The Power of the Dog (2021) Poster

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3/10
A Movie Salad with too many ingredients
collinsa-260594 October 2021
Somebody said this was "entertaining". My jaw just dropped. This movie is ANYTHING but entertaining. It's freaking painful! Ok the photography is awesome, the actors are good. But where ia the story? So many disparate metaphors dropped and so many possible storylines begun and cut off that is was dizzying. Was the movie meant to make me feel this confused?. Maybe so. That way I can look stupid - and the vast greatness of the art cannot be touched by my silly judgment. But please, MAKE Benedict Cumberbatch take off the damned chaps!
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1/10
What is this?
omarcantbestopped13 September 2021
Seriously what is supposed to be a western? Melodrama?

I know a lot of you loved this movie but I thought it was slow and boring.

Nothing to see here except if you want to know how to make a rope.
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1/10
Terrible and boring right to the end.
kanifuker-8470814 September 2021
This movie was awful from beginning to the end. I won't give anything away because there's nothing to give away. If you can't sleep i'm 100% sure this movie will solve that problem for you, just a shame i had woken up from an early evening nap. ZZZzzzzzzz.
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3/10
The Dog isn't very Powerful
Wellenstock17 September 2021
To all of the reviewers saying "mysterious and complex" and giving it a high rating... Translation It's a senseless story that leads to no resolve and alienates the viewer. It's not that the viewer isn't smart enough to follow the story, it's that the writer/director has failed to communicate the story. If the written story makes sense then the director failed but if what we see is the actual way the story was written then the writer failed. No matter what happened this is not a good film.

To all of the reviewers saying, "Great acting!" and giving it a high rating... It's not really great acting. Did the actors fill you with joy one moment then move you to tears the next? Did the actors stun you with wisdom did you completely relate to and understand their character? Phil, Rose and Peter all had senseless character changes by the end of the film, there was no explanation as to why and it wasn't revealed at all in the acting.

Considering the hundreds of brilliant filmmakers and brilliant writers out there that will never get a chance to make it to the big screen, that this 'thing' was made instead, is a tragedy.
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5/10
Like a tumbleweed rolling past for 2hours
0w015 September 2021
With these 3 great actors, I honestly don't know why you'd make such a boring movie. It's like Brokeback Mountain but even more boring. I honestly can't recommend that anyone watch this movie, unless you're really, really into boring and slow western movies.
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8/10
Beautiful and Sensational
atractiveeyes16 September 2021
It's so beautiful, well made and sensational. Both production and costume designs are so beautiful. Cinematography is great too. The story is nice, very well written with great characters study, and flows smoothly. It says a lot by not saying much. But of course it's so slow-paced and not your typical kind of westerns, it's not a movie for everyone.
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1/10
Boring Rubbish
dotdixon13 September 2021
Don't waste your time on this trash, watching paint dry would be more enjoyable.

This is by far Benedict Cumberbatch's worst film.
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1/10
bad.....boring....what a waste of my time!
helenbrazil19 September 2021
Not really sure what the point of the movie is.

Really bad, boring, wasted my time watching it.

So unfortunate because there were good actors in the movie.

What a shame. So bad I had to take to time to write something about it.

Bad movie. Do not watch.
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6/10
Lots of things happening but never plays out In the end
bhulery14 September 2021
Lots of things happening but never plays out. You think something is right around the corner but it's never plays out like you want it too. Relationships start and you need more details for it to all makes sense but it never gets there. This is one of those movies it wants you to imagine wants happens in the end and why... that's why I'm watching the movie, give me more details. In the end I can't recommend this film. I need a beginning, climax and a end but it comes up short. You're left wondering what happened in the end and/why. You have clues but no facts to come to a conclusion. Why do directors do this it's lazy and annoying. Maybe the important scene got cut I don't know why.
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9/10
What does the Phrase "the power of the dog" mean?
Rahul_Ahuja16 September 2021
What does the Phrase "the power of the dog" mean? Read this interpretation somewhere, and found it to be apt: "The Power of the Dog, the power of the evil man and the evil choice, of corruption over honesty and lawlessness over law." The original quote that Peter read from the book in the movie : "Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog."
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8/10
Too subtle. pay attention to the names
Adamanthe14 September 2021
This is not the kind of movie that you should be watching while you're multi-tasking. It's slow, and you will miss out on bits here and there if you don't pay attention. I read the synopsis and it kinda ruined the movie for me because i was anticipating the bigger events instead of watching the character's subtle facial cues and actions.

I read the book the very same day. The movie does a good job bringing it to life.
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2/10
Just let the dog lie down in the dust
Bad-Good-Great11 October 2021
Very disappointed at this movie. When it started, it looked so grand with hopeful prospect, the panorama scene of the west, the drive of the cattle...everything just looked great with fantastic cinematography. Then it started to slowly crash and burn. Lot of the scenes came up unnecessarily clueless like the dialog came with them. The scene then from bad to worse. Drank at the bar, dined in the hotel's restaurant, the dialog just felt more and more meaningless and lame, the laughter from the neighboring table felt forced and phony, same as those from the cowboys. Scenes dragged along with deadbeat paces, trying so hard to prolong the duration of the movie. Nothing felt natural but fake scene after scene. Where's the dog? And where's the power from the dog? Was it so difficult to make a movie a bit more logic and reasonable?

Everything in this movie just gave you a forced, awkward, do-nothing drag-on. What is the purpose of this movie? To show us how a ranch boss suddenly found out he's in the closet too long and decided to become the sequel character of The Broken Back Mountain? Did we need such long period to reveal the story of personal evolving progress?

At first, I thought those viewers who gave low ratings were biased and homophobic, but after I've tortured myself to watch it and fast lost my patience, I had to agree with these viewers' afterthoughts. This is a terrible movie disguised in western genre but looked fake through and through.
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1/10
Woof, woof.
joachimokeefe4 October 2021
Benedict Cumberbatch playing against type as a nasty, rough cowboy (Phil) in rural 1920's Montana. Which is, as you'd expect, completely convincingly recreated by Jane Campion.

I don't mind slow films. Or long films. What I do mind is slow, long films that take my time for granted by spinning out the story, as this does. You can only hope for so long that a main character who is completely obnoxious might be heading for redemption or something. The scene where he abuses a horse (as he does everyone else) is not necessary to show how bad he is. That's been hammered home for half an hour - which seemed like three.

There's no mystery, no suspense; just Phil being nasty.

By Part III, it's pretty plain that Nasty Phil is nothing more than nasty. Fine, that's established. By this time I had lost interest in whether Phil lived, died, or jumps a horse through a ring of fire. Basically because he's so irredeemably horrible, and there's no reason to waste time finding out whether he gets his deserts.
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10/10
Did I watch the same movie?!
sgfan9915 September 2021
Maybe I like this kind of thing, where they throw you in at the middle and you have to figure it out. I see a number of people complaining it was too subtle/too slow...well, it gives you more information/clues than the book did...

It's wonderfully modern update to a story written in 1967, this is due to Campion's writing and directing. The filth and evil of Phil is in stark contrast to the absolutely beauty of the scenery.

You need to pay attention to what you think, are the smallest, throw away details, because the pay off is worth it.
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8/10
Benedict Cumberbatch is superb!!
li090442613 September 2021
This is not a movie to everyone. You can't overlook any single detail in this movie, it's like a puzzle. You will need to capture the next scene to have the whole picture of the main character. Superb performance by Benedict Cumberbatch, he got the soul of Phil Burbank, including the roughness, repressive and repulsive behaviour of his character.
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8/10
Haunting
carnagecarney13 September 2021
An excellent film by Jane Compion with a riveting performance from Cumberbatch.

Thought provoking, eerie, menacing yet beautiful, Compion uses the Montana landscape through various seasons like an additional character in the film. Always watching, not passing judgement but aware of all actions and intent.

An excellent piece of cinema for the intellectual observer. Very well done 8/10.
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7/10
Slow and chaotic, but it makes sense.
yhoha_200115 September 2021
The opening events set the tone of the movie perfectly. Two brothers with disparate personalities live in a ranch, then meeting an insecure, mourning mother and her adored son. With the wonderful job by the cast, the events rarely fail to be gripping.

Throughout the chapters, the actions of the characters somehow might seem random, but with the subtle intricacies embedded by the beautiful cinematography, it can be sensible.

One of those intricacies is in Benedict Cumberbatch's eye game, which was really the pinnacle of the movie, and his performance. He perfectly delivers the difference before and after the exposure of Phil's repressed vehemence, and his obsessive inspiration.

Unfortunately, the movie might seem to be drowned in its eeriness and profound details to the point where it could be perceived as a series of too-real events, which wouldn't be an enjoyable watch for some.

Practically, the cast was accurate enough for the story. Jesse Plemons continues to show that he's deserving of the latest roles he's getting from some notable filmmakers, without forgetting the chemistry he's shown with his couple, Kirsten Dunst, who was also great.

Other than that, the music obviously fit the theme, although some of its uses weren't suitable to some scenes.

The Academy Awards won't shy away from this film, that's for sure. It has too much bait for it to be not looked away from.
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2/10
The power of falling asleep.
whitemanfromtowne25 September 2021
I wasted exactly 2 hrs listening to violins, horns and watching an all star cast doing a bunch of nothingness. Slow boring and super dull. Never seen Brokeback Mountain but it's seems like this may have had a notion of it. Honestly this should've been called.....the power of falling asleep....sheesh.
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1/10
Not a western!
ogamer201415 September 2021
It is slow paced boring drama, waste of Cumberbatch talent.
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1/10
Brokeback for Uncles
royttaylor14 September 2021
Love Benedict. Talented with a huge range. But we've seen this trope before. His last film The Courier is sublime. But for suppressed gay love others have done it better and more recently.
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9/10
An excellent movie, if you want a drama, not western
maciek-0589226 September 2021
If you are a high quality drama gourmand, don't mind poor reviews here, this movie deserves a 9.

It's unbelievable and hilarious that some reviewers here are confused with the ending, to me it is even too explicit (as if the producers were afraid people wouldn't get it, well, reviews here show they were right).

Nevertheless, at least there is no black-and-white conclusion, instead the ending leaves sth to reflect on.

Good job, Mrs Campion!
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5/10
A well-acted but otherwise mediocre western that does little to reinvigorate the genre
MrDHWong16 September 2021
"The Power of the Dog" is a western drama film based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and directed by Jane Campion (The Piano), it's a well-acted but otherwise mediocre western that does little to reinvigorate the genre.

In 1925, the Burbank brothers Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George (Jesse Plemons) run a successful cattle ranch in Montana. One day while heading toward the markets, the brothers stop by a restaurant operated by the recently widowed Rose (Kirsten Dunst) and her son Pete (Kodi Smit-McPhee). The hot-headed Phil treats the mother and son pair cruelly but the kind-hearted George feels drawn towards Rose, culminating in a romantic relationship and eventually marriage. Refusing to accept them into the family, Phil continues his mistreatment of Rose and Pete until he soon sees the value in taking the latter under his wing as a new protégé.

There haven't been too many good Western films made recently. The genre is growing stale and feels as though it is on its way out. It also doesn't help that it has already been combined with virtually every other genre imaginable ranging from horror to science fiction. A film like "The Power of the Dog" attempts to go for a relatively straightforward Western experience with its basic setting on a ranch but it ultimately falls short of greatness.

Although I wouldn't exactly call it boring, I didn't find myself particularly invested in the story. The basic plot is just the Burbank brothers working on their ranch with the occasional angry outburst from Phil. The stark contrast between Phil's overtly aggressive demeanour and George's gentle nature is never properly explored. It is hinted that they have inherited the ranch from their father but aside from that, we are never told important background information about what they were like before his passing. This is a missed opportunity as I wish we could have seen which of the brothers takes after their father the most. A plotline involving the siblings competing with each other over which of them is more worthy of being in charge of the family business would have made for a much more interesting film, however, the two of them are shown to get along reasonably well. Even with Phil's outward hostility towards Rose and Pete isn't enough to put a strain on the brothers' familial closeness. Instead, George just seems to brush it off as a minor inconvenience.

Jane Campion, who wrote and directed the 1993 classic "The Piano", tries her hand here with the Western genre. She shows the vast sweeping landscape of the American mid-west and some creative camera angles to emphasise how small humans look in comparison. Unfortunately, moments like this are so fleeting that they barely leave an impact. Each time it seemed like the film was about to blow me away with epic visuals, the scene would abruptly end. It's a huge shame because I loved how Campion was able to immerse the audience in colonial era New Zealand in "The Piano" so it's surprising she wasn't able to replicate similar techniques here. I'm not sure if it's her inexperience with Westerns in general or if she's just simply lost her way over the years but I felt underwhelmed with what she presented to us here.

One of the few redeeming features of this film is the quality of its acting. Benedict Cumberbatch is pretty convincing as a ranch owner with a short temper. Even though his character seemed underwritten, I liked what Cumberbatch was able to do with the material given to him. His unpredictability was one of the main reasons the film wasn't a total bore, as it kept me in suspense over what he would do next. Additionally, his American accent has improved considerably over the years, not at all sounding slightly British like it used to in the past. He also shared decent chemistry with Jesse Plemons as his brother, but as I mentioned earlier, I wish the film did a better job at exploring the fraternal relationship between the two of them.

In conclusion, "The Power of the Dog" simply doesn't do enough to help revitalise the dying Western genre. Though there's nothing outright terrible about it, as there are some things that prevent the film from being a complete failure, there's nothing really worth recommending either. Coming from an otherwise talented filmmaker like Jane Campion, this is especially disappointing.

I rate it 5/10.
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5/10
Beautifully photographed, acted well, but boring. Yes, simply boring
imseeg5 October 2021
If one makes a character drama then one needs 2 things:

1 Great characters. They succeeded somewhat in portraying true to life characters, with good acting performances.

2 Intense drama. NONE is to be found though. What a bummer.

So what we have here is a polished portrait of good actors in a story that simply never becomes a real human drama. Simply lacklustre. Kinda tedious. Such a pity of the waste of many good actors...
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4/10
Dull
mody301214 September 2021
Very boring and dull ...really dull , maybe it's only the music.
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7/10
It lacks superior and/or critical editing
yogesh-320 September 2021
I would like to add that this would have been an exceptional work if proper attention had been afforded to its editing.

Regretfully this is surprisingly missing, which explains much of the other criticism against the film.
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