CUT BANK (2015)
Cut Bank (2014)
Synopsis: Dwayne McLaren has been looking for a way out of his small town upbringing of CUT BANK, MT since he graduated high school several years earlier. When he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time, he jumps at a chance to pursue a better life in a bigger city with his girlfriend Cassandra. But luck doesn't exist in Cut Bank, and this perceived good fortune is quickly followed by a flood of bad karma.
First thing you're going to notice about this movie is it glaring similarities to Fargo. Small town sheriff, check. Town big wig, check. Man who wants better life who comes up with a very, not thought out plan, check.
This movie starts off with Cassandra (Teresa Palmer) and Dwayne (Liam Hemsworth). They were shooting some random video in the field. Off in the distance they see mailman Georgie Wits (Bruce Dern) get gunned down and they got the whole thing on video. They take the video to Cassandra's dad Stan (Billy Bob Thornton) who calls in Sheriff Vogel (John Malkovich). During the murder, Wits' body and mail truck is taken. Unfortunately for the killer, the mail truck is delivering a package to psychopathic Derby Milton (Michael Stuhlbarg) and he will stop at nothing to get his parcel back. Now there is a twist in the plot here and despite how apparent it is during the movie (and that it is given away in the trailer) I'm not gonna spoil it.
I related this movie to Fargo in the beginning but it's not just because of the similarities in the story and characters. The way the characters act is also very similar to those from Fargo. It's very monotone. The characters don't really run a gauntlet of emotions. Majority of the characters remain exactly the same from beginning to end. This movie had a rock solid cast and they all did a superb job in their roles. Palmer and Hemsworth are not what I would consider to be Academy Award worthy actors but for the roles they were in, I'd say they did an adequate job. Thornton played the town big wig which basically made him an asshole. If there was any doubt that Thornton would t excel at such as role, you're obviously not very familiar with his work. Malkovich perfectly portrayed the small town sheriff that is in way over his head trying to solve the first murder in town history. Oliver Platt had a small role as Postal Inspector Joe Barrett. His character has the same attitude as his character in Lake Placid. He provides subtle humor on a pretty dry film. I would have to say that despite all the big names in this movie, it was the lesser known Stuhlbarg who gave the best performance. He played a relatively harmless looking man with a dark side. His mannerisms, movements, speech and stutter were all very creepy and could actually make you fear this man that you would generally not be scared of.
There are no car chases, no shootouts. Almost no action whatsoever (again, think Fargo). This movie crawls at a very slow pace but put everything together very well. It does a very good job paying homage to Fargo while at the same time, maintaining a very complete story that was left with no questions. This movie is definitely worth checking out, and I'm sure the Coen brothers would probably agree.
reviewed by Bobby