Movie Review: The Weinstein Company's WIND RIVER

CAST: Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Gil Birmingham, Jon Bernthal, Julia Jones, Kelsey Asbille, and James Jordan
DIRECTED BY: Taylor Sheridan
WRITTEN BY: Taylor Sheridan
OPENING DATE: August 11, 2017 (Houston)
RUN TIME: 107 Minutes
WIND RIVER is a chilling thriller that follows a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) who teams up with a local game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past (Jeremy Renner) to investigate the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American Reservation in the hopes of solving her mysterious death. Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, WIND RIVER also stars Gil Birmingham, Jon Bernthal, Julia Jones, Kelsey Asbille, and James Jordan.

This week's Wind River is written by Taylor Sheridan, the same writer who penned Sicario and Hell or High Water, and that was enough to get me into the theater.  I had enjoyed both of Sheridan's prior scripts and I was equally impressed by his latest work. Wind River is a not to be missed, wonderfully written, revenge mystery.  

Set against a desolate and snow-covered Native American reservation, there is an immediate sense of intrigue and desperation. I was hooked from the first scene. The story continues the initial intrigue with superb development of the lead characters. Cory's (played by Jeremy Renner) back story is by far the best developed of the plot. I appreciated that every bit of his character's development answered a question about the plot, and, in turn, caused several more questions. Opposite Cory was Jane (played by Elizabeth Olsen), an FBI agent whose job it is to solve the mysteries. Because there are several mysteries to solve from the story, in addition to the big one central to the plot, but you won't read any spoilers here. 

Jeremy Renee carries Wind River wonderfully. I enjoyed his emotional range, without over dramatics. Elisabeth Olsen is great in this, too. Even though she is portrayed as a novice agent in the film, she shows a lot a maturity and capacity for dramatic roles.

The ensemble cast was enjoyable. Gil Birmingham (as Martin) and Graham Greene (as Ben) add to the diverse and authentic feel of the film.

My favorite in the ensemble is definitely the mountain. The mountain is too integral to the story to refer to it as the setting. Everything positive and negative in the story derive from the snow-covered mountain. The snow made it easy to find blood and foot prints, but not much else.  The mountain should get screen credit somewhere. 

All in all, Wind River is a great thriller. It's tense and excellently written. The film looked great on the big screen. You can see Wind River when it opens everywhere Friday. 

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