User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 51
  2. Negative: 8 out of 51

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  1. Dec 7, 2013
    Promised Land is a fight that puts BIG Business vs small town.It`s nice that it shows you how cruel big businesses can be, but it`s nothing that most don`t already know.The movie is really slow for the most part.
  2. Sep 3, 2013
    Promised Land is solid flick with a good message at the end of a plot which wasn't as predictable as you would think. Not one of Damon's best performances but not bad.
  3. Sep 3, 2013
    A fairly average story, but great acting, directing and cinematography does go to make a good film. The humor of the film is very good, an enjoyable film, but it's not about to go win any major awards. Still a great film to pass the time with great performances from Damon and Krasinski.
  4. Sep 3, 2013
    A fairly average story, but great acting, directing and cinematography does go to make a good film. The humor of the film is very good, an enjoyable film, but it's not about to go win any major awards. Still a great film to pass the time with great performances from Damon and Krasinski.
  5. Aug 30, 2013
    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 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
  6. Jun 4, 2013
    Promised Land is an adequate political drama. It has a decent screenplay and some good performances, but nothing special here. The film, while solid, lacked urgency or any real conviction; it seemed like these actors were stuck in a bland movie
  7. Apr 23, 2013
    This movie was so poorly written, the acting so bad, that I did not even care about the actual subject matter. This could easily be Matt Damon's worst performance ever. How believable is it that he is the top sales guy for a billion dollar company He behaves like a loser salesman who cannot even sell a used car to a blind man...stuttering, mumbling, no eye contact. But yes, he gets a promotion.
    I really wonder who puts down money to get this crap produced. Because it will for sure never earn itself back.
  8. Apr 11, 2013
    If there was a point to this movie I have missed.
    This movie advertises itself as a message but really falls flat delivering said message.
    Other than that it is extremely boring.
  9. Feb 20, 2013
    This film should’ve been Matt Damon’s director debut (he is one of the co-writer and co-producer) since Ben Affleck is hot on fire in his director chair, it must be quite tempting for Matt to follow his suit. Then for unknown reasons, he backed up from directing while remaining in starring in it. So a safe backup stand-in is Gus Van Sant, to whom Matt and Ben will forever indebted for the sake of GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997, 8/10), so the proviso here is that one should not expect it as a true Gus Van Sant’s vehicle than a tossed-off understudy product under his belt (as I will not call his previous film RESTLESS 2011, 7/10 a misfire). The trailer can also be misguiding, if one appraises from its juicy backstory, then assumes it will be another righteous individuals vs. global gas company on ecological terms of winning the moral and monetary victory, or another ERIN BROCKOVICH (2000, 8/10), PROMISED LAND never goes that far to unveil a certain impulse of inspirational excitement, and craftily it engineers on a personal route of redemption and choosing the right way to go, with a trifle soppy sentiment and hasty conspiracy theory. Matt Damon is always playing Matt Damon (even in the action-packed BOURNE series), less an articulate orator than George Clooney, but wearing a much humbler ordinary-joe outfit, his final confession is banal but teemed with sincerity and earnestness, also an emotional spiel in the pub, which will wrought a punch in the face soon after, might end up as the highlights in his acting stretches. Frances McDormand, is excellent as usual, hardly shines with her sidelined role, basically as an observer, her character holds up a well-maintained bulwark and conveys a more reality-concerned authenticity. John Krasinski (also a co-writer and co-producer), oozes a smug confidence throughout, until it comes his “twist-revealing”segment, switching between two antagonistic parties could never be easier or more shameless from his gauche utterance, also the twist is very lame (maybe I’ve watched too many USA TV series since I literally felt it coming and prayed it would not be the case). Rosemarie DeWitt, Krasinski’s significant other in reality, curbed by the benevolent nature of her role, is too trivial to mention. The only solid supporting performance is from Hal Holbrook, the one and only brain among the villagers, concludes the film with his concern on the focal point, how we can juggle with both the advantage of our modern life and the elephant-in-the-room ramifications it instigates, we all want to take the high ground of morality while not giving up our various privileges, there is no such good things, a pipe dream for all. To conclude, PROMISED LAND has its languid pace and formulaic structure, the palette is enjoyable, but it is just a foil in Gus Van Sant’s erratic filmography, period. Expand
  10. Jan 21, 2013
    Average, but Promised Land benefits from Gus Van Sant's steady hand and some solid work from a talented cast. I don't see why everyone was so upset by the ending. I thought it was satisfying.
  11. Jan 16, 2013
    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 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...
  12. Jan 10, 2013
    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 way to get precisely what they want by any means necessary. John Krasinski and Damon wrote the script and while it Collapse
  13. Jan 6, 2013
    Viewers Respond to Promised Land
  14. Jan 6, 2013
    This is a trite and overly simplistic treatment of a complex issue. Please beware some of the positive reviewers, especially those criticizing negative reviewers are actually hired by the movie studios to troll review sits and make false reviews. Remember, Hollywood doesn't care about America and only is interested it advancing its bizarre agenda. Another horrible film that was too hard to watch. The powers-that-be in Tinseltown should stick to what they do best, nudity, profanity, and car cashes and leave serious issues to real people. Expand
  15. Jan 5, 2013
    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.
  16. Jan 5, 2013
    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 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
  17. Jan 4, 2013
    The film is nothing more than propaganda against the energy industry. There is very little actual "content" around this myriad of bad acting, poor writing, and incendiary rhetoric. This is NOT a thoughtful reflection on critical issues surrounding our growing need for energy against environmental and public safety dangers. There are many other ways to engage in this vital debate rather than watching this nonsensical diatribe. The filmmakers did very little homework and over simplified both side, actually. Citizens living in rural America should be outraged by their portrayal as simpering dolts. Spending money on this film only further enables Hollywood to masquerade uninformed opinions as fact. Expand
  18. Dec 28, 2012
    I cant wait to see this liberal hogwash not only bomb but get made fun for years to come. While Matt Damon is probably a better actor then I am, him and clooney's liberal projects are so horrible I wish they would just stick to making semi funny heist pictures to pick apart America corporate greed.

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
    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
    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]