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Killers of the Flower Moon - A Movie Review

'Killers of the Flower Moon' is a compelling story told from the wrong perspective.

By Marielle SabbagPublished 28 days ago 3 min read
Top Story - November 2023

You’ve got to take back control of your home.

Killers of the Flower Moon is a 2023 crime-thriller film based on the novel written by David Gran. The story centers around the true story of the Osage Indian murders in the 1920s and the investigation of the newly formed FBI. A conspiracy of lies exposes oil surrounding the Osage community.

Killers of the Flower Moon is a compelling story told from the wrong perspective. Martin Scorsese's latest endeavor has been heralded as a masterpiece by many, but it fell short of depicting the true story for me.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, and Lily Gladstone deliver praiseworthy performances. Each of these actors has had diverse acting careers and it was incredible watching them share the big screen.

One of the most divisive decisions in the film is the choice of perspective. Instead of emphasizing the perspective through Molly, played with subtle intensity by Lily Gladstone, the narrative revolves around the character of Ernest Burkhart. I was really excited to see Gladstone, particularly after seeing her noteworthy performance in Fancy Dancy.

While DiCaprio’s performance as Ernest is commendable, he lacks a captivating character. He looks confused about what movie he is in most of the time. Due to direction or whether it was on purpose, Ernest and Molly lack any chemistry.

In contrast, DeNiro has the best performance as William Hale, a manipulative businessman. DeNiro provides a captivating presence that elevates his scenes. I loved it whenever DiCaprio and DeNiro interacted. Instead of advice between their characters, it looks more like DiCaprio asking DeNiro for acting advice.

The supporting cast plays a crucial role in Killers of the Flower Moon. Most characters don’t appear until well into the movie. While entering the storyline midway, Jesse Plemons delivers a captivating portrayal of the ambitious and conflicted local businessman, Tom White. John Lithgow and Brandan Fraser are also commendable as lawyers.

Killers of the Flower Moon is 3 1/2 hours. It’s a half-hour longer from Oppenheimer. While the details of this historical story are important, the prolonged runtime dilutes the story's impact. The film could have been two hours.

Martin Scorsese's direction captures breathtaking visuals of the Osage lands and natural landscapes. After reading Gran’s book, Scorses spent several hours with the Osage nation for their permission to help with the filming process. The production for the film wasn’t easy, being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring an authentic portrayal of the Osage county.

Scorses crafts meticulous details into each frame, highlighting stunning natural landscapes and the sinister acts committed within them. The film’s visuals are one of its most redeeming qualities, offering a visually immersive experience.

While the film is nice to look at, the narrative needs to capitalize on the true emotional layer of the story. Scorsese didn’t have a magnitude of the story of the Osage community. He didn’t recognize the story from Molly’s perspective. Focusing on Molly could have added a layer of emotional depth and cultural resonance to bring audiences closer to the story.

Killers of the Flower Moon is an ambitious and visually stunning portrayal of a significant chapter in American history. I wanted to enjoy this film but the film is overloaded with scenes that don’t explain pivotal details. For example, one of Ernest and Molly’s children has a breathing problem. That’s not acknowledged until the last half hour of the film.

Killers of the Flower Moon makes all the difference on the big screen. You must see this film in theaters before it moves to streaming services.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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Comments (8)

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  • Steven21 days ago

    I liked this movie

  • Brendan Donaghy23 days ago

    Great review, and I take your point about the movie focusing on the 'wrong' character. It's still well worth watching, though. I was a bit doubtful about the running time before I saw it, but it didn't feel like a three-and-a-half-hour watch.

  • You made this film sound very intriguing And I really admire your attention to detail on films and acting subtleties

  • Lana V Lynx24 days ago

    I haven't seen the movie yet but this review definitely makes me wanna watch it.

  • Babs Iverson24 days ago

    Terrific review!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Mr Ahsan24 days ago

    Congrats on top story 😀. Nicely done

  • I loved and hated this film I spent a few years working on the Navajo reservation when I was younger. That hate is as real as it ever was. And I felt ashamed as I watched this film, though I know I played no part in it. It was moving and aggravating at the same time. Great review

  • Alivia Varvel24 days ago

    Loved your review! I had a lot of the same thoughts and feelings. I recently watched this brief clip of an interview with Christopher Cote, an Osage consultant on the film. His perspective and feelings about the film are I think the best take out there.

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