Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Killers of the Flower Moon was one of my most anticipated films of 2023. Ever since the first image of Leonardo DiCaprio as Ernest Burkhart was released, I was excited. DiCaprio and De Niro together again after This Boy's Life and now being directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese made this a movie I had to see in theaters. The story of the Osage tribe and what happened to them in the 1920s was a tragic story. I was curious to see how it would translate to the big screen. So, does Killers of the Flower Moon live up to the hype? Let's find out.
Killers of the Flower Moon is so close to being a masterpiece. The one problem with this film is its runtime of 3 hours and 30 minutes. The film is just too long. The story didn't need to be 3 hours and 30 minutes. That's not to say it was boring because Killers of the Flower Moon keeps you entertained throughout the whole runtime. But, you feel the runtime of the film. It's not like other 3 hour films where it feels like it is only 2 hours long. This film feels like it is 3 hours and 30 minutes long. If the film was 30 minutes shorter, this film would have been one of Scorsese's best.
The story of the Osage tribe is heartbreaking. The film does a great job of telling the story. After the film is over, you think to yourself how can this happen? Why did it take so long to stop? It's an unbelievably tragic story that everyone should know about. The film delves into how greed can make people into monsters. It also shows how manipulation can lead people to do heinous things to one another.
Killers of the Flower Moon is going to be a big contender for the awards season. The performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone should earn nominations at the Oscars. DiCaprio plays a role he doesn't usually play. We usually see Leo as the main protagonist but in this film he plays the main antagonist, a role he hasn't done since Django Unchained. Robert De Niro is the definition of evil in this film. De Niro's character William Hale manipulates the Osage tribe and even members of his family all for his personal gain. Hale is the mastermind behind the reign of terror of the Osage tribe. Even though we have a lot of evil characters in Killers of the Flower Moon, we have the heart of the film in Mollie Burkhart played by Lily Gladstone. Mollie is the moral compass of this film and the only shining light surrounded by darkness. Mollie goes through a lot in this film because of her husband Ernest and William Hale. At the end of the film, you just want to give the poor woman a hug.
Killers of the Flower Moon is one of Martin Scorsese's most brutal films. There's moments in the film that make your jaw drop. The brutal imagery matches the tone of the story. Even though the film is brutal, you can tell that Scorsese wanted to do right by the Osage. There is beautiful imagery of Osage ceremonies and dances. We also get an insight to the Osage culture and what they really care about. The Osage tribe is all about family and protection of their people. This makes the content of the story even more heartbreaking and tragic.
Killers of the Flower Moon is definitely not a perfect film but it is still better than 95% of what Hollywood puts out today. The film tells a tragic story beautifully with great performances from a great cast. The runtime is the only thing holding this film back from being one of Scorsese's best.
What did you think of Killers of the Flower Moon? Leave it in the comments below.