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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed Watching this Film
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...
Published 2 months ago by Amberley Kent

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too refractory
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...
Published 15 months ago by Antenna


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed Watching this Film, 11 May 2014
This review is from: Promised Land (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTE MADNESS, 5 May 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Promised Land [DVD] [2012] (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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too refractory, 29 April 2013
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Promised Land [DVD] [2012] (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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3.0 out of 5 stars ... enjoyable with a twist I never saw coming 3 terrific performance from the A listers, 11 July 2014
This review is from: Promised Land (Blu-ray)
Throughly enjoyable with a twist I never saw coming 3 terrific performance from the A listers.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 July 2014
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This review is from: Promised Land [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
this film has to be the best film we have watched in avery long time the whole cast great
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3.0 out of 5 stars COULD THIS OCCUR SOON IN THE UK ?, 5 Jun 2014
This review is from: Promised Land (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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3.0 out of 5 stars This is no Erin Brockovich, 6 May 2014
This review is from: Promised Land (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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3.0 out of 5 stars Unfulfilled promise, 27 April 2014
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Promised Land [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
The title tells us the film is taking on one of the present day’s big subjects,fracking,but it has undertones of biblical proportions,with a big director(Van Sant) and big stars,Damon,who co-wrote the story by Eggers,and the dependable McDormand. Steve(Damon) is committed to his job of persuading small town people, small farmers,to sell the rights of their land for the drilling for natural gas, only because he came from a small town which died when the industry left.Steve thinks he’s there to bring benefits to the small farmers,who are living through hard times.They want to get their kids through college and this is the way.He is convinced that rural life cannot be sustained by agriculture alone.Steve has been picked by Global Crosspower Solutions to promote big business, smooth anxieties,tap into the yokel mindset,with evangelism.

Steve is up against a local science teacher Frank Yates(Hal Holbrook),who has researched the topic,and knows they only go to the poor areas to exploit the deposits,and is sceptical about the effects of the fracking process.Steve also has environmental activist Dustin Noble(Krasinski),who has turned up with an axe to grind against Global,telling people fracking in his hometown led to the poisoning of farm animals and the destruction of the local economy.He’s seen improbably whipping up the folk in a bar with a rendering of Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’.He also makes a beeline(and the moral highground) for local teacher Alice,whom Steve fancied.This is not a debate about fracking,but fracking is the Maguffin of the movie.Steve is essentially a decent guy(“I’m not a bad guy”),but he knows he’s sold himself to the corporation,and some locals in a bar attack his complacency,punching him.

There is a Capraesque Local Hero aspect to this film,about a man trying to get into contact with his conscience,with perceived qualities of character.There’s a girl,Alice,who acts as a weathervane of affection between the two male adversaries.The nice-guy geniality shows fissures,as Noble gets under Steve’s skin more as he takes the bribe,only to deny it and send out flyers and signs to people’s properties and woos Alice.Damon and McDormand are wonderful in their roles as is Dewitt as Alice.The location cinematography in Pennsylvania is good and the gentle musical score is effective.But there are some strange plot twists and speeches at the end,that the film feels conflicted between polemics and storytelling,slipping into Capra-corn preachiness and a soft centre.Chinatown this ain’t,as it runs out of gas.
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4.0 out of 5 stars From the writer and director of Good Will Hunting, 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: Promised Land (DVD)
Written by 2 of the 3 main leads - Matt Damon and John Krasinski - and directed by Gus Van Sant - who worked with Damon on Good Will Hunting, The Promised Land is, as you would expect, a tale of redemption but this time also tackles the pertinent subjects of Environmental damage and the cost to those who are exploited by big business.

However what actually makes the film fun to watch is the chemistry between Damon and the wonderful Frances MacDormond - all sarcasm, quipping and knowing humour.

Hal Halbrook adds class and John Krasinski the plot twist, all in all a great enjoyable and smart film

Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It' ok movie, 2 Mar 2014
This review is from: Promised Land (DVD)
It's quite a nice movie for Saturday night. It has got a good story but don't expect too much, it's ok
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Promised Land by Gus Van Sant
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