Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Cut Bank

Cut Bank
Liam Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer and Bruce Dern

Rated: R for violence and language.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date:  April 3, 2015 Released by: A24 Films

Matt Shakman's Cut Bank is a gradually involving, if flawed and familiar crime thriller starring Liam Hemsworth (with less charisma than in the Hunger Games franchise so far) that lacks a strong visual climate and thematic resonance from its Montana setting.

Hemsworth's Dwayne McLaren becomes drawn into a precarious abyss with local beauty queen amour (Teresa Palmer) when witnessing the offing of postal worker Georgie (Bruce Dern of Nebraska and Monster) with a prevalent downcast mood imbued by Shakman and Roberto Patino's scripting.

It helps that a lack of energy is negated to a degree by the entrance of Oliver Platt's towering government functionary. Dern's character figures prominently amidst some surprises in the narrative before the proceedings devolve from more than an unspectacular, if watchable genre entry that many will relate to the recent small-screen acclaimed Fargo (which the Coen brothers produced) and Billy Bob Thornton's appearance as Big Stan.

Hemsworth and Palmer aren't a particularly compelling or vibrant pair while John Malkovich goes against type as a rather petulant Sheriff Vogel and Michael Stuhlbarg of A Serious Man as the garrulous vicious predator of a missing item.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Dayra Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Cut Bank        C   C+                  C+ 

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