Promised Land

2012

Action / Drama

193
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 51%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 46%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 33692

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Matt Damon as Steve Butler
John Krasinski as Dustin Noble
Lucas Black as Paul Geary
Frances McDormand as Sue Thomason
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
701.48 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 1 / 8
1.65 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 1 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by p-stepien 6 / 10

Dry Land

Matt Damon, once again functioning in the dual role of scriptwriter and main actor, reengages with director Gus van Sant (previous joint ventures include "Gerry" and the Oscar-winning "Good Will Hunting") in search of another fruitful cooperative endeavour . Based on a concept written by Dave Eggers and co-scripted by co-star John Krasinski, "Promised Land" is an extremely competent piece of story-telling, however laboured by a somewhat unconvincing fictionalisation of the matter at hand.

A touchy environmental issue has been presented in one of Gus van Sant's most down-to-earth and standard features to date, where the devilish fracking industry is the focus of a well-meant, if mishitting, effort. Steve Butler (Matt Damon) works as a consultant for the gas industry, roaming the countryside purchasing up land destined for exploitation by deep drilling. Together with the rigid Sue Thompson (Frances McDormand) they form an effective team, effortlessly buying up land in the idyllic small towns, strained by lack of cash, thus falling into financial despair. The gas shelves offer an option for easy cash - leasing the land and energy resources hidden deep in its bowels, thus bringing promise for better days. When Butler and Thompson are sent by their employer Global Crosspower Solutions to a cash-starved Pennsylvania farming community, the land seems ripe for the picking. Nonetheless the dark side of the industry slowly filters through, when the ecological soundness of the natural gas fracking process is brought into question by Frank Yates (Hal Holbrook), a physics professor emeritus teaching at a local school. Troubles slowly start arising, coupled by the arrival of environmentalist Dustin Noble (John Krasinski), who initiates a grassroots campaign against fracking. The two soon start to compete for victory, not only amongst the community, but also with regards to the heart of small-town beauty Alice (Rosemarie DeWitt).

Given the continuing discussion regarding the business, who on the outside wants to appear clean, whilst simultaneously sweeping all burning faucets, poisoned wells and dead livestock under the social radar, "Promised Land" could have been an important voice in the discussion, at least forcibly bringing the issue into the public eye. However the restraint shown in presenting the controversies behind fracking seem to be a missed opportunity, as the movie slowly drifts away from the core issue towards an order of melodrama and bickering between two sides of the debate. Not much however is done to present the controversy itself: Is fracking really a threat? Or are we just supposed to decide by ourselves through google after watching the movie? Naturally "Promised Land" isn't a documentary, hence the factual layer is nowhere as dedicated and impacting as in the groundbreaking "Gas Land". Nonetheless the lack of contextualisation is evident, offering too much space for any side to decide for themselves. Much focus is offered towards the question of whether the impoverished farm-owners should just take the money and renege their environmental fears. When someone's livelihood is at stake is it moral and right to ignore ecology? Somewhere amongst this nuanced approach to the issue, the question lingers: is there any reason to really fret regarding fracking or is this whole discussion just pointless? A well researched scene featuring Hal Halbrook would have done the movie a world of good...

Thankfully the script by Damon and Kosinski refrains from painting a cosy picture of right or wrong, presenting the local town life as a simple debate amongst immediate gratification and the perspectives of losses in the future. However the somewhat idyllic presentation of small town life causes the poignancy level of the question to drop, a far cry from the doom and gloom on offer in "Gas Land", the desperation lingering in people's eyes. Damon himself is well cast as a small-town boy fully dedicated to the company and the riches it offers, as a positive alternative. A far cry from a dastardly cooperative mug, his much more level-headed character is a welcome change, which avoids demonizing the people behind the problems. This occasionally helps to strengthen the rivalry for people's hearts, showing that the issue isn't an easy issue to resolve as either side would want to portray. Nonetheless this ambiguity also works against the movie, offering many points of view, but failing to truly show an in-depth focus on any, instead swaggering away into standard dramatic contrivances and a somewhat unwelcome twist at the end, which unravels much of the prior arguments, instead leaving focus on issues, which shouldn't really be the point of the movie. To some extent the characters and their tribulations override the integral story, somewhat collapsing the concept.

Reviewed by TownRootGuy 7 / 10

Left-leaning but not preachy or too heavy-handed.

90's me would want to jump in time and kick my old ass for saying this but Damon does a good job, as he usually does. Ugh, Gigli proved I backed the wrong buddy.

This movie is a must see for Damon fans and anybody who wants to know more about the fracking industry. It has good info AND it doesn't have to pump you full of toxic chemicals to get some laughs out of you.

It's a pretty good show and I can watch it every 5 years or so.

Reviewed by The Couchpotatoes 6 / 10

Could have been better but still watchable.

I would have scored Promised Land a seven instead of a six if it was not for the ending that I found too far fetched. It could have been better with another ending. You for sure can not trust any big corporation on this planet as money and profit are the only things that count in their eyes but the story could have been better with a more realistic outcome. The cast is good though. Matt Damon always delivers as an actor. He's an actor and a human being with good values, somebody that I really appreciate. So it's always nice to watch him in a movie. But in Promised Land there were so many options where the story could have gone to and unfortunately I think they didn't choose the best options. But all in all it's not a bad movie, just an average one, good to watch once.

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