Hostiles is slow burn that seeks atonement

THV11 movie critic Jonathan Nettles gives us an overview of movies in theaters this weekend

Hostiles takes place on the American frontier in 1892. Christian Bale is a Army Captain Joseph Blocker, a legend known for hunting down and killing so-called “Indian Savages”. His life of war has taken a toll on him as he has seen many of his friends and soldiers killed. He has a hatred of the Indians because of his experiences and he is given a final mission to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family from the isolated outpost in New Mexico where they’ve been prisoners for nearly 8 years to their tribal lands in Montana. While Blocker and his men are on their harrowing and dangerous journey they encounter a young widow, whose family was murdered on the plains by Comanche marauders. Along the way they encounter other vicious outliers that puts all of them in danger on a journey they may not survive.

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I’m going to give it to you straight, Hostiles is a pretty good movie but it’s not exactly an easy one to watch. It plays at one emotion range throughout the entire film. There’s no humor in this, just terror and dread, mostly a feeling of dread that something else is around the corner and the feeling of dread these men have in carrying out their mission. It’s also a story of atonement, with each character trying to come to terms with their past while dealing with their sense of honor and duty. It’s about humanity, apologies, and forgiveness. There’s a lot hear that settles in with a slow burn. It’s beautifully shot, well-acted, and decently paced for its two hour and fifteen minute runtime.

Besides Christian Bale, Hostiles stars Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Jesse Plemons, Timothee Chalamet, Adam Beach, and Ben Foster. It’s directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Black Mass) and is rated-R for strong violence and language.

Also in theaters this week, Maze Runner: The Death Cure which is Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language, and some thematic elements. In the epic finale to the Maze Runner saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze. I’ve not seen any of the Maze Runner movie so I have no idea what any of that means.

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