“Wind River” may be one of the best movies I’ve seen all year.
It’s also one of the most emotional and thought-provoking that I have seen in quite some time.
The story focuses on Wyoming Fish and Wildlife officer Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) and the events that follow his finding of a young Native American woman’s body in the wilderness on the Wind River Indian Reservation. After FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is called in due to evidence of rape, she asks Lambert to assist her in tracking down the killers and traverse the untamed terrain while battling against unforgiving blizzards.
Writer and director Taylor Sheridan really brings a tense, well-thought-out murder mystery to the screen that shows that there is a place for gritty, realistic crime dramas.
The movie is much more than that as it explores the emotional toll traumatic events such as murders can take on families and communities.
The 107-minute runtime goes by at a brisk pace with every conversation easily holding the viewer’s attention.
While the movie is enjoyable, it’s not the type that you are going to want to watch for leisurely Sunday afternoon viewings.
The subject material is heavy and dark.
Nonetheless, this is a beautiful movie with some breathtaking shots of the scenery.
The action scenes are also well-done and riveting. There are only two, but they are so unique and well-executed that you can’t help but get sucked in when you see things started to go sideways for the main characters.
From a performance stand-point, Renner and Olsen both do a fantastic job playing focused characters, whose upmost concern is seeing justice served.
Sheridan has really made some waves with his first three films as a writer. His so-called “American Frontier” trilogy, which in addition to “Wind River” includes “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water,” have been very well-received (and deservedly so). It’s going to be exciting to see what the one-time “Sons of Anarchy” actor has in store for us next.
“Wind River” is rated R for strong violence, a rape, disturbing images and language.
It is currently playing at the Elite Cinema III inside the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex at times of 12:15, 2:30, 4:45, 7:15 and 9:25 p.m.