User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 159 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 159
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  1. Dec 9, 2013
    5
    Real choppy for the first hour. I feels like each scene was cut short by a few seconds which made it a distracting sequence of introductions. Many of the actors in this movie seem like they are bored while giving out their lines. Also that steel mill. We get to see it from all angles at all times of the day for just about every other scene. Was this movie directed by a high school student?Real choppy for the first hour. I feels like each scene was cut short by a few seconds which made it a distracting sequence of introductions. Many of the actors in this movie seem like they are bored while giving out their lines. Also that steel mill. We get to see it from all angles at all times of the day for just about every other scene. Was this movie directed by a high school student? This is certainly one of those late in the year Oscar baits that will never catch the fish. Expand
  2. Dec 11, 2013
    6
    Christian Bale is the hard-working, well-meaning brother in a Pennsylvania steel town. Casey Affleck is his eternal screw-up younger vet brother. When he gets into serious trouble with a meth maniac (Woody Harrelson), older bro is determined to exact revenge. Actors love films like this. They get to be grungy, severe and rough around the edges. This is one of those serious dramas withChristian Bale is the hard-working, well-meaning brother in a Pennsylvania steel town. Casey Affleck is his eternal screw-up younger vet brother. When he gets into serious trouble with a meth maniac (Woody Harrelson), older bro is determined to exact revenge. Actors love films like this. They get to be grungy, severe and rough around the edges. This is one of those serious dramas with intense characters, forceful emotions and inevitable tragedy all around. Director Scott Cooper's camera offers some interesting observations and the strong performances keep the film compelling. It does go on relentlessly too long and persistently grave. Expand
  3. Jun 3, 2014
    6
    Odd movie, excellent acting... boring and depressing as heck plot. About halfway into the movie, you check your watch.... not-a-good-sign. But I have to say, the actors (and there were some very good actors) knocked it out.
  4. Dec 29, 2013
    5
    Overall the movie is pretty slow going with an OK but not great story and an unsatisfying ending. Not really sure it could have been better though because the story really just wasn't that engaging and I simply couldn't connect to the characters.
  5. Dec 19, 2013
    6
    Awesome acting from the entire cast, but the four main guys; Bale, Affleck, Harrellson, and Defoe, in particular. Scott Cooper did really well in the director's chair, but damn, a little slow for me and the plot, if you can call it that, left much to be desired. Easily my biggest disappointment of the year. It's not horrible, but damn, it's definitely middle of the road.
  6. Dec 7, 2013
    6
    In director Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace," characters clearly take precedence over plot while maintaining a subdued tone that highlights some fantastic performances. However, it's constrained by its meager, inescapable storyline of vengeance that ultimately disappoints. "Furnace" is a much darker and less audience-friendly package than Cooper's Oscar-winning 2009 debut "Crazy Horse."In director Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace," characters clearly take precedence over plot while maintaining a subdued tone that highlights some fantastic performances. However, it's constrained by its meager, inescapable storyline of vengeance that ultimately disappoints. "Furnace" is a much darker and less audience-friendly package than Cooper's Oscar-winning 2009 debut "Crazy Horse." His second film captures the essence of an America slowly crumbling amid economic decay. Events unfold in "Out of the Furnace" with a violent, unpredictable force that life often presents, as opposed to your standard, reassuring screenplay.

    Filmed in the working-class eastern Pittsburgh neighborhood of Braddock, Pennsylvania, Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has followed in his terminally ill father's footsteps by making a living at the town's steel mill. After serving a four-year sentence for a manslaughter conviction, Russell attempts to put his life back together. He keeps a low profile, but must contend with his old girlfriend Lena (Zoe Saldana), who is now living with police chief Wesley Barnes (Forest Whitaker). His brother, Rodney Jr. (Casey Affleck), is an Iraq War vet with PTSD and gambling issues, who chooses to enter a backwoods fight club as a means of earning money. Rodney and a small-time promoter John Petty (Willem Dafoe) screw things up and are unable to pay a ruthless criminal named Curtis DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). Refusing to acknowledge the dangers that lie ahead, Rodney finds himself in grave danger with unforgiving men. Russell, who is trying to reorganize his life, now sets out to protect his younger sibling.

    When all is said and done, the movie boils down to a deceptively simple tale of two brothers coupled with a barebones tale of pure, unadulterated vigilantism. Though Cooper consistently uses formal parallelism to link the brothers' dual narratives, the last shot of the film may be its most telling, as it speaks to their constant, all-encompassing sense of imprisonment.

    Cooper maintains the threat of violence with a guarded presence of despair from the beginning, which can get difficult for some and is often heartbreaking to watch. Cooper isn't exactly breaking new ground here with "Furnace," and he has a tendency to lean on contrivances and misdirection in place of suspense at times. However, his command is admirable, and the performances of Bale, Affleck, and Harrelson unquestionably warrant high praise. For those who like their revenge served cold, "Out of the Furnace" is the very essence of performance.
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  7. Dec 18, 2013
    6
    A solid drama with great acting and average scenario! Movie is predictable and depressing, which in this case isn't really a weakness! Nothing special about it!
  8. Dec 10, 2013
    6
    The film boasts an undeniably talented cast. Unfortunately, they cannot save the film's uneven pace. The first half of this film started out pretty promising. However, once it reaches the second half, it quickly begins to heavily drag. Christian Bale and Casey Affleck worked great as brothers. Woody Harrelson manages to pull off yet another S.O.B. performance. Other supporting cast membersThe film boasts an undeniably talented cast. Unfortunately, they cannot save the film's uneven pace. The first half of this film started out pretty promising. However, once it reaches the second half, it quickly begins to heavily drag. Christian Bale and Casey Affleck worked great as brothers. Woody Harrelson manages to pull off yet another S.O.B. performance. Other supporting cast members that, in my opinion, deserved much more screen time were Forest Whitaker and Willem Dafoe. The film also had a really good story going for it, but the slow pace of the film kind of made it hard to enjoy, especially in the final ten minutes or so, which was dragged out for far too long. So overall, great performances and story, but you're definitely gonna need some patience for it. Expand
  9. Mar 6, 2014
    6
    Solid acting by the star studded cast but the plot was sort of disappointing. The needlessly subplot with the lead character's ex, The long run time, and the lackluster ending are certainly disappointing. Overall, It wasn't a bad movie but it could have been a lot better.
  10. Dec 27, 2013
    5
    OUT OF THE FURNACE is really perplexing. The film is pitch perfect in every way and yet, it has no resonance. When it's over it leaves you with a big feeling of just "Meh." Maybe it's too perfect for its own good.
  11. Mar 14, 2014
    6
    Good cinematography, good acting, good everything... except story and characters. It all had so much potential, but they did absolutely nothing with it and, in the end, it all just feels like a pointless waste of time.
  12. Nov 13, 2014
    6
    "Out of the Furnace" 10 Scale Rating: 5.5 (Decent) ...

    The Good: The cast is exceptional and delivered. Casey Affleck and Willem Dafoe were especially great in supporting roles. The film has excellent buildup and halfway through, you can't wait to see how it ends. For the most part, a well directed and gritty offering that captures the rural tone quite well. The Bad: The second half
    "Out of the Furnace" 10 Scale Rating: 5.5 (Decent) ...

    The Good: The cast is exceptional and delivered. Casey Affleck and Willem Dafoe were especially great in supporting roles. The film has excellent buildup and halfway through, you can't wait to see how it ends. For the most part, a well directed and gritty offering that captures the rural tone quite well.

    The Bad: The second half just can't keep the film's fast start as it slows down a great deal and becomes far less interesting. The ending was also very underwhelming and the last 30 minutes or so are extremely straightforward. The endgame just sort of ... happens. Very little payoff despite a great setup.
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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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.