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(19) IMDb 6.6/10
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Matt Damon and Frances McDormand star in this ecological drama as two energy company representatives facing opposition from a rural community. Corporate hot-shot Steve Butler (Damon) and his colleague Sue Thomason (McDormand) arrive in the economically depressed Pennsylvanian farming town of McKinley to try and persuade local landowners to sell their mineral drilling rights to their employer, Global Crosspower Solutions. With a reputation for getting results at a relatively small cost, Steve is confident he'll soon have the locals signed up to a deal. But when local school science teacher Frank Yates (Hal Holbrook) raises concerns about the drilling process known as 'fracking', and environmental supporter Dustin Noble (John Krasinski) decides to start a grassroots campaign against Global, Steve suddenly realises that the goalposts have shifted.

Starring:
Hal Holbrook, Frances McDormand
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 0 minutes
Starring Hal Holbrook, Frances McDormand, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt, Matt Damon
Director Gus Van Sant
Genres Drama
Studio UNIVERSAL PICTURES UK VIDEO RENTAL
Rental release 12 February 2014
Main languages English
Dubbing German
Subtitles German
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 0 minutes
Starring Hal Holbrook, Frances McDormand, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt, Matt Damon
Director Gus Van Sant
Genres Drama
Studio UNIVERSAL PICTURES UK VIDEO RENTAL
Rental release 12 February 2014
Main languages English
Dubbing Portuguese, Spanish, German
Subtitles Portuguese, Spanish, German, Chinese
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 May 2013
Format: DVD
This is a soft hitting environmental film. Steve Butler (Matt Damon) represents Global which wants to buy the gas drilling rights to a town. He is from a farming community, but can't drive a stick shift. He is also ill informed of the dangers of fracking. His partner is Sue (Frances McDormand) a working mom who tries to parent from Skype. In the town of Miller's Falls, they meet resistance from Frank (Hal Holbrook) the local science teacher and an environmental activist (John Krasinski).

Rob (Titus Welliver) who owns Rob's Guns and Groceries is sweet on Sue while flirty school teacher Alice (Rosemarie DeWitt) sparks Matt's love interest. The film uses stock cardboard characters to create a nice feel good tale. There is a twist at the end that wasn't too much of a shock. The farmer's have to decide if they want to sell the rights and risk losing their land to environmental poisoning, or wait and lose the land due to poverty as government subsidies dwindle and market prices fall. It is a gamble either way.

The film is not a documentary. It does inform the viewer what fracking is and why it poses danger, but doesn't drive it home to the point of turn off.

Parental Guide: f-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 April 2013
Format: DVD
Reminiscent of Erin Brockovich but not nearly as effective, this is one of those dramas on a topical environmental theme. Matt Damon plays Steve Butler, a salesman whose success in persuading hard-up American farmers to sign contracts with a major fracking company is based on personal experience. When the closure of a caterpillar assembly plant brought depression to his own home town, it was the cheques from a fracking firm's gas extraction that gave the local farmers the opportunity to buy their kids a decent education and escape to a better life.

Inevitably, the time comes when Steve encounters major local opposition. Although it is surprising that he and his pragmatic female colleague Sue Thomason seem so ill-prepared for this, the drama develops quite well, managing to portray the pair as both sympathetic and morally compromised. Despite other reviewers' criticisms of the ending, I found it contained a neat twist which prevented the film from ending up too corny or predictable.

There are entertaining scenes and wry touches but, perhaps because fracking is a dry subject, some incidents seemed pointless padding intended to "lighten things up" yet missing the mark. The direction struck me as wooden at times, and I often felt unengaged, although interested in the issue.

A sense of rural America comes across strongly. I particularly liked the homemade shop sign proclaiming, "Guns, Groceries, Guitars and Gas". The use of folky-sounding music in the background which proved to be Milk Carton Kids' tracks like "Snake Eyes" proved a welcome discovery.

I was left feeling this was a missed opportunity to create what could have been a gripping film, with the relationships between the main characters and the arguments on both sides more strongly developed. It was as if the director was scared of boring the audience and, lacking the courage of his convictions, undestimated them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amberley Kent on 11 May 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Nicely paced storyline with a neat twist towards the end.

The main theme of the film revolves around Damon's character increasingly struggling to reconcile his actions as an employee of a large US corporation with his experience of growing up in a small farming town. His innate understanding of the consequences of his - and the corporation's - actions, on people that he can so readily relate to, increasingly trouble his conscience.

The portrayal of the Environmental Campaigner by John Krasinski (who co-wrote the script with Damon) was unsubtle at times, with many of his scenes clearly building towards an obvious 'too good to be true' conclusion. however, this was redeemed by a nice twist in the conclusion of the film.

The film will no doubt be too slow for many, as it doesn't contain an action scene every 10 mins, but it was a rewarding foray into a tricky and very topical subject.
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Format: DVD
Thoughtful , well acted and beautifully filmed with a neat twist
This film comes at both angles to an enviromental conundrum but never rams either view down your throat.
I know some people saw the twist coming but we didn't and the film was the better for it
Love Matt Damon anyway but he was really understated in this which made you really feel for his caracter
Give it a try if you are not sure....i don't think you will be disappointed
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Format: Blu-ray
Throughly enjoyable with a twist I never saw coming 3 terrific performance from the A listers.....
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By john marr on 7 July 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this film has to be the best film we have watched in avery long time the whole cast great
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Format: DVD
With all the talk recently about fracking and the possibility of gold under the green fields of England there are a few prospectors already in Westminster only to anxious to start boring !
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Format: Blu-ray
Matt Damon does a good job as usual, but he can't save what ultimately is a weak plot. A true story should sit at the heart of this tale. But there's not. Instead, the director throws some weak science at us and the cliche of the evil corporation (with a twist, of course). It's not a bad film, but it doesn't stand up as a memorable story.
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