Promised Land Box Art
Promised Land Blu-ray
There’s a lot of cinematographic potential in the sweeping landscapes of farm country. There are a lot of stories that can be told about farm country too, about people and towns, about relationships and hardships. I just wish Promised Land’s writers would have chosen a different path.

Promised Land begins with a compelling work relationship between Steve Butler (Matt Damon) and Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand) who are both extremely efficient at their jobs. They’re in sales—selling the idea of fracking to those barely eking it out in dying communities. The grace with which they sell makes it harder to dislike our heroes whenever the movie turns on them. However, when Dustin Noble (John Krasinski) shows up, the town begins to turn on the idea of bringing in industry via fracking.

Promised Land, unfortunately, has an agenda. There’s no problem with being anti-fracking, of course, but when something is so partisan it ceases to be a complicated issue, a movie should know it has problems. For the sake of time and fiction, we can’t get into all of the nitty gritty details, but Promised Land doesn’t even try to truly explain the issue it's advocating for, and its lack of complication makes its characters become completely black and white.

Then there’s the twist, an ending so gnarled and ugly it seems nonsensical. With a script written by Krasinski and Damon and directed by Gus Van Sant, Promised Land clearly brings a lot of talent to the table, but it never comes together into a film that is either satisfying or wholly enjoyable.

You can order Promised Land over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature: “The Making of Promised Land” is the best special feature with the set, likely because there are very few bonus features with the film. The segment offers interviews with the cast and some of the crew. Van Sant pops up a lot and the directing, writing, characters, and plot are discussed in detail. Everyone talks about Damon a lot, and if I didn’t know Van Sant was actually the director on the film, you would think that Damon was actually the one behind the camera (in an odd twist, Damon was initially signed on to direct).

Other Special Features:
Extended Scene

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