Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 136 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Dec 5, 2013
    Bale has given a number of memorable performances, but this just might be his best work to date.
  2. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Dec 3, 2013
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Dec 5, 2013
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Dec 5, 2013
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Dec 6, 2013
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 5, 2013
    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.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 40
  2. Negative: 5 out of 40
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Dec 6, 2013
    This is the first of several hairpin turns Cooper takes, and like all the others that follow, it feels slightly gratuitous and more than a little soapy. It never works any realistic magic despite the rusty cars and Willem Dafoe's polyester suits but Out of the Furnace is still hugely entertaining thanks to the cast. The screaming standout is Harrelson, who leverages his hairlessness, crooked nose and ice-blue eyes into one of the eeriest villains since Dennis Hopper's mask-huffing sex offender in Blue Velvet. This movie chugs toward its final destination with quiet resolve. Yet for all the grand ambition to tell a modern story of two brothers steeped in ancient male codes, Out of the Furnace skids out on the oily streets of melodrama. Harrelson is the acid bath that cuts through all the slop and brings fresh edges to cliché. Expand
  5. Mar 14, 2014
    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. Expand
  6. Dec 10, 2013
    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 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
  7. Feb 26, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Rout Rof Ra Rurnace. Sounding effectively like actors had wadded paper in the sides of their mouths. Creating inaudible sound FX, to sound ratios, when masculinely trying to Scobbie speak. Although after constantly turning the volume, I discovered Jersey was Kentucky. Not that it matters much. I gave up when excon el'vigilante is deputised swafficer. The deer pointlessly not hunting when out hunting, but then your friend goes ahead and kills it. The savagery that followed, skinning the carcass. Ending with run forest run needlessly, he is out a hunting now, but no heart shot.. Many other details had so many questions. Braddock has one sheriff in regular uniform. Among many others it was quite dry throughout despite of the star studded cast. Expand

See all 40 User Reviews