Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Written by Mark L. Smith and Alejandro G. Iñárritu, based on the book by Michael Punke
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck

This was not a film I expected to like. Watching a man undergo an attack by a bear does not head the list of what I want to see portrayed on a huge screen. However, the former history major in me ended up liking this film quite a bit. Short on words, but long on gorgeous cinematography, it takes the viewer to places they rarely see. And 1823 Montana and South Dakota are as foreign to me as Westeros (Game of Thrones).

DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, an experienced frontiersman out west leading a group of trappers who have survived an attack by a posse of Arikara Native Americans. After Glass is attacked by a bear, he is left to die by a man (Hardy) who resents him and is especially hostile to Glass’s son, who is part-Native American (Goodluck). The majority of the film details wordlessly Glass’s ordeal in returning to the base alone and injured. And in exacting justice for what this man has done to him.

Following up last year’s BIRDMAN, Iñárritu has done an amazing job once again. He may be taking a second Oscar home.

Patti Abbott
In addition to being the Crimespree Senior Film Critic, Patti has penned numerous short stories and her debut novel, CONCRETE ANGEL, is in stores now. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at She hopes you’ll join in.