Screen Gems Movie Reviews
with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!

Out Of The Furnace December 6, 2013
Out Of The Furnace
Studio: Appian Way
Rating: R for strong violence, language and drug content.

The despair and economic downturn of the Rust Belt provide the backdrop for "Out of the Furnace", a grim, violent melodrama that spins a tale of revenge and failure.

Russell (Christian Bale) and Rodney (Casey Affleck) are brothers whose lives we share for several years.

Although he's an ex-con, Russell is a decent guy but he just can't catch a break. And Rodney is an Iraq war veteran who just can't find success in civilian life no matter how hard he works.

Their lives get very complicated when they run across Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). He's a dangerous character involved in plenty of illegal schemes. Desperate for money, Rodney falls prey to DeGroat, who offers big bucks to get him to fight in a bare-knuckle brawl. But as always, DeGroat is looking for an angle. He wants Rodney to take a fall.

Things don't go as planned and Rodney disappears. With the police no help, Russell embarks on a journey to find justice for his brother.

While this film offers a solid cast of very good actors, it is Bale's performance that will stay with you. When Rodney goes missing, Russell makes it his mission to find out what happened and to punish anyone responsible. This is a grim movie. It's a tough watch but the acting makes it a worthwhile effort.

I do wish there was at least a little bit of hope offered up by the film, but that's just not the case. The characters struggle with loss and theft and lead very stark lives. The atmosphere is thick and heavy, which combined with the subject matter make this almost too dark. It's a movie which takes itself seriously and we're forced to do the same. But it left me wanting some way out for the characters, which just isn't meant to be.

On my rating scale, "Out of the Furnace" earns a DOUBLE.

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