Cinematic Releases: Out Of The Furnace

Out Of The Furnace: An American Portrait of Death and Loss

"Ok. Staring competition? Go!!!!"
The end of 2013 brings us one of the darkest, divisive, and definitive pictures of the year. 

Out Of The Furnace captures the death of the American dream through the intentionally stark direction of Scott Cooper, a man that has not only artistic vision but a firm grasp on emotionally charged characters and a raw, hard edged style that will leave you breathless. His calculated rendition of the economic downturn and criminal undergound in the Rust Belt is a breath of fresh air after months on end of big shiny blockbusters wrapped up in packages of 3D and CGI. 

A stark picture of loss and vengeance, Out Of The Furnace is a cold, heart wrenching tale that will unrelentingly rip your soul out while convincing you that Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson and Casey Affleck are the three greatest actors working today. Woody hasn't done anything this solid since Natural Born Killers. Never content with one type of character, Harrelson feels right at home as a down trodden, inbred, evil redneck criminal that couldn't care less about human life. Mr. Bale finally escapes the wrath of the Batman with a depth in character not felt since his turn in The Machinist. Casey Affleck (as usual) takes on a support role and leaves everyone else behind. Affleck has a certain flair for these types of roles. While they might not be the most rewarding, he'll eventually get his due in the spotlight. 
"First you were Batman. Now my
brother is Batman. I'm really

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect from Out Of The Furnace. Early reviews have been extremely mixed. In this instance, I'm glad I ignored them. This is one of the best pictures of the year by far. 

Out Of The Furnace delivers in areas that most other films fail. Through many trials, there is a strong sense of character development, vindication, and a diverse cast that most directors would kill for. As a second film, Cooper should be extremely proud. This is one of the best dramas of 2013 and an excellent platform for Bale to break out from the franchise mold. 

While it doesn't have the seething tension of Prisoners, it's still a powerhouse film.  See it. 

-Review by Chris George