Killers of the Flower Moon – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Killers of the Flower Moon – Love of a Nation: Oil, Blood and Greed

What is the thing that makes a film great?  Is it the enthralling journey, impactful characters, or genuine moment of escape.  What makes a film ‘great’ can vary, but there are always those special few that captures all our hearts to stand out above the rest.  In this review, I look at the latest Martin Scorsese film.  A mixture of drama and suspense within true events, it is a journey that raptures the heart.  With a stellar cast, Killers of the Flower Moon is a haunting grip of greed in the America Heartland. 

In a story of riches and oil, the Osage look to discover who’s orchestrating the murders of their people … before no one is left to live on their homeland.  Martin Scorsese is known as one of the greatest directors of our lifetime.  From Raging Bull to Goodfellas, The Departed to Wolf of Wall Street, he is known for his visceral storytelling and deeply woven characters.  With this latest, he captures the essence of the ‘true story’ elements while pushing a narrative that is holistic in its enrapturing detail.  The film begins with a general outlook at the Osage Nation, their homeland (in Oklahoma) and discovery of oil on the reservation.  After a series of expositional scenes, the narrative moves to the 1920’s where we meet Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio), a WWI vet who moves to Fairfax, OK to work for his uncle, William Hale (Robert De Niro).  After another series of dialogue driven moments, Ernest meets Mollie (Lily Gladstone), an Osage native with strong investments in oil production (on the reservation).  With the main pillars of the story introduced, the narrative becomes a methodical pace within the aspect of characterization, emotional brevity, and cunning storytelling.  As the focal point is on our main three, the overall atmosphere is a nervous appeal of hope and terror because of the unknown killing of certain individuals from the Osage Nation.  The tragedies become a deep cutting motion within our main three characters (Ernest, William, and Mollie).  With each death, the moments broaden their reproach to a plotting of hope, ignorance, and greed.  The level of intensity is moved through the aspect of dialogue and posturing, while also lifting you through the rawness of human folly.  The mastering of depth becomes the highlight of a long running film (over 3 hours), but the escapable aspect of seeing the story unfold pushes you to understand the visceral effect of the consequences of this stained historical moment (in America).

As tragedies begin to pile up (through a mixture of over-the-top killings and folly circumstance), the tone shifts when the FBI shows up on the reservation.  With the involvement of the federal government, the sinister elements begin to shine through intense dialogue and thrilling moments.  As the unraveling nature of plotting and discovery come to light, this leads to a third act that pushes the escape to an all-time high.  With our main three characters at a crossroads, this leads to a unique ‘revelation’ like climax and a wholesome epilogue.  Killers of the Flower Moon is a deeply woven narrative that showcases the strength of filmmaking.  If you are a fan of the actors, true event films, Scorsese, or great filmmaking, this is one for you.  Simply … this is a masterpiece.

Full Score – 5 out of 5 (Legendary)

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