Meek's Cutoff 2010

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(45) 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

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER 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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47 of 56 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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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Darth Maciek TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Mar 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am now in the second half of my life and I spend a large part of my existence watching movies. That one is amongst the absolutely WORST things I ever saw! Below, the description of the whole film, revealing EVERYTHING that happens.

- Minutes 1 to 5: Opening credits. Three wagons and a couple of riders advance through a flat plain. Nothing else happens.

- Minutes 6 to 10. Nothing happens.

- Minute 11. Michelle Williams almost says something.

- Minutes 12 to 14. Nothing happens.

- Minute 15. Bruce Greenwood almost sneezes.

- Minutes 16 to 17. Some people almost sleep.

- Minutes 18 to 19. Somebody is peeing in the darkness (or may be not...)

- Minutes 20 to 24. Nothing happens.

- Minute 25. An Indian almost appears.

- Minutes 26 to 30. Nothing happens.

- Minutes 31 to 35. Some people almost walk.

- Minutes 36 to 37. An Indian almost re-appears.

- Minute 38. One horse almost farts.

- Minute 39. Somebody almost asks a question. Then he thinks better of it and shuts up.

- Minutes 40 to 45. Nothing happens.

- Minutes 46 to 50. Nothing happens.

- Minute 51. Some people have a look at the scenario, just in case. Reassured, they carry on. Doing nothing.

- Minutes 52 to 60. Yes, you guessed right. Nothing happens.

- Minute 61. A bored to death vulture drops dead from the sky.

- Minutes 62 to 70. Nothing happens.

- Minutes 71 to 80. Some people start to wondering why nothing happens.

- Minute 81. The sun almost shines.

- Minutes 82 to 90. Nothing happens.

- Minute 91. Michelle Williams hears a suspicious sound.
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Format: DVD
This won't be what you expect but if you take on board the date of 1845, pre - Civil War and pre - gun slinger you get the idea. This is a bleak tale of dirt poor immigrants trecking across America to find somewhere to settle, putting their faith in misfit Bruce Greenwood and then in 'an Indian' to lead them to greener pastures. This has a documentary feel to it that may be offputting to some but stick with it. You won't be fully satisfied with the end result and I may have been a bit generous with the three star rating which I class as 'average' but a little wiser for having watched it. Adios.
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