Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Dec 5, 2013
    100
    Bale has given a number of memorable performances, but this just might be his best work to date.
  2. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Dec 4, 2013
    91
    It's Bale, and his almost biblical quest for justice, who burns his way into your soul.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Nov 10, 2013
    90
    Cooper seems to make actors feel safe and willing to expose themselves in ways they ordinarily might not, and time and again he takes scenes to places of unexpected emotional power.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 6, 2013
    80
    Yes, there are higher-profile films out there this year, and there are films with more resonant messages. But there are few that include so many captivating performances in such an involving story.
  5. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Dec 3, 2013
    80
    It’s a heavy, solemn tale of blood ties that turns into a melodramatic gusher filled with abstractions about masculinity, America and violence, but brought to specific, exciting life by Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson.
  6. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Dec 3, 2013
    80
    Bale, Affleck and Harrelson are in their element as men battered by life, delivering exceptional performances that hold nothing back. Bale and Affleck are as nuanced as Harrelson is unhinged. It is among the finest work done by all three.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Dec 3, 2013
    80
    Like “The Deer Hunter” — from which it swipes its Keystone State milieu, its haunted veterans, and its self-endangerment metaphor — Out of the Furnace gets under your skin.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Nov 10, 2013
    80
    In the meaty bad guy role, Harrelson entertainingly goes all the way, putting him way out there on the ledge with any of your favorite loonies, psychos and unhinged nutjobs.
  9. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 6, 2013
    75
    Cooper, who steered Jeff Bridges through his Oscar-winning turn in Crazy Heart, gets fiercely committed performances from just about everyone in Out of the Furnace.
  10. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 5, 2013
    75
    A well-acted, beautifully filmed, utterly depressing chronicle of revenge and thwarted dreams in post-industrial America.
  11. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Dec 5, 2013
    75
    Scott Cooper, who directed and co-wrote Out of the Furnace, empathizes with people who feel their lives have hit a dead end (his previous film, "Crazy Heart," earned Jeff Bridges an Oscar as a washed-up country singer who had given up on himself). These are difficult characters to dramatize.
  12. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dec 5, 2013
    75
    Bale's is a pitch-perfect, understated performance in this involving neo-noir thriller.
  13. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Dec 3, 2013
    75
    What this movie finally boils down to is a deceptively simple tale of two brothers, and of being one's brother's keeper, and of seeking justice on the crudest of fronts.
  14. Reviewed by: Charlie Schmidlin
    Nov 10, 2013
    75
    The film is luckily powered by a powerful trio of performances at its core, and a unique, unpredictable structure that constantly reframes the action in a compelling way.
  15. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 5, 2013
    70
    Out of the Furnace goes so far out of its way to be gritty and meaningful that it sometimes neglects its strongest feature: its actors.
  16. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Dec 5, 2013
    70
    Out Of The Furnace is a defiantly old-fashioned, well-crafted piece of storytelling whose power lies in its unadorned simplicity.
  17. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Dec 11, 2013
    67
    Out of the Furnace brims with atmosphere and Bale, Affleck, and Harrelson deliver some of their finest acting work. Smokestack lightning this film is not, but Out of the Furnace nevertheless provides a solid whiff.
  18. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Dec 5, 2013
    67
    Like last year’s vaguely similar “Killing Them Softly,” “Furnace” reeks of '70s-inspired, downbeat, politically conscious genre filmmaking. And its cast is composed of hard-working, seemingly omnipresent actors who understand what Cooper’s after.
  19. 63
    If the downbeat plot is depressingly familiar, it’s partly salvaged by the quality of the performances.
  20. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 5, 2013
    63
    Out of the Furnace features some nice performances and is deliciously atmospheric but it never achieves its goal of being a compelling meditation about how the economic erosion of a community influences the lives of those trapped within it.
  21. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Dec 5, 2013
    63
    Out of the Furnace could have been a starkly powerful human drama or a cheesy, vibrant action film. It splits the difference and ends up playing like a lesser Springsteen song.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 5, 2013
    63
    It's the bruised history of these brothers that gives Out of the Furnace its beating heart and the power to grip you hard.
  23. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 5, 2013
    63
    Affleck, in particular, finds something fierce and noble in uneven material and in his character's rage. He's not like any other actor in American movies.
  24. Reviewed by: Emma Dibdin
    Jan 29, 2014
    60
    Christian Bale’s earnest, emotional turn sustains a thriller that throws a few mean jabs but staggers towards a punch-drunk resolution.
  25. Reviewed by: Cath Clarke
    Jan 28, 2014
    60
    Bale is as good as it gets, Harrelson shows us why he is Hollywood’s favourite psycho and Willem Dafoe is terrific as a sleazy drug dealer. The rest of the film is without a bat squeak of authenticity.
  26. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Jan 27, 2014
    60
    A quality production, with awards-bid performances from Bale and Affleck to prove it... but, as signalled by the curiously unmemorable title, it flounders while trying to come up with a story to embody the things it wants to say about the sorry state of modern America. Worth seeing, but a near-miss.
  27. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Dec 3, 2013
    60
    Subtle performances — especially from Bale and Affleck, both growing meaner in the absence of hope — transcend any structural weaknesses. The bottom drops out early for them, but their endgame is savagely captivating.
  28. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 3, 2013
    60
    Cooper may have gone overboard in delineating the hardships of blue-collar life in Out of the Furnace. But he has a gift for getting actors to put some muscle into their work, and enough finesse to make sure the sweat doesn't show.
  29. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 5, 2013
    58
    This is fire-breathing melodrama masquerading as social commentary.
  30. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Dec 4, 2013
    58
    Sometimes resembling a cross between "Winter’s Bone" and "Warrior" — but without the stylized language of the former or the male-weepie conviction of the latter — Out Of The Furnace gets by on the commitment of its cast.
  31. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Dec 6, 2013
    55
    Cooper does slow the action and set it in the least glamorous of circumstances, which drains the pleasure from the thriller conventions. But just because Out of the Furnace isn't much fun doesn't make it profound.
  32. 50
    We’re supposed to take this more seriously because it takes itself more seriously.
  33. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Dec 5, 2013
    50
    Unfortunately this film has none of their urgency or sense of control; for long stretches it just doesn't seem to have any idea what, exactly, it wants to say, or be.
  34. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 5, 2013
    50
    Devolves from an electrifying character study into a disappointing tale of trackdown and revenge.
  35. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Dec 5, 2013
    50
    More bitter, bleak lives of American mill workers without a compass and no place to go if they had one are showcased in the pessimistic drama Out of the Furnace. It’s getting to be a dismal film director’s obsession bordering on cliché.
  36. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Dec 5, 2013
    50
    Out of the Furnace is hot air.
  37. 50
    As colorful as it and its people are, Cooper lets the brawling and the bigger-than-big performances get the better of him, and his story. Out of the Furnace feels undercooked, as a result.
  38. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Dec 3, 2013
    50
    Out of the Furnace is no disaster, but it doesn’t achieve what it hopes to achieve, and it has no one to blame but itself.
  39. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Dec 3, 2013
    50
    Out of the Furnace is much longer on style and belligerence than actual substance.
  40. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 5, 2013
    25
    It shambles and ambles, seemingly without focus or pattern, from one thing to the next. Yet at the same time, it's predictable, not from moment to moment, but in its outlines.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 150 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 44
  2. Negative: 5 out of 44
  1. Dec 5, 2013
    8
    A solid film with brilliant performances. Bale disappears into his role as usual and has a heartbreaking scene with Zoe Saldana. Affleck isA solid film with brilliant performances. Bale disappears into his role as usual and has a heartbreaking scene with Zoe Saldana. Affleck is haunting as a damaged veteran, and Harrelson is great at playing unhinged characters. Cooper seems to lose control of the pace of the film in favor of atmospherics, which are affecting if a bit on the nose and overused. I would love to know if there were debates between Cooper, Ingelsby and the cast over the ending of the film which could have gone many different ways. Definitely worth your time for the performances alone. Full Review »
  2. Dec 5, 2013
    9
    Christian Bale delivers a subtle, nuanced performance in this highly enjoyable film. The setting is essentially a principal cast member it'sChristian Bale delivers a subtle, nuanced performance in this highly enjoyable film. The setting is essentially a principal cast member it's Deer Hunter country: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Southern Jersey. Much like Winter's Bone, the director effectively establishes the extra-legal power structure in these mountain towns. Tradition rules of law and order do not apply. The harsh reality of steel mill careers, military life, and prison stints underline a very traditional story of desperation, justice, and revenge. The trailer suggests much more action and excitement than the film actually delivers, but I very much enjoyed this film for its emotionally resonant, quiet sequences featuring a stellar cast. Full Review »
  3. Dec 6, 2013
    10
    One of the best movies I've seen all year. Surprised by the relatively low critic score but a definite must watch. Very gritty film and wellOne of the best movies I've seen all year. Surprised by the relatively low critic score but a definite must watch. Very gritty film and well shot. Great cast of characters with very strong performances. Full Review »