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Meek's Cutoff 2010
Description: Set in 1845, this drama follows a group of settlers as they embark on a punishing adventure along the Oregon Trail. When their tutorial leads them astray, the expedition is forced to contend with the unforgiving conditions of the high plain desert.
Released: 15 Apr 2011 Director: Kelly Reichardt Writers: Jonathan Raymond (screenplay) Actors: Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan Genres: Drama, Western
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Meek's Cutoff Reviews:

This film is much loved by the critics, but you know there is some type of trouble when the critics meter on RottenTomatoes.com stands at 87 while the audience meter is at 65. Personally, I don't think it's a terrible movie, but before you decide to see it, you at least need to know that: --It is a very minimalist movie, even more so than Somewhere (which I loved). You don't even receive a nice look at the actors' faces until 15 mins or so into the movie. The dialog is so sparse that the actors probably didn't need to begin studying the script until the night before shooting began. (Don't be fooled by the trailer--it includes most of the dialog in the movie.) The screen is almost fully black in the many barely illuminated night scenes. You can hear the dialog, but you can't see much of their faces or see what they are doing. Although these scenes are highly realistic, the director seems to have forgotten that movie is a visual medium. And too much of the dialog is unintelligible. I couldn't decide whether the trouble was terrible enunciation by the actors, terrible placement of the microphones, or both. --This is one of those "make up your own ending" movies. After you spend 104 mins watching these folks trek through a parched landscape looking for water, you long for answers. The dramatic tension in the film arises primarily from not knowing whether the Indian they have captured will lead them to water or into a fatal ambush. But don't expect any clear-cut resolution. Yes, there are clues at the end. But some viewers will be unhappy to explore that there is no unambiguous respond to the central question of the movie.With that said, I still think Meek's Cutoff is worth seeing because it gives you a nice feel for what life was like in a wagon train. The movie is not so much a drama as a reenactment of life on the trail. No matter that the dialog is sparse. No matter that there is no true ending. The director isn't much interested in hero development or story anyway. She just wants to place you in the shoes of these pioneers for a several days. And on this level, the film works very well. Although it may not be entertaining (after all, life on the trail was boring most of the time), it is informative.


It is interesting reading all of these mad folks here, who seem to appreciate having seen an nice movie but don't understand why it does not have a 'three act structure' or Hero's journey. If you are a fanatic of early Michael Haneke or even Tarkovsky (to a lesser extent), then you will like this film. It is a very gentle observational piece which takes its time to even allow you hear human voices. It wants you to feel the wind on the scrub desert or to hear the bubbling of the river.To create a movie like that, especially in America where the audience is weened on cleanly prepared stories that have beginnings, middles and ends, is brave, stubborn and amazingly lucky that Kelly Reichardt was able to raise the cash to create it.Fantastic. Unique, Beautiful.But just do not expect to be 'told' what happens next, because nothing massively necessary now does. Just like life really.


for me it was a finished allow down.. For 2 hours i watched them walk along the desert and i was wondering will they search water, Who will be the first to die and will the Indian lead them to water or an ambush. Well the movie complete and i had none of the answers so what was the mission of the film? why place questions in your head then leave you to create your own answers.Maybe we were supposed to re-live the method settlers made the adventure but surely if you walk through Indian country you have someone ahead scouting for water or Indians and who would hold a massive table in a wagon and leave gold in the desert and how did they tag it ? a stick with some cloth wrapped around it, They were lost how they gonna search it again they had no map come-on they would have filled just about everything they had.Im sorry but to me it was like watching a fish swim around a bowl,I waited for a climax and didn't receive one,The most exiting thing in the entire movie was an empty wagon rolling down a hill



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