Out Of The Furnace **1/2

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“Out Of The Furnace” is a well made thriller with some determined performances but it is too bad that it’s only ambition is to become a basic revenge picture. The director is Scott Cooper whose previous effort was “Crazy Heart”, which won Jeff Bridges an Oscar. Here he gets great performances from his cast but he is working a much weaker script.

I will say that the first half of the film sucked me right in. The story involves two brothers played by Christian Bale and Casey Affleck. Bale is a worker at the Mill and Affleck is a former marine who now makes money in illegal boxing matches. Bale’s character drives home drunk one evening and causes a crash that kills a mother and her children. He finds himself in jail, fighting to keep his life. When he is released he finds that his brother is in debt to some nasty people including Woody Harrelson who plays one of his most vile characters ever.

When his brother is discovered dead he vows to bring to justice the ones who killed him. This is when the movie started to lose me. The last hour or so we follow Bale as he descends in to a society similar to the people we got to know in “Winter’s Bone”, a much better movie. Bales snoops around and eventually flushes out Harrelson’s character in a disappointing and anticlimactic ending.

I can’t quite pinpoint what could of been changed to make this a better film. Maybe they should of taken out the boxing plot altogether. I’m not really sure. I’m just saying that I was more involved with Bale’s personal life and the tragedies he was enduring before he was suddenly hunting people down.

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