Ice-cold thriller Wind River has plenty of heat, says our movie critic Josh Burford

Wind River

Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) is veteran tracker, and whilst out on the hunt he stumbles upon a corpse of a young girl in the snow. Being the closest to the incident, FBI agent Jane Banner (Elisabeth Olsen) is sent to investigate. Together they must team up to navigate the elements and piece together the clues, in order to solve the mystery.

When I saw “from the writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water”, I was immediately excited. Now Tyler Sheridan is back as the writer and director of Wind River (15). The story he tells is a slow burn but in a good way, it’s heart-wrenching and gripping throughout, a powerful study of loss and grief, with a tense crime-thriller coating. The story is bolstered by tremendous performances from the two leads.

The Oscar-nominated* Renner (*The Hurt Locker, The Town) is remarkable, giving one of his best performances to date. He is battling with his own personal past tragedy, whilst having an emotional connection to the young victim.

His character was simple and focused on the task, but threw some incredibly dramatic punches when needed; it’s clear this guy has range. Olsen’s performance was fantastic, her character had a big-city attitude but it was clear she cared about the victim and there was a genuine desire to see justice done. The two leads had great chemistry, as displayed in the last few Marvel outings, and were both in fine form.

The setting was flawless. The cinematography was absolutely stunning with some incredible shots of the idyllic “Wyoming” mountainside (actually shot in Utah). Whilst the environment was beautiful, it was also cruel and unforgiving. The brutal weather conditions, as well as the wildlife made for an extremely atmospheric setting. In my opinion Wind River had some of the best cinematography of the year so far.

Overall, Wind River was an incredibly compelling depiction of missing person cases. Outstanding performances, not only from the leads but also the talented supporting cast. A very grim, tense and emotional story, with a brutal yet gorgeous setting. This film should not be missed.

My rating: 8.5/10

About the Author

Josh Burford
Trainee journalist at Highbury College with a passion for film and TV.