Tag Archives: Taylor Sheridan

My Favorite Scene: Wind River (2017) “Take the Pain”

I’m not a parent. I’ve never seen a piece of myself shining in the eyes of a child. I can’t imagine what that is like, and I cannot fathom what it must be like to have it and lose it. I have lost my entire world to grief. When you go through it, there’s a pernicious lie you’re told in counseling, by people who don’t get it, by most of pop culture: it gets better. The pain goes away. It doesn’t. It does change. It changes you. The knife-sharp pangs that wrack you in the beginning become a dull roar. You learn to live around it, but the person you were before never comes back. It’s something you suspect as soon as you lose the person: I’m never going to be the same. The most honest assessment of the grieving process that I’ve ever heard comes from one grieving father to another in the most underrated film of 2017: Wind River.

Taylor Sheridan’s modern western crime thriller (it manages to tick all the requirements for at least three genres) was another spectacular script from the Sicario screenwriter and a very impressive directorial debut. As good as Gary Oldman was as Winston Churchill, I thought Jeremy Renner’s performance in this film was the best acting I saw last year. Renner is always strong, but to the detriment of his appreciation, his performances are usually understated character work. With Wind River he was able to blend his gift for nuance with a clear, deep connection to the material. The porch scene is so intensely honest that it nearly blew me out of the theater. It’s a testament to how entertaining the film is in the midst of dealing with the bleakest terrain a human soul has to cross that I was able to walk out feeling like I’d finally spent time with someone who got it. I wish I’d have gotten a counselor as good as the one Renner’s character got at that seminar in Casper.Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen in Wind River

Sicario: Day of the Soldado Trailer #2 (2018) “And Now You Hunt Them”

Sicario 2  is now Sicario: Day of the Soldado, and Columbia has released a synopsis and new trailer for the summer film:

In Sicario: Day of the Soldado, the drug war on the US-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) reteams with the mercurial Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) to start a war between dueling cartels by kidnapping Isabela Reyes (Isabela Moner of Transformers: The Last Knight), the teenage daughter of infamous kingpin Carlos Reyes. When the mission is exposed, and Graver orders Alejandro to terminate Isabela, the killer’s cold façade cracks.

Benicio del Toro in Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Soldado is the sequel to the 2015 Denis Villeneuve thriller Sicario about the drug wars between the Mexican cartels and the U.S. government along the southern border of the United States.  It’s one of the most taut, thrilling, and visceral films in recent years, and it left you with an ending that could have stood, but also could have easily been continued (it’s Hollywood, they chose to keep going).  Emily Blunt and director Denis Villenueve will not be returning (replaced by Italian Stefano Sollimo).  Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro will be back as will-and this is the most important thing-screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, who does not write bad scripts.  Sicario 2: Soldado will open in theaters June 29, 2018.
Benicio del Toro in Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Sicario 2: Soldado Trailer #1 (2018) “No Rules This Time”

Soldado is the sequel to the 2015 Denis Villeneuve thriller Sicario about the drug wars between the Mexican cartels and the U.S. government along the southern border of the United States.  It’s one of the most taut, thrilling, and visceral films in recent years, and it left you with an ending that could have stood, but also could have easily been continued (it’s Hollywood, they chose to keep going).  Emily Blunt and director Denis Villenueve will not be returning (replaced by Italian Stefano Sollimo).  Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro will be back as will-and this is the most important thing-screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, who does not write bad scripts.  Sicario 2: Soldado will open in theaters June 2018.
Benicio Del Toro in Sicario 2: Soldado

Movie Review: Wind River (2017) *A Modern Crime Western Triumph*

Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner in Wind River

Wind River was released at the tail end of a dismal August right before a dismal September set in, and thankfully delivers the kind of quality you expect from films during awards season.  The directorial debut of screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water), Wind River cements Sheridans status as one of the best writers working for the screen today and shows him as a promising talent behind the camera.  Wind River is a tense, beautifully-filmed modern crime western (a genre Sheridan has invented that we didn’t know we badly needed). Continue reading Movie Review: Wind River (2017) *A Modern Crime Western Triumph*

Movie Review: Hell or High Water (2016) *A Heist Movie For Our Times*

Hell or High Water, Ben Foster, Chris Pine

The heist movie is a classic staple of American cinema.  Bonnie & Clyde, Heat, Ocean’s 11, Inception, really when you think about it is a heist movie, and so on.  There’s something about the have-nots taking from those who have that’s intrinsically American.  Hell or High Water isn’t just a great heist film/crime drama.  It’s a film born out of an America that hates financial institutions.  The great majority of us in debt, fighting liens, repossessions, and looking on while the same companies that inundate us with statements get bailouts.  There’s some graffiti sprayed on the wall early in the film in a dusty town in West Texas that reads “3 Tours in Iraq; no bailout for me.”  This is the America in which the Howard brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) begin their bank robbing spree. Continue reading Movie Review: Hell or High Water (2016) *A Heist Movie For Our Times*