a victim to a movie lacking any creativity, lesson, or beauty. I'm sure the perverted producers, directors, actors, politicians and masked men out there found it extremely appealing though, because it is so sickeningly brutal in it's perverted and violent detail. Child abuse and sexual harassment won't stop until we stop accepting and paying to watch their explicit child abuse in their movies!
Very solid, powerful movie
It s been years since i saw a movie this good. Yes it s violent, but has to be to make it believable. The movie keeps you in suspense the whole time. The acting was very solid. Dakota fanning does An excellent performance as a mute, and i get the creeps from guy Pierce 's "reverend"-caracter. The way the Bible is interpreted as it suits the reverend is very recognizable in today's world, as it was in the past . An absolute must-see! You won t be sorry
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