Promised Land

Promised Land Image
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 55 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jan 2, 2013
    83
    Urgent, heartfelt, and not-quite-as-predictable-as-you-think environmental rabble-rouser.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 27, 2012
    75
    Director Gus Van Sant finds the human side of a knotty issue. No polemics. Just the face of a new America in crisis.
  3. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Jan 4, 2013
    75
    The characters drive this story, not ideology. Damon and McDormand are terrific as co-workers seeking the same goal, though they see their work from different points of view.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 27, 2012
    50
    More an argument than a fully fleshed-out drama ... The script is unconvincing; two key narrative twists, one related to the other, are deeply hokey.
  5. The New Yorker
    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]
  6. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 28, 2012
    50
    Despite their Everyman appeal, Damon and Krasinski don't create much by way of emotional investment, instead becoming mirror images of their most mild-mannered, white-bread selves.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Dec 5, 2012
    38
    Gus Van Sant's new film offends for how it views the struggles of the landowners at the heart of its story as subservient to their oppressor's triumph of the spirit.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 19
  2. Negative: 5 out of 19
  1. 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 filmGreat 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. Collapse
  2. 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... LandThe 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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  3. Jan 6, 2013
    8
    Viewers Respond to Promised Land
  4. Feb 20, 2013
    6
    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 hisThis 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
  5. Sep 3, 2013
    5
    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, anA 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. Expand
  6. Dec 7, 2013
    4
    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 nothingPromised 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. Expand
  7. Jan 6, 2013
    0
    This is a trite and overly simplistic treatment of a complex issue. Please beware some of the positive reviewers, especially those criticizingThis 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

See all 19 User Reviews

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