Promised Land

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R (for language)
Running time:
106 minutes

Steve Butler, an ace corporate salesman, is sent along with his partner, Sue Thomason, to close a key rural town in his company's expansion plans. With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company's offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man, as well as the interest of a local woman. The film explores America at the crossroads where big business and the strength of small-town community converge.

Release date:
December 28, 2012
Quick review:
Matt Damon plays a fracking salesman, offering struggling family farmers big bucks to tap their land for natural gas. Despite its strong cast (Frances McDormand, John Krasinski, Hal Holbrook) and awards-laden director (Gus Van Sant), this is less a compelling study of characters in conflict (with one another, with themselves) than a preachy, cautionary environmentalist tale.