Boasting a truly star-studded cast that includes Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, and Forrest Whitaker, “Out of the Furnace” nearly overwhelms the audience with its sheer amount of good acting performances. The film is also proof that intriguing premises or mind-blowing concepts aren’t always prerequisite for good entertainment.
The film is a drama set in the shadow of the latest Iraq War, in working class, suburban America. It follows the life of Russell Baze (Bale), a hard working mill worker and his brother Rodney (Affleck), who struggles to transition back into civilian life after four tours in Iraq. The drama that unfolds is gripping, and we care about what happens to these characters every step of the way. We feel their pains, and their reliefs. We experience the fear together with the main characters as the endeavor into the lawless and barbaric countryside.
“Out of the Furnace” doesn’t break new grounds, but it is two hours of solid entertainment, and it deserves more viewing and recognition than it has so far.