Promised Land

The last time Matt Damon teamed up with another actor to write a screenplay, the result was Good Will Hunting, which won Oscars for Damon and Ben Affleck. Don’t expect a repeat with Promised Land, which finds Damon teaming up with John Krasinski for both screenwriting and acting credits. Damon stars as a salesman attempting to buy drilling rights to land in a small town. When a schoolteacher (Hal Holbrook) raises concerns about the hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” process, the town becomes embroiled in a fight over whether or not to allow Damon’s employers come into town. As far as message movies go, Promised Land is more palatable than most, thanks to a focus on character development. Promised Land doesn’t go for easy solutions to the problems presented throughout the film. Unfortunately, a twist near the end of the film makes the ending feel more forced than natural. It’s still worth a viewing, thanks to strong performances and solid direction from Gus Van Sant.

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