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Movie Reviews OUT OF THE FURNACE

OUT OF THE FURNACE

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Some serious Hollywood talent hung their shingles on this picture, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Ridley Scott who were two of the four producers for OUT OF THE FURNACE (2013) starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, and Zoe Saldana. With an additional supporting cast of Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and Sam Shepard, the cards were definitely stacked in its favor. So touting that recognizable a list, audiences tend to stroll into a theatre expecting a big return on their entertainment buck. OUT OF THE FURNACE never seems to deliver, making me wonder if too many cooks have somehow managed to spoil the soup.

Born and raised in the Rust Belt, an impoverished area of the Northeastern U.S. suffering from widespread industrial shutdowns, Rodney and Russell Baze have always had each other’s backs. When younger brother Rodney manages to return to Braddock after a tour in Iraq, but then suddenly up and disappears, Russell singlehandedly takes up the search. Vowing to devote everything he has, including his own safety, Russell begins chasing down a lead suggesting that his brother was lured into one of the most coldblooded crime rings in the Northeast.

Ramapough Lenape Nation of Mahwah, N.J. filed suit and urged audiences to boycott OUT OF THE FURNACE, claiming the people living in the Ramapo Mountains were portrayed as a gang of lawless, drug-addicted, impoverished, and violent inbreds. Relativity Media responded that the film is entirely fictional and not based on any one person or group, once again proving that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

I really thought I’d love this movie, but couldn’t find myself making a solid connection to a single one of the characters. Directed by Scott Cooper, Rated-R, 116 Mins, Crime, Drama, Thriller. *** 3 stars out of 5.

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3.0
Reviewed by Lynne Martin January 16, 2014
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