The Power of the Dog
NOW SHOWING
Genre:
Art House, Drama, Thriller
Duration:
2 hours 7 minutes
Age restriction:
R13 ( Animal cruelty & content that may disturb )
Director:
Kellan Lutz
Actors:
George Tillman Jr.,
Keith Carradine,
Jesse Plemons,
Kirsten Dunst,
Thomasin McKenzie,
Benedict Cumberbatch,
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The Power of the Dog

2 hours 7 minutes | Rated R13 ( Animal cruelty & content that may disturb )

Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.

Severe, pale-eyed, handsome, Phil Burbank is brutally beguiling. All of Phil’s romance, power and fragility is trapped in the past and in the land: He can castrate a bull calf with two swift slashes of his knife; he swims naked in the river, smearing his body with mud. He is a cowboy as raw as his hides. The year is 1925. The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant on their way to market, the brothers meet Rose, the widowed proprietress, and her impressionable son Peter. Phil behaves so cruelly he drives them both to tears, reveling in their hurt and rousing his fellow cowhands to laughter — all except his brother George, who comforts Rose then returns to marry her. As Phil swings between fury and cunning, his taunting of Rose takes an eerie form — he hovers at the edges of her vision, whistling a tune she can no longer play. His mockery of her son is more overt, amplified by the cheering of Phil’s cowhand disciples. Then Phil appears to take the boy under his wing. Is this latest gesture a softening that leaves Phil exposed, or a plot twisting further into menace?

Reviews:

The film ripples underneath with a prickly modern sensibility. Slant Magazine

Because Campion plays her hand so slowly, The Power of the Dog keeps us off-balance as to the true nature of the tension; it’s the rare drama where it’s legitimately hard to know what’s coming next. The Ringer

Superb direction, a carefully calibrated screenplay and an excellent supporting cast make this awards catnip. Toronto Star

[Its] themes of isolation and toxic masculinity are an ever-tightening lasso of seemingly innocuous events, and they import more horror and meaning on every closer inspection, corralling viewers under an unforgettable spell. Polygon

Campion builds the tension slowly and emphatically, telegraphing the perils ahead. Yet when the two-edged climax comes it’s powerfully unexpected. Globe and Mail

 

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