Fascinating from start to finish. There is filmic power in detail—its slowness and quietness. Meek's Cutoff is resolute to make us feel time—time wasted, time lost—as these characters are. These characters played by people we know, but differently than we know them. Characters who we only get to know as strangers on a shared journey.
The score is haunting. The cinematography creates so much meaning; those final shots are superb. Reichardt provides an astutely crafted film, which will provide a rewarding journey for viewers who prioritize symbolism and analysis over entertainment.
Funny enough, I began the movie with my mother, but finished it with my father. My mother was bored and left eventually, while my restless father arrived when there was half an hour left and was completely captivated.