Meek's Cutoff

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Released 2011

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Movie Summary

Director:
Kelly Reichardt
Released:
2011
Rating:
PG
MEEK'S CUTOFF, from acclaimed director Kelly Reichardt (WENDY AND LUCY, OLD JOY), is a stark and poetic drama set in 1845, the earliest days of the treacherous Oregon Trail. A wagon train of three families (including two-time Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams) has hired mountain man Stephen Meek to guide them over the Cascade Mountains. Claiming to know a shortcut, Meek leads the group on an unmarked path across the high plain desert, only to become lost in the dry rock and sage. Over the coming days, the emigrants must face the scourges of hunger, thirst, and their own lack of faith in each others' instincts for survival. When a Native American wanderer crosses their path, the emigrants are torn between their trust in a guide who has proven himself unreliable and a man who has always been seen as their natural born enemy.

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Meek's Cutoff is as unsentimental and determined as Ms. Williams's character, its absolutely believable heroine. It is also a bracingly original foray into territory that remains, ...

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Betsy Sharkey

    A lyrical poem for some, like watching paint dry for others. I'd argue for embracing the poetic, a rare commodity in American films these days.

  • 90

    Variety Justin Chang

    Working on a richer and more intricate canvas than she's previously attempted, Kelly Reichardt has pulled off a rare thing with Meek's Cutoff -- a low-budget period Western with a ...

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