‘Wind River’ Review by Brian Wallinger

Taylor Sheridan’s follow up to the critical hit film, Hell or High Water is a film of sheer humanistic power, operated on by the highest magnitude.  Loosely based on true events, the story begins with a woman on the run, scared for her life.  Sheridan makes sure to not let the audience know what’s become of her before the film introduces us to Jeremy Renner’s character, Cory Lambert, a white hunter in a Native American land.

Lambert happens upon a body, whom he can instantly identify, though we don’t immediately know why until much further into the movie.  With the help of the sheriff (Graham Greene) and a naïve FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen), Lambert undertakes the bewildered search for the truth.

I found the direction to be very personal, but it never got in the way of the film’s pace.  The breathtaking cinematography adds to the atmosphere and overall substance.

Sheridan’s story builds up at a nice clip until the third act where the film loses some of its gas by becoming rushed and abrupt.  Despite the odd pacing challenges, the characters find a working chemistry and enough depth that Wind River creates a much deeper meaning then when it visually depicted.

Sheridan continues to keep us on our feet and his Wind River, a continuation of a trilogy that he started with Sicario is a film about race, loss, violence and an uncompromising understanding of forgiveness.  Those traits make it one of the best films of the year, if not the decade.

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