Wind River

A-

This is a little noticed movie surrounded by a lull in the market, so it seems like it would do a little better than it has. I was happy to catch it before it left theaters, a sole Sunday showing in the afternoon. It is a well made film with some good acting, solid characters, and maybe a little too generic a plot, but still totally keeps your interest. Everything centers around a murder of a young woman on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Elizabeth Olsen is an FBI agent called in to investigate. Jeremy Renner is a US Fish and Wildlife officer who hunts wolves that are attacking livestock, an expert tracker who helps out the FBI agent. That's more than I knew going in, but it's just the setup. The movie feels a lot like a Sundance type character study as it looks at life on the reservation, but also works well as a detective movie as the officers attempt to unravel the crime.

The setting really helps raise this above the typical crime investigation movie, with lots of footage of Wyoming in the early spring, below freezing most of the time, and everything covered with snow. Everyone plays their parts quietly, but they do a good job. The movie and the story are kind of bleak, but well crafted. The writer and director, Taylor Sheridan, also wrote Hell or High Water, which I enjoyed, but I think this movie is a little better than that. Honestly, I can't really find fault with it, so I guess it gets an A-, subtracting just a little because it's not really groundbreaking, just really well done.