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Movie Review – Killers of the Flower Moon

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If you don’t want to read any spoilers before seeing this movie then I can just say that I found the movie to be shallow and unnecessarily long. These characters were real-life people. I can’t write a proper movie review without getting into the characters and their actions so there will be spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.

First off, more is not better. There was no point in this movie being over three hours long (3h 18min), not including the end credits. That being said, the film didn’t drag too much, and the drama picks up closer to the end, which propels the story forward.

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I believe movies such as this that look at our not-so-glamorous past are important to make. This isn’t the sort of stuff that shows up in high school textbooks and we need to be aware of the mistakes that were made so we don’t repeat them. That alone is the reason I didn’t give this movie and even lower grade.

No Character Arc

Here’s my major issue with the movie: I didn’t detect any character arc from any character in the movie. Sure, Ernest (Leonardo DiCaprio) does finally testify against his uncle, but that is for selfish survival reasons. The character never has an epiphany and realizes everything he has done wrong. And I also never got any sense of internal conflict from Ernest. Although he seemed to genuinely love his wife, he murdered her sister and didn’t appear to be conflicted about it. This is the sort of internal conflict that any good writer should be excited to write and show off the character’s struggles.

To make it worse Ernest’s character is portrayed as a man who isn’t terribly bright. He’s not a complete idiot; but he seems thick, and maybe that’s used as some excuse for his character’s actions.

William “King” Hale (Robert De Niro) isn’t any different. His character never has any moment of recognition that what he’s doing is wrong. He seems to feel completely justified in being two-faced.

Temporal Bigotry

Here’s my takeaway from this movie: it only reinforces a sense of temporal bigotry. I’m better than most of the people who lived in the past because I try to value all cultures equal to my own. I live in a culture where a person who mistreats a dog or even a wild animal, will end up in jail. There is still way too much prejudice in the world, but it’s way better than it used to be. The jury is still out on whether we, as a culture, are still improving. It seems that cultures are like snakes: they need to shed their old dead skin before they can grow.

Killers of the Flower Moon would be great if it could make me understand why the characters acted the way they did; And if Killers of the Flower Moon could make me understand that I too would have made similar choices had I lived in their reality then it would be a remarkable story. I’m not better than people in the past; I simply live in a world with more diversity and empathy. But I don’t feel that the writers, director, or actors had a goal of expressing anything more complex than here are some characters who did these things. There’s no depth or subtlety.

Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: I have five Peetimes, but that still doesn’t seem like enough for this epic movie. I think the 3rd and 5th Peetimes are the best, but none of the Peetimes are bad.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Killers of the Flower Moon.

Rated: (R) Some Grisly Images | Language | Violence
Genres: Crime, Drama, History
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer(s): Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese, David Grann
Language: English, Sioux
Country: United States

Members of the Osage tribe in the United States are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s, sparking a major F.B.I. investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover.

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7 responses to “Movie Review – Killers of the Flower Moon”

  1. Isn’t this site supposed to tell me when I can take a piss??? No one cares about your movie review

    1. The “Peetime” information is in the RunPee app. It’s not on the website.

  2. Yes it does that and if that’s all you need then find those times to runpee, and don’t read the rest. I enjoy and read it all. Thanks runpee crew!

  3. I agree with you on run time. There was plenty that could be cut. And that ending? Can’t believe you didn’t mention that!

    I’m thinking the creatives here intended us to see that these men had absolutely no moral conflict. They were 100% in it for the money and had zero problems fleecing the native people by any means necessary, including murder. I found the “no character arch” pretty much right on point and true to history. The rush to a tidy conclusion is what faltered the whole movie for me.

    1. Good observation. It was disturbing to me that these men could be friends with them one minute and then murder them the next if it was convenient. I’d like to think that times have changed, but I’m not so sure.

  4.  Avatar

    Who filled in the fields where it says this film is in English and Sioux? That’s a pretty big swing and a miss.

    1. LOL, that would be IMDb. 🙂

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