By Debbie Elicksen.
Out of the Furnace (2013) is gritty all around, right from the characters, the setting, and the story line. Brad Ingelsby and Scott Cooper wrote the screenplay, which was also directed by Cooper.
One of the main takeaways from this film is how realistic the setting is at every stage. It features a town where generations of family members work in the factory that backstops the local economy. Russell Baze (Christian Bale) is a hard-working man who is content with his role. His brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) thinks there is a better way and runs a life that steers him towards the most notorious and cold-blooded criminal in the area.
Russell’s life is forever altered when coming home from work, he momentarily takes his eyes off the road to adjust the car radio dial. That small second gesture lands him in prison to serve time for vehicular homicide.
Out of prison, Russell learns Casey has gotten himself in over his head and is at the mercy of the notorious backwoods gangster Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson), whose performance is intense. Russell makes the decision to settle his brother’s debt but ends up seeking revenge for his murder.
The cast is fantastic. Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker also star in this film. Leonardo DiCaprio was also one of the producers. It earns five out of five stars.