Flash Movie Review: Out of the Furnace

In our everyday life things we don’t know do not necessarily cause us stress or anxiety. In a math class, there may be an unknown variable in an equation you must figure out. Maybe you have an appointment in a part of the city that is not familiar to you or you were invited to a party where you do not know what type of gift to buy for the host. As I said before, these scenarios should not be too stressful for you. Now if the unknown is the whereabouts of a loved one that would be a different story. I have been fortunate not to have experienced such an awful thing. When newscasts report on a missing child or relative, they usually show family members in distress. Days or weeks can go by without any news and the relatives just want to know what happened to their loved ones. This type of scenario was the premise for this dramatic crime thriller. Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone, Gerry) played Iraqi war veteran Rodney Baze Jr. Experiencing a hard adjustment to life back home, in the small steel mill town, Rodney could not find employment except for some clandestine fighting matches. When he did not return from one of his matches his older brother Russell, played by Christian Bale (American Psycho, The Prestige), could not wait for the local police to find him. He took matters into his own hands. From the start, this intense film created heaviness within me. It felt as if each scene was created to convey a sense of resigned depression. The cinematography which was beautiful further helped convey those feelings. As for the acting it was subtly superb by Christian and Casey. Then there was Woody Harrelson (Rampart, No Country for Old Men) playing Harlan DeGroat. He was as wickedly sinister as he has every been. I also thought Willem Dafoe (The Hunter, The English Patient) was perfect for his role as John Petty. The disappointment in this film festival winner came from the script. I found it weak as it lost steam by the end. If the actors’ incredible acting had a stronger screenplay, this movie would have been close to a 4 stars rating. Instead I left the theater knowing I had seen a great cast, but not knowing what the writers were thinking when they wrote the screenplay. There were scenes that had violence and blood in them.


2 3/4 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on December 9, 2013, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. The still from the trailer pulled me in (to your review), the cast is frickin awesome!… at the least, I’m thinking ‘excellent B-grade movie’, like No Country For Old Men. Seeing the trailer, got a feel for the grim, ugly white-trash-hillbilly feel of it. I can see how it would all be grim and depressing… can’t help wanting to see it, though, just for Woody and Christian being good old products of the American Corporate Military Empire.

  2. Interesting, I’ve heard good and bad about this. I still look forward to it though because of the cast.

  3. I’ve been wanting to see this one, as I am a fan of several of the actors in the cast.

  4. Theatre of Pain

    I just watched this movie after Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg. I want to point out that I am not a fan of Christian Bale finding him to be one of the most overrated actors in Hollywood for the most part but he did well in this role. Overall, I enjoyed the movie but it did seem lacking in areas such as the passage of time and the ending was like listening to an enjoyable song that just kind of fades out. Without spoiling anything, I would have left Woody’s final scene the same but offered more detail and better closer on the aftermath, specifically the interaction between Bale and Whitaker and the series of events that led to the film’s ending. As it stands, we as viewers are left guessing how things came to be and to me that is as unsatisfying as watching a movie about a serial killer with no explanation for his motives.

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