• Trust Weighted Very Good
  • 96 Trust Points

On Demand

Netflix On Demand

Amazon Instant Video On Demand

$2.99 Rental

iTunes On Demand

Rent from $3.99


Tag Tree


Wick's Review

Created Jul 02, 2010 07:38PM PST • Edited Jun 17, 2019 11:32AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Heroism and bravery have a new name, and that name is Ree. Just 17 years old, Ree’s as brave and heroic as any movie hero ever. Played by stellar newcomer Jennifer Lawrence, her quest – Winter’s Bone being a quest movie – is so virtuous and she’s so intrepid, so true, that you know she’s bound to deliver a happy ending. You just don’t know how it’s going to play out.

    Set in the “methamphetamine culture” of today’s Ozarks, Winter’s Bone follows young Ree as she seeks out her meth-cooking Daddy so she can avoid the bail bondsman from taking their house, in the process throwing her, her two little siblings and their emotionally traumatized mother out on the street. That she is the only adult supervision these kids have – and the only sane adult in her large extended family of meth-addled freaks – makes her heroic in the extreme.

    This being the Ozarks, everyone’s apparently no more than third cousins from each other, or as Ree says to a near stranger “we got some of the same blood in us, don’t that count for something.” Ah, well, no, as Ree gets death stares till she mentions her Pop’s name, at which point her erstwhile kin let her pass. Mostly. Eventually some take pity on her, though even then she is forced to perform unfathomably brutal feats. Chainsaws and canoes? Not a healthy combination.

    Those interested in crime drama, fine filmmaking, the new moviestar Jennifer Lawrence, the Ozarks or “meth culture” will find Winter’s Bone a bracing cinematic experience.

    Of note: Notwithstanding the male novelist, exec producers and cinematographer, Winter’s Bone is woman-made – director, star, screenwriters, producers. Unflinching in its examination of how modern women survive tough situations, it continues the icily strong tradition of 2008’s Frozen River.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    We have a new movie star and her name is Jennifer Lawrence. She absolutely carries the movie, notwithstanding that her fresh faced beauty never comes into play. As she spreads her wings in lighter and more feminine parts, she’s going to be a heart breaker and a ball buster. Think Angelina Jolie at age 20: beautiful, smart, tough. Movie star.

    The other actresses were also great: Dale Dickey, as real a woman as the silver screen ever sees (you’ll recognize her when you see her), and Lauren Sweetser, another fresh face, stand out.

    The men, not so much. Even solid character actor John Hawkes (Sol Star from Deadwood) was less than convincing as a stone-cold badass.

  4. Male Stars Good 3.0
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5

    Jennifer Lawrence, may you star long and prosper.

  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars OK 2.5
  8. Very Good 3.5

    Brilliantly realized by writer-director Debra Granik and cinematographer Michael McDonough, the film suffers a bit from supposed menace that’s more bark than bite. But that’s probably novelist Daniel Woodrell’s fault. Granik and McDonough have crafted a beautiful, soulful and often bone-chilling film that pleases as much as it horrifies.

  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Good 3.0

    Daniel Woodrell’s “country noir” story has the feel of 2nd rate Elmore Leonard, not that he doesn’t pop out some lines even old Elmo would envy: “Talking just causes witnesses” being one of them.

  11. Music Very Good 3.5
  12. Visuals Great 4.0
  13. Content
  14. Sordid 2.7

    Meth sickens society, as well shown in Winter’s Bone. The movie mostly pulls its punches, not that there aren’t several gut wrenching scenes.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.7
  16. Violence Brutal 2.6
  17. Rudeness Nasty 3.7
  18. Glib 1.1

    Meth has become to rural communities what crack was to inner cities: a beastly scourge. The movie does a splendid job shining a light on the societal suicide it drives. Paranoia reigns. Adults disappear, leaving kids to fend for themselves.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.3
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


Subscribe to Winter's Bone 2 replies, 1 voice
  • 1 - 2 of 2
  • « First
  • Last »
  • NEXT ►
Jan 11, 2011 9:44PM

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
Happy to see yet another Winter’s Bone fan, Bri. Like you, I thought it was very good, not great. Interestingly, many professional reviewers have it on their Best Movies of 2010 list. Even though I liked it a lot, it didn’t make mine.

Aug 15, 2010 7:51AM

Regarding John A Massie’s Review
Happy to see another Winter’s Bone fan, Massie. Interesting take, per usual from you. Only surprise is that you didn’t single out Jennifer Lawrence, who seems bound to be a huge star.