Run time: 206 mins
Martin Scorsese’s magnificent, pitch-black epic about the bloody birth of America
and how the west was really won.
Adapting the extraordinary non-fiction book of the same name by David Grann, Scorsese and co-writer Eric Roth’s riveting crime thriller depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation in 1920s Oklahoma, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. Mollie Burkhart (Lily Gladstone), heir to a fortune alongside her three sisters and her mother, witnesses members of her family die one by one in suspicious circumstances. Unbeknownst to Mollie, her husband, weak-willed war veteran Ernest Burkhart (DiCaprio) has been manipulated by her uncle William Hale (DeNiro), first into marrying into Mollie’s family and then, doing his bidding. Burkhart finds himself torn between his love for his wife and his greed, fostered by Hale.
Even for Scorsese, a master of turning true stories into iconic, high-wire acts of cinematic drama and tension, this is something else. In terms of craft, it’s difficult to put forward a film more meticulously assembled this year. From powerhouse performances to stunning cinematography, this is an outstanding, gripping condemnation of America and the myths surrounding its greatness