DVD: Meek's Cutoff (PG)

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The Independent Culture

Kelly Reichardt places her rag-tag pioneers in a claustrophic square box that stifles widescreen pretensions and mirrors the bonneted point of view of heroine Emily (Michelle Williams).

As grizzled guide Meek (Bruce Greenwood) leads the settlers astray, we are exposed to a freeform slog through an unforgiving West. Even when a captured Native American brings Emily to the feminist moral heart of the story, there is no Josey Wales-style catharsis. A compelling anti-Western of growing, unflinching power.