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Director: Taylor Sheridan Starring: Angelina Jolie, Aidan Gillen, Nicholas Hoult, Jon Bernthal, Medina Senghore, Finn Little Running Time: 100 minutes


Taylor Sheridan can dine out in Hollywood for some time to come still off the back of his Sicario script. The films that he’s gone on to direct – some good (Hell or High Water), some less so (Wind River) have struck a similar tone to that star-making work, serious but pulpy adult thrillers, simple stories of heists, hunts and murders that tried to ground themselves in real-American lives, the kind of stories of people struggling and suffering that you’d be as likely to see on John Oliver as on the big screen.

 

Sheridan’s latest Those Who Wish Me Dead is on the same page as those stories, but maybe comes in a paperback. It’s the kind of movie you used to get all the time in the 90s – your Peacemakers, your Paybacks, your Patriot Games – that relied on a few scenes of action and the wattage of a good star. Action thrillers, made for grown ups but not too high-brow. Those Who Wish Me Dead delivers this like a ready-meal, nothing mind-blowing but nice, filling and gets the job done, thanks to some strong storytelling from Sheridan and the draw of Angelina Jolie.

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Director: Taylor Sheridan Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Gil Birmingham, Graham Greene Running Time: 111 minutes


It would maybe be unfair to say that Wind River, the directorial debut of Sicario and Hell or High Water writer Taylor Sheridan, has bad intentions. A title card shown in the film’s final moments, which damningly reveals that the FBI does not keep statistics on missing Native American women, whose numbers remain unknown, aims to highlight the dismissive treatment of Native Americans by the US government. Which is probably evidence that the intentions here are good, but we all know where paths paved with good intentions tend to lead. Wind River occasionally taps into the same weary, dying heart of America melancholy that made Hell or High Water one of last year’s best films, but it’s difficult not to see its story as using the death of a young Native American woman to explore the pain and emotional redemption of Jeremy Renner, rather than the victims the film positions itself as having sympathy for. What this film wants to take a look at is certainly worth seeing it, but this is a story about a murdered Native American woman that looks down on women and sidelines Native Americans.

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