Out of the Furnace
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From Scott Cooper, the critically-acclaimed writer and director of Crazy Heart, comes a gripping and gritty drama about family, fate, circumstance, and justice. Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has a rough life: he works a dead-end blue collar job at the local steel mill by day, and cares for his terminally ill father by night. When Russell's brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns home from serving time in Iraq, he gets lured into one of the most ruthless crime rings in the Northeast and mysteriously disappears. The police fail to crack the case, so - with nothing left to lose - Russell takes matters into his own hands, putting his life on the line to seek justice for his brother.
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This could be a whole blog post or something ... maybe someday it will be ... but if you've seen Hostiles, this is one of the guy's earlier pieces. Both also feature the immensely awesome (disciplined, dedicated) Christian Bale.
What I mean by BIG IDEAS is that Cooper's films seem to get into huge-ities ... LOVE, DEATH, FAMILY, MARRIAGE, REVENGE, etc. I counted a dozen or so in Hostiles. There are 4 to 6 here, at least.
The "downside" is that plot holes appear, though in service of the BIG IDEAS. So you'll notice a couple "Why the hell did this guy do that?" and you have to accept it, give it a bit of a pass, and buy into the overall thing that's going on, for the film to work.
Someone once told the director Sam Peckinpah after watching Straw Dogs (the original, with Dustin Hoffman), "I didn't enjoy your film." Peckinpah replied, "I didn't want you to enjoy the film — I wanted you to look deeply into your own soul."