User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 52
  2. Negative: 8 out of 52
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  1. Jan 5, 2013
    7
    In a nutshell: fine acting, skillful directing, beautiful photography, sublime soundtrack, murky screenplay. The politics in the movie are actually rather low key -- the other "reviewers" here clearly haven't seen the movie and are trying to push a "drill baby drill" perspective. The non-politics part of the screenplay is where the movie gets into trouble. Damon plays "Steve" who isIn a nutshell: fine acting, skillful directing, beautiful photography, sublime soundtrack, murky screenplay. The politics in the movie are actually rather low key -- the other "reviewers" here clearly haven't seen the movie and are trying to push a "drill baby drill" perspective. The non-politics part of the screenplay is where the movie gets into trouble. Damon plays "Steve" who is supposed to be a hotshot closer who can get people to sign over their rights three times better than any other team. Yet he seems befuddled and confused through much of the whole process once he arrives in town to sign people's rights away. We're told he's good, but we never really see a gung-ho seller. Although Damon is a fine actor, I think he's miscast -- the part really needs an oily, dubious huckster like Brad Pitt. Frances McDormand is exceptional in her part, and Holbrook gives a sublime performance, although his part just disappears through the middle of the movie. Krasinski is exceptionally fine here and really lives the part of a glib gladhander. Rosemarie DeWitt is just wonderful in a beautiful performance. In sum, I wouldn't call this a "must see," but it's definitely worth a cable or DVD watching for the fine performances and lovely look of the movie. Expand
  2. Jan 5, 2013
    9
    Great acting and a great story. Worth seeing with all of the big blockbusters out in the theaters today. Like small town America, this film captures the charm and spirit of those of us who still believe in an American Dream that isn't filled with greed and the false promises of big corporations.
  3. Jan 6, 2013
    8
    Viewers Respond to Promised Land
  4. Jan 16, 2013
    8
    The take away is this. Farm families may not have loads of money but they have land. The land stays with the family for generations... Land is permanent. Fracking doesn't destroy the land, it just makes it no longer suitable for family farming. When this happens? The money is (more often than not) quickly spent. Money is not permanent. The natural gas companies don't live and farmThe take away is this. Farm families may not have loads of money but they have land. The land stays with the family for generations... Land is permanent. Fracking doesn't destroy the land, it just makes it no longer suitable for family farming. When this happens? The money is (more often than not) quickly spent. Money is not permanent. The natural gas companies don't live and farm there, so this works for them. For the farm families? They've been there for over 100 years. I know. I grew up in an area now overrun with fracking. In Pennsylvania, these are really family farms... not the thousand acre corn fields of the west, but 100-200 acre dairy farms.

    If an energy company wanted to dig for coal on your land, we would assume that the land would be lost for farming. Natural gas is currently just as destructive - in a different way. What we need is a safe way to extract energy from the planet. It's this race to resources that the movie focuses on -- can the energy companies get those leases signed quickly, move in with equipment, remove all the natural gas and get out of town before the locals become politicized. Politics, corporate greed, conspiracy theories and lobbying groups come together in this film. There's also a good twist on this dynamic that will leave you thinking...
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  5. Jan 10, 2013
    7
    Matt Damon and director Gus Van Sant reunite after 15 years since Good Will Hunting for a small film that is more than just about fracking. It takes on the issue of big business coming in to small, poor towns and sucking the life right out of them. Perhaps that is too harsh since it is up to the people in these towns to decide if they want to let them in or not. But corporations have a wayMatt Damon and director Gus Van Sant reunite after 15 years since Good Will Hunting for a small film that is more than just about fracking. It takes on the issue of big business coming in to small, poor towns and sucking the life right out of them. Perhaps that is too harsh since it is up to the people in these towns to decide if they want to let them in or not. But corporations have a way to get precisely what they want by any means necessary. John Krasinski and Damon wrote the script and while it Expand
  6. Aug 30, 2013
    9
    Talk about underrated. The movie is nearly perfect. It's characters feel more real and believable than any I can even remember, and the screenplay is keen on real life interaction. The character development here never feels forced. In addition to this the acting is basically flawless from the entire cast, and it's directed with extreme skill. It's about as good as a drama of thisTalk about underrated. The movie is nearly perfect. It's characters feel more real and believable than any I can even remember, and the screenplay is keen on real life interaction. The character development here never feels forced. In addition to this the acting is basically flawless from the entire cast, and it's directed with extreme skill. It's about as good as a drama of this breed can get. I have a feeling that the natural gas companies paid off some of the reviewers so they'd review it poorly. Expand
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew Pulver
    Feb 9, 2013
    60
    Promised Land seems to lose its nerve a little politically: as it goes on, you realise it isn't about fracking at all, but a tract on machiavellian corporate behaviour and their employees' self-deception.
  2. 63
    Damon the Oscar-winning writer does something nobody else in Hollywood would – write a dumb character for Matt Damon to play.
  3. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jan 13, 2013
    50
    Like so many earnestly conceived morality tales, Promised Land is built around a man's quandaries. Any actor less skilled and sympathetic than Damon might have betrayed the material into obviousness. [14 Jan. 2013, p.78]