Redemption: For Robbing the Dead (2011) Poster

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Off-best Western that has many good moments
dfgrayb25 May 2013
The movie is set in Utah during the Civil War (although no one in the film seems to be aware of this). It is about a Lawman (played very effectively by John Freeman, an actor a very short film resume) who finds himself responsible for protecting a convicted grave robber.

That's it. That's the plot. Can an engaging film be made that has unknown actors and actresses in the main roles with this plot? Yes. The story moves along well. The convicted grave robber (nothing as exciting as digging them up to eat them--he just steals their clothes) is played by David Stevens (another unknown) as a not-too-bright little weasel of a man. However, his views on his "crimes" provide some of the thoughtful moments of the film.

Much of the film involves how Freeman deals with others in his community--some who are compassionate and others who are not. All of the supporting actors and actresses contribute. Margot Kidder plays Baptist's desperate and slightly off-kilter wife (who he loves), Barry Corbin has a nice turn as the judge who also has his own history he is trying to live with, and Jon Gries (the older brother in Napoleon Dynamite) is a hoot as a hired gunman. Bernard Hermann makes a small appearance. Unusual film in that the major roles are played by people you've never seen, but the supporting roles are done by people you will recognize--all of whom have solid film careers.

The "gunfight" between Freeman and Gries is about the best I have ever seen. Realistic.

The film score is very nice, and the photography is beautiful.

I like films that are done well on little money. This is one of those. It is certainly worth an evening.
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A solid film
tstomp26 November 2012
Hmm. I'm not sure the film is about tumbleweeds, though that is a an interesting read. To say that the theological question is whether or not the victims of grave robbing go to heaven naked is as dismissive as it is inaccurate. This is no Ordet, but it's like saying that Ordet asks whether or not dead people can kiss. The film requires some patience and an attention span, but I found it rewarding. I didn't really identify with any theological themes, though I'm not a religious person. But I thought the ethical question was significant. Do we gain an increased understanding for those whom we're willing to help? I think it's interesting that the storytellers chose a notoriously violent genre to tell a story about forgiveness. I also think it's interesting that the violence is intentionally clumsy and not exactly satisfying. They're not the first to do it, nor did they do it better than Eastwood or Mann or Wyler or noteworthy others. But they did it more capably and intelligently than most. This is a fine film with stunning visuals, terrific performances, and a solid (though strangely quiet) soundtrack. Flaws? Of course. I'm not sure they're being honest about the budget, but if they made this on under a million, it's an even more impressive achievement. I know everyone's entitled to their opinion, but this is far better than a 5 star film (by the way, what goofball gave this film 0 stars? At least the person with the previous review clearly watched the film and rendered a sincere opinion!).
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revbighig1 March 2014
Just finished watching this movie at about 2:00 this morning. Despite the late hour and the approach of sleep, I had to check in here to see what the word was: three reviews. To be honest, I was surprised at how few people took the time to do more than punch in rating numbers. I was deeply moved by this story, and characters who seemed less like actors than real people from the period. Barry Corbin, long a favorite, was wonderful, as was Margot Kidder. Yes, it was generally slow moving, but oftentimes so is real life. Struggle, sadness and redemption don't come with explosions and car chases. And "westerns" needn't always come with blazing guns and fistfights. Moreover, most of us don't fall into categories of good or evil. Everyone in Redemption did what they thought was right, or at least necessary. I think these considerations will remain as images in my mind's eye for a long time. I liked, cared for and understood these people. They are us.
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Just wanted to offer support for the work done on this film
jwryan8 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Well written dialog. Acting high caliber. Nicely scored. Camera work was good. Direction was good. Editing was not too polished. An interesting piece of work. Thanks to you all.

Interestingly vague about religion. It was there, but not to finitely. Kind of like peoples faiths. Hard to pin down what some people believe and don't believe even as they change beliefs.

My brother ministers to death row inmates twice a week. He tells me they are not the same men who committed the crimes that put them there. He also tells me that the relationships he forms with them is a most rewarding thing.

Anyways here is to a tiny bit of introspection. I need it as much as anyone else. Thanks again.
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Incredible film
LoneWolfArcher21 August 2015
Unbelievable no one knows about this film. Very well done, great performances all around.

However, John Freeman's performance was especially poignant. And to think he was such an inexperienced actor at the time. His performance was befitting and seasoned veteran. I look forward to seeing him in more films.

Very intelligently done, I love how the direction of this film left so much to the viewer. This proves that great film doesn't have to show/explain everything. The violence was inferred yet not glorified nor shown in graphic detail.

Thank you to the cast and crew for a truly incredible film. And as another reviewer pointed out, Barry Corbin continues to just be such a pleasure to watch. From Six Pack and Permanent Record to No Country For Old Men, Mr. Corbin always knocks it out of the park.
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Disgust ... or forgive?
moviehawg593 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
(May contain a spoiler) To me, this was a very moving movie. All the folks in this town, are caught between a rock ... and a hard place. Sadly, most want to lash out, instead of try and forgive. And, they can't really be blamed. The acting was pretty good, with special nods to Kidder, Stevens, and Freeman. Stevens did excellent, as the centerpiece to the story. Kidder was pretty good, in her best role in years. And Freeman did a pretty good job with what he had to work with. To think of how we would react, under similar circumstances ... it gives a person quite a bit to think about. Most of us would probably be just like the townsfolk. But it all really boils down to ... can we forgive the hurt, and try to rise up and be something better? Or, do we succumb to the natural hurt and shock ... and not realize that, while criminals SHOULD be punished, there HAS to be a limit to the lengths that some would go to. Especially when the crime was not to the extent of, say ... perhaps a murder/murders.
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Studying the theology of stripped tumbleweeds.
myloveincruz8 November 2012
On the bright side, mostly grand vistas with generally pleasant and relaxing scenery.

You can guess from the title and that it is a Western that takes place in Utah the basics of the plot line. The spoiler is, joke on me, that there is next to nothing to spoil.

"Watch out now, Skeeter don't take kindly to you digging up and taking his ma's clothes.", if only, but no, the dialog is as memorable as that passable flapjack.

The theological question the film revolves around is: Does stealing the clothes from buried corpses force them to attend the Judgement as a nudist? It is a true story, an extremely underwhelming true story that the writer threw some spice on but the direction and acting left me feeling like I had been studying tumbleweeds.

Wait for it and wait for it some more, this can't be all there is can it? Yes, that's all there is, it's over, that was it. Wait I must have missed something profound, I refuse to believe someone made a movie about... nothing.

If you come up with something, please share.

All in all, that heavens I was not born then and there in that mind numbing wasteland.
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Hostess Twinkie Film making and Acting
productionuntitled27 October 2015
This film is nothing but SHALLOW ACTING with a bunch of Mormon 'belief system' fluff. What a waste of a good budget. Shameful. Even the great actors that were in it were made to look bad because of this junk... It goes to show that even the best actors can look bad in a bad film. Nathan H. Stevens was so uncommitted to his character. I had heard how committed he was on set but "FAKE Commitment" to show piety on set isn't truth if it doesn't convey onto the screen. The whole cast was (like Steven Buscemi described in his great film 'Living in Oblivion')... "Hostess Twinkie Actors". Also the reason this film doesn't shine was because the producers only honor you as an artists if you are mormon. The lack of truth and honor in their film making shows.
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