User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 139 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 139

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  1. Dec 5, 2013
    Christian 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. Expand
  2. Dec 6, 2013
    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 well shot. Great cast of characters with very strong performances.
  3. Dec 23, 2013
    This is a sledgehammer of a film. Showing life in a backwater, the film powerfully makes you feel the hard choices its characters must make between working in a mill or turning to crime. Bale turns in his customarily fine work, but Casey Affleck is the real revelation of the film. The acting and direction are note perfect. It is nobody's idea of a Christmas movie and should have been released at a different time. Expand
  4. Dec 13, 2013
    Out of the Furnace is actually an incredible movie. I don't understand the somewhat weak ratings, it's one of my favorites of the year. Scott Cooper invokes incredible performances from absolutely everyone. Woody is amazing as Harlin, the psychotic hill-dwelling villian and Christian Bale shares an absolutely heartbreaking scene with Zoe Saldana. Casey Affleck stretches his acting capabilities here and it pays off excellently. All around great movie. Expand
  5. Feb 6, 2014
    From the edgy opening scene of Out of the Furnace you are hooked. Director Scott Hooper hones in on his fine cast, which is in fact one of the best ensembles in recent memory, and hypnotically draws us in to their hum drum and rather melancholic lives. Pennsylvania looks every bit as bleak as I remember it from 'The Deer Hunter' and this is perfectly captured in the stark cinematography. The camera's eye treats the steel mill and surrounding areas as if they are another character and you really do get a sense of the place and the unfulfilled lives of the people living there. At times the film's tone is extremely tense, a lot of which is due to the menacing performance of Woody Harrelson who looks as if he has just stepped out of 'The Hills Have Eyes'. Christian Bale, in a rare understated but none the less brilliant turn, is even better here than he is n his Oscar nominated role in 'American Hustle'. Casey Affleck and Willem Defoe also impress and one has to applaud Sam Shepard, who seems to have an uncanny knack for being only minimally involved in really good films. The music is surprisingly beautiful given the content, which is at times extremely violent, and the film holds you in a vice like grip from beginning to end. Ironically, it is only the overt symbolism attached to the deer hunt and bare knuckle fight scenes that can be slightly criticised but, in truth, to do so would be pernickety as this is a truly outstanding film. Expand
  6. Apr 2, 2014
    loved every second of this movie! a great ensemble cast. Each cast member played their roles perfectly, esp. Casey Affleck his characters back story was deep and emotional. also the chemistry between Zoe's character and Bale's character so tense and dense, Bale's crying job almost made me cry... All in All a very well made movie! Also props go to cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi (known for Silver Linings Playbook and The Grey)!!! Expand
  7. Dec 8, 2013
    I absolutely loved this movie. Of course the acting was fantastic, everyone will say that. However, a lot of people had a problem with the plot, saying it was boring, typical, etc. I was engaged completely throughout. Maybe it was mainly because of the performances, but I could watch this movie over and over again.
  8. Dec 8, 2013
    The movie is not about the pale background at all its about the morale story and precision acting in this movie they deserve certain recognition for this movie a perfect synchronization between actors perfect place perfect timing but slow pace.
  9. Apr 17, 2014
    This is one of the best movies made in recent years. Woody Harralson's performance is blood-chilling and incredibly convincing in his visceral brutality and attitude. Bale's performance is excellent also, and this movie is much better than the other one he did this year though it did not receive nearly as much attention. I was especially surprised by Bale's excellence - while Harralson has played some real jerks in other movies, this kind of character seemed unlike any of the characters Bale has played before (the closest comparison might be his character in The Machinist, but mostly only because of the setting the characters find themselves in as blue-collar workers).

    One reason this movie didn't get more attention is because it's a gritty drama that's not full of action sequences and explosions. If people had better tastes in movies, this would have been a blockbuster.
  10. May 8, 2014
    This is movie is no disappointment for fans of Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Willem Defoe, and Forrest Whitaker. I am not a movie goer, never mind television, but this movie is downright captivating. A true to life portrayal of life in the New Jersey backwoods of Ramapo...Hats off to all involved in this project and thank you for making a film that's as powerful as it is meaningful; touching on the subjects of drug addiction, family, military service and PTSD, the proletariat of America and human relationships. Well done! Expand
  11. May 13, 2014
    Excellent movie! I thought all of the actors did a great job. The movie seemed real to life and I thought the actors did a superb job of making you believe the story. I can't believe the movie hasn't received better reviews. Every character touched me in a different way. I have little brothers and I have to say I think the story rang true to show the love of family. Definitely a movie I will recommend to others. Expand
  12. jga
    May 22, 2014
    A reason to watch this film is Christian Bale. Just when you thought that this guy could not get any better, you are proven wrong. His moment with Zoe Saldana was just heartbreaking, it was silent but deep. It may not have the greatest script, but it was saved by great performances from its cast. Nobody came out as a miscast. If one is tired of big Hollywood type of films, watch this! it is a brilliant reprieve, the performances alone is worth it. Its tone is dark, gritty and real. And even after its through, you think about it still. Expand
  13. Jul 12, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is about the effects of trauma, loss and addiction on two Brothers: one who is an alcoholic and the other who needs Gamblers Anonymous. Add to this their upbringing in a place of hopelessness and blight - the steel mill town of Braddock PA. Both Brothers worked in the Mill as did their Father and Paternal Uncle. Christian is ok with this life and Casey is not. The former is jailed for DUI associated manslaughter and the other soldiers in the middle east; one is violently abused by inmates and the other by war associated atrocities. After the death of their Father - and their release from their incarcerations - Christian returns to the mill and Casey is beset with post traumatic stress disorder. Christian has lost his long time girl friend to the town cop. Casey uses the "fight club" ring to release violent tendencies where his role is to take "dives" in order to raise money to pay off his gambling debts. Sometimes he cannot dive because his rage is so great and his shady financial backer looses a lot of money. Casey decides he wants a shot at the "Appalachian" boys on the fight club circuit: inbred folk tied into drugs, violence, and murder. He is warned against this by his financial backer/mentor but is unrelenting. He is beaten nearly to death in the mountains of New Jersey after he takes a dive. On the way home, Casey and his Mentor are both shot and killed by the inbreeds. Police in both PA and NJ are so fearful of this gang of yea - whose they are unsuccessful in bringing them to Justice. Christian takes matters into his own hands. He obtains the phone number of the boss of the Appalachian club, calls him, and lures him to Braddock with the promise of money. In short, Christian skills fully stalks this man and kills him with his 30 ought rifle. Expand

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
    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
    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
    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.