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Meek's Cutoff Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

Westward slow... Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    85

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Temperamentally in sync with her "Wendy and Lucy" director, Michelle Williams plays one of the toiling wives. And the actress, with her calm center, compresses the entire history of frontier wifeliness into the concentration with which she gathers firewood and loads a musket.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Kelly Reichardt's marvelous, minimalist epic, amounts to a master class in the power of observation.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    A realistic slice of pioneer life that offers a disquieting alternative vision of America's most mythic location.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Meek's Cutoff reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Lyrical Western is OK for kids ... if they're interested.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this intelligent, poetic, lyrical Western is rated PG, its slow pace and unstructured nature aren't likely to appeal to kids. The film picks up and leaves off at seemingly random points, and it lacks anything like a traditional plot arc or story. But the language is minimal (including one use of the "N" word and one "son of a bitch"), as is the violence (the worst incident takes place off screen). Still, the movie is mostly about moods and ideas -- about searching but not necessarily finding. Even if kids are already cowboy fans, this is going to be a tough sell.

  • Families can talk about what the movie's abrupt ending might mean. Does it matter that the major problem is left unsolved? Do you have hope that it will be solved soon, or never?
  • In the fight over the Native American, who is right?
  • Who do you think this movie is intended to appeal to? Does it succeed?
  • Is this Old West a violent place? Even if there's very little fighting or blood, is there violence in the movie?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie's overall theme is that nothing and nobody can be truly known or understood. For every idea posited in the film, there is an equal and opposite one. For every character who has hope, another is more pessimistic. The movie introduces several problems that are never solved; thus, while thoughtful audience members will be intrigued, most viewers will be left feeling fairly negatively about the film's intentions.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Despite the movie's overall downbeat mood and themes, it has one very admirable character, Emily Tetherow -- a tough, practical woman. She can handle a rifle, and she can stand up to any man around; in fact, she's often one or two jumps ahead of anyone else with her logic and her efforts to prevent violence.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: The members of the wagon train come across a Native American; a character kicks him in the head (off screen), and some blood is seen dripping. Also some talk about whether or not to kill the Native American, as well as other violent tales told in dialogue.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false2

    Language: One use of the "N" word, as well as "son of a bitch."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: An adult character is seen smoking a pipe on more than one occasion (appropriate for the era).

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