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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Spoiler-free Movie Review: Killers of the Flower Moon

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Edwin He
Ernest Burkhart, played by Leonardo Dicaprio, arrives at the Osage Reservation.

Released to theaters on Oct. 20, 2023, Killers of the Flower Moon is Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese’s latest film. Based on a true story, the movie follows the Osage Indian murders in the 1920s, a three-hour runtime of cunning schemes, tragic losses, and a search for justice. 

In the first week of its release, the movie had a moderate start. It grossed $30.2 million in the United States and Canada and a global total of $55.8 million with its budget of $200 million. It currently sits at a Rotten Tomato score of 92 percent and an audience approval rating of 85 percent. 

About the Movie

The story unfolds mainly through the point of view of Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo Dicaprio), a veteran returning from WWI, who arrives in the Osage Reservation to work for his uncle, the sheriff of the town. 

Right from the start, the movie captures the attention of the viewer with its gory depiction of a string of murders. They show Native Americans being shot through the head, left dead by a riverbank, and beaten to death. These murders happen in a rapid sequence. From one scene to the other, it leaves the viewer to question ‘Who did it?’ and ‘Why?’

The movie then introduces Mollie Burkhart (Lily Gladstone), an Osage woman closely tied to these murders. Her involvement and relationships enable the viewer to slowly piece together the brutal reality of these murders.

Why you should watch it

Although the movie incorporates many murder-mystery elements, it quickly dissipates the suspense as it reveals the culprits early on. However, the movie doesn’t need the suspense to be interesting. Rather than focusing on who did the murders, the movie examines the sick minds of the murderers: how they justify to themselves the necessity of their actions and the extraordinary lengths they go through to do so. 

It was a refreshing angle that kept me enthralled in the story for its entire 3 ½ hour length. The movie doesn’t shy away from brutality either, as it is rated R. It captures the full consequences of the murderers’ actions, invoking anger and sorrow in the viewer. 

When it allows actors to showcase their talents, the movie shines the brightest. Heartbreaking moments from the two main characters are exemplified by the brilliant acting from Lily Gladstone and Leonardo Dicaprio that sells the sorrow and the devastation in a world defined by greed and twisted love. 

Haunting yet beautiful, Killers of the Flower Moon is certainly worth a watch and is now playing in most theaters such as Regal, Livermore 13, and THE LOT City Center

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