Liam Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer, and John Malkovich show us a different side of small-town life in Cut Bank, now out on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD TODAY (May 26, 2015) from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Read our review and enter to win a DVD+Digital HD copy.
[Some Spoilers; For Mature Audiences]
3 out of 5 stars
For many of us, Summer 2015 is in full swing, and one of the very best parts is all the great movies that are released. Well, at We So Nerdy, we’re always on the look-out for new films to share with you, and Lionsgate’s Cut Bank should definitely be on your radar! Fans of drama, crime thriller, and black comedy will get a kick out of this movie, which gives us an inside look at a version of life in small town America. And in this case, “leaving a small town can (LITERALLY) be murder”.
Cut Bank is a small, agricultural town in Montana with a population of 3,000 and a claim to fame of being the “coldest spot in the nation.” From the beginning, Cut Bank seems to embody all the things we come to associate with small town life: family-oriented, general friendliness, everyone knows everyone else.
We especially get this feeling while we follow Georgie Wits (Bruce Dern), the town mailman, during his daily run. He chats with neighbors as he delivers parcels, gets treats from kind elderly ladies, takes a lunch-break…all seemingly mundane. This is until a hooded man dressed in black forces Georgie out of his mail truck and shoots him. At that exact moment, Dwayne McClaren (Liam Hemsworth) and his girlfriend Cassandra Steely (Teresa Palmer) are out in the canola fields and capture the entire thing on video. Both Dwayne and Cassandra are shaken by these events, after all, they’ve just witnessed Cut Bank’s first murder! However, Dwayne doesn’t let that stop him from parlaying this situation into an opportunity.
There’s a $100,000 reward for anyone who provides evidence about the murder of a U.S. postal worker, and Dwayne has every intention of cashing in. He’s restless and stuck working for Cassandra’s dad (Big Stan, Billy Bob Thornton) in his auto shop while taking care of his quadriplegic father. Dwayne is desperate to make it to California and take his talented, wannabe actress girlfriend with him. This is exactly the break Dwayne needs! But when Sheriff Vogel (John Malkovich) starts investigating Georgie’s homicide, (quite shockingly) Cut Bank experiences a series of connected violent crimes. Unfortunately for Dwayne, collecting his $100k won’t be as easy as he initially hoped.
I really had no idea what to expect when I started Cut Bank, and was genuinely quite pleased with how engaging the film is. I enjoy whodunnit, crime thrillers and this film certainly gives us this…especially as the story unfolds and we find that answering the question of who murdered Georgie Wits’ (and WHY) is not at all straightforward.
What I most enjoy about Cut Bank is the cast of fascinating, slightly odd-ball characters we get a chance to meet. Liam is great in his portrayal of Dwayne, a young man with big dreams and willing to do anything to escape his humdrum life. Teresa is a very spunky and cute Cassandra—but more than that, her optimism and determination to pursue an acting career in the big city provides an interesting counterpoint to Dwayne’s POV. Misters Malkovich and Thornton as Sheriff Vogel and Big Stan (respectively) are clearly the pillars of their community, and their execution of justice (and mercy) add a provocative sort of morality to the story. Mr. Dern brings a duality to Georgie Wits as the beloved, friendly neighborhood mailman who actually isn’t very nice.
But for me, Derby Milton (Michael Stuhlbarg) is the most compelling part of Cut Bank. Derby isn’t very popular in town. In fact, he’s a recluse—quiet, unassuming, so much so that most folks think he’s been dead! However, it’s Derby’s quest for his parcel, lost in Georgie Wits’ missing mail truck, that propels the story. In all honesty, I’m not too pleased with how the movie ends for Derby. While other characters are eventually held accountable for their misdeeds, Dwayne seems to get off scot free. But oddly enough, Cut Bank ends on a hopeful note.
Cut Bank is now available on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD TODAY and thanks to our friends at Lionsgate/Lionsgate Home Entertainment, we have one DVD+Digital HD copy to give away (international, open to all). Follow the Rafflecopter instructions below and enter now!