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The Driftless Area (2015)

R | | Crime, Drama | 26 April 2016 (USA)
2:26 | Trailer
A bartender comes back to his hometown after his parents die, and finds himself in a dangerous situation involving a mysterious woman and a violent criminal.


Zachary Sluser


Tom Drury, Zachary Sluser (screenplay)
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Anton Yelchin ... Pierre
Zooey Deschanel ... Stella
John Hawkes ... Shane
Alia Shawkat ... Carrie
Frank Langella ... Tim Geer
Ciarán Hinds ... Ned
Aubrey Plaza ... Jean
Benjamin Rogers Benjamin Rogers ... Keith
Primo Allon ... Lyle
Gary Hetherington ... Reverend John Morris
Lucia Frangione ... Luanne
Elika Portnoy ... The Tragic Woman
Amitai Marmorstein ... Donald R. Thomas
Philip Granger ... Herbicide Store Owner
Duncan Ollerenshaw ... Card Player


Pierre Hunter (Anton Yelchin), a bartender with unyielding optimism, returns to his tiny hometown after his parents' death. When he falls for the enigmatic Stella (Zooey Deschanel), Pierre is unknowingly pulled into a cat-and-mouse game that involves a duffel bag full of cash, a haphazard yet determined criminal (John Hawkes), and a mystery that will determine all of their fates. With Alia Shawkat, Frank Langella, Aubrey Plaza, and Ciarán Hinds. Zachary Sluser's film, based on the novel by Tom Drury, is a contemporary fable about the ways we struggle to control time and fate in a possibly predetermined universe.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Destiny can lead to dangerous places.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug use and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Anton Yelchin and Alia Shawkat co-starred in Green Room. See more »


Wayfaring Stranger
Performed by Anton Yelchin
See more »

User Reviews

Good indie in the tradition of Fargo tv series
6 April 2019 | by robertemeraldSee all my reviews

I compare this movie to Fargo tv series because both have a similar premise, of an innocent man/couple caught up in local level organised crime. That aspect of the movie is very clever. It's very indie though, with lots of folksy modern tunes underpinning the rather laconic action sequences and drama. It's also a rather cool and careful love affair, and even one of the criminals has a bit of a similar affair, underlining what looks like an intended irony. As such it's intelligently put together, a well-written script and story inspired by a novel. If you look to the special features 'making of' on the dvd, you'll see various cast and crew struggling with how to describe it. Noir is mentioned a couple of times. Perhaps that's worth noting, as this is a sufficiently unusual piece to hold some pride in itself. I'd describe it as picturesque, and that would apply to the careful (but not sweeping) cinematography as well. There's an important spiritual side, which could have been treated with a little less slap dash. To explain, certain ideas are presented as fait accompli, and, to my mind, should have been given more spooky for the audience to willingly run with it. Granted though, don't turn to this one if looking for an action film to thrill. Look to it if you like young love, good writing and interesting character study. Great actors here, and well worth a look on a Saturday afternoon.

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Canada | USA



Release Date:

26 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Driftless Area See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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