Warning: this review may contain slight spoilers. Scenes of domestic violence, graphic images of violence and themes of racism are depicted in this film.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” is the 27th film from critically acclaimed director, Martin Scorcese. Released in theaters Oct. 20, this film is based on real-life events from America’s past.
Taking place in the 1920’s on the Osage Native American reservation in Oklahoma, the story follows WWI veteran Ernest Burkhart, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and his uncle William Hale, played by Robert De Niro. They infiltrate and betray the families of the Osage in order to steal the tribe’s new-found wealth from their oil fields.
This is a slow-burn film, in which a very important story is told. With that being said, the movie is roughly three-and-a-half hours long, which needs to be taken into consideration when going to see the film. This long runtime is important in telling the full story of the Osage murders, but ultimately some scenes felt unnecessary or drawn-out with unneeded dialogue. Some characters such as Hale’s attorney, played by Brendan Fraser, are introduced almost three hours into the movie. Besides these few complaints, this film is truly deserving of all the praise. With a star-studded cast, this drama tackles a story that spans over a decade and is a fantastic social commentary on today’s society.
The film stays very accurate to the time period with most of the characters having rotting teeth, unique accents and century old clothes. This matched with the great acting makes you feel like you are in a snapshot back in time. This film, unlike other murder stories, does not hide the killers. Instead they are shown immediately for the evil they are and how their betrayal affects whole communities. This again adds to the realism as DiCaprio and De Niro become very unlikable characters which makes way for a very strong female lead Lily Gladstone, who plays Mollie Burkhart. Mollie is a true fighter and inspiration who fought for justice and her family. Her story alone is worth the three-and-a-half hour runtime, as this film is very important to our country’s history.