Meek's Cutoff 2010

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(48) IMDb 6.5/10
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Settlers traveling through the Oregon desert in 1845 find themselves stranded in harsh conditions.

Starring:
Neal Huff, Zoe Kazan
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Meek's Cutoff

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Starring Neal Huff, Zoe Kazan, Tommy Nelson, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Michelle Williams, Rod Rondeaux, Shirley Henderson, Paul Dano
Director Kelly Reichardt
Genres Drama
Studio SODA PICTURES
Rental release 8 August 2011
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Starring Neal Huff, Zoe Kazan, Tommy Nelson, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Michelle Williams, Rod Rondeaux, Shirley Henderson, Paul Dano
Director Kelly Reichardt
Genres Drama
Studio ELEVATION SALES
Rental release 25 August 2014
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By THE MOVIE GUY on 30 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD
The movie starts out real slow. We watch the mundane tasks of the pioneers as they load water, wash dishes, grind meal...There is no introduction of characters. In fact they remain fairly plain. We hear and watch much of the important conversation from a distance catching bits and pieces. 3 devout families have hired Steven Meek, a slightly crusty man, to guide them to Oregon. He takes them into a high plains desert where they wander for weeks.

The men suspect Mr. Meek is deliberately attempting to get them lost as Oregon is an area in flux and may go to the English, depending on how many Americans settle there...or not. There is an Indian that pops up from time to time. Steven scares everyone with his Indian stories. Eventually they encounter the Indian and you think the story will pick up, but surprise! It doesn't.

The movie ends abruptly. From Meek's words, the film appears to be some sort of metaphor for life and fate as to what path to follow and who to trust, although for the life of me I can't really figure out what it is. The movie won all kinds of awards and I haven't figured that one out either. It was extremely boring. The dialouge was boring. The drama was boring. The people were boring. After a while, the scenery got boring. The squeak of the wagon wheel drove me crazy. Why anyone would waste their time watching this film is beyond me. It isn't accurate history. It is not art and it is not entertaining.
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50 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Lionface on 30 May 2011
Format: DVD
This won't be to everyone's taste. Slow burning and bleak but if you're willing to submit to it, very absorbing with a subtle power all of it's own.

No revenge type plot common to many westerns, this is a window on a moment in history and the people therein. The premise is simple enough ; a small wagon trail lost on the barren plains in an increasingly desperate search to find water.

Natural and realistic in it's tone, more like a social drama with a refreshing but substantial emphasis on the female point of view. There is also a delicate, almost eerie edge that builds gradually, spell-like, throughout the film. Ultra authentic with great attention to the details of wagon life. The actors were even forbidden from washing their clothes.

The direction is handled with great precision, but not obviously so. We are teased at times, eavesdropping on mumbled conversations during times of panic. We are made to feel helpless as their helplessness becomes apparent. Plenty of time and space are given for the characters and for the situation to develop. There is evidently a great respect for the subject.

Despite being set on the vast plains, there is a real sense of claustrophobia which creates emphasis on the characters and their predicament. The film therein resembles great intense single situation movies, such as Sidney Lumet's 'Twelve Angry Men', Polanski's 'Knife in the water' and certainly 'The Blair Witch Project'. At times it does feel more like a subtle, psychological horror film than a western, though the menace is entirely unseen. Unlike most westerns, it is shot in tv style 4:3 ratio as opposed to panoramic widescreen, thus emphasising characters and emotion with little relief from scenic splendour.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Nov. 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Give Kelly Reichardt (director) and Jonathan Raymond (writer) due credit. They may have created a failure in Meek's Cutoff, but it's a failure that is serious, thoughtful and encourages discussion.

In 1845 three couples hire a guide to lead them through what is supposed to be a shortcut through the Oregon high desert to good homesteading land. Before long, exhausted, dirty and running short of water, Soloman and Emily Tetherow (Will Patton, Michelle Williams), William and Glory White (Neal Huff, Shirley Henderson) and their young son, and Thomas and Millie Gately (Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan) realize their guide, Stephen Meek (Bruce Davidson) is just as lost as they are.

They push on because they have little alternative. They must cross rivers, struggle over sun-parched flatland, depend on what brush there is to feed the oxen that pull their three wagons, and listen to the blustery tales of Meek when they can finally settle for the night. The men discuss what to do while the women try to listen. The men capture a lone Indian (Rod Rondeaux) who might lead them to water or might kill them. The men debate killing the Indian then and there. Meek in particular is in favor of this. One of the women, Emily Tetherow, speaks up and insists that the possibly of water is more important than anything else.

Now we see a subtle change as the balance of authority moves toward the women, especially Emily. They face life and death options...do they continue, do they turn back; do they move north, or south or west, do they treat the Indian as a savage or as a possible savior. Meek's Cutoff ends as it began, with the settlers and Meek taking the only real option open to them...to just keep going.

The look of the movie is faded and dry. There is little dialogue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Rover on 15 Nov. 2014
Format: DVD
Worst film I've seen in a long time
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By gordon corbett on 16 Sept. 2014
Format: DVD
This is just so slow and uneventful there is absolutely nothing to justify its existence sheer unadulterated rubbish.
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