Meek's Cutoff

When you look at the reviews of Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff online, you'll see that it's been almost unanimously praised. I'm unsure if all of these critics saw the same outrageously boring and glacially-paced movie that I did at the Austin Film Festival in 2010.

This is basically the old "Oregon Trail" video game come to life. Michelle Williams, who was wonderful in Reichardt's Wendy & Lucy, leads a cast of fine actors who aren't given much more to do than look dusty and thirsty for 100+ tedious minutes.

The cinematography, shot in the old 4X3 Academy ratio of 1.33:1, is one of the film's genuine highlights. If the first 30 minutes goes by and you aren't entranced by what is happening on the screen, cut your losses. Nothing that happens as the film goes on is going to change your mind or make the experience more enjoyable.