Frank Ritz’s review published on Letterboxd:
Time's gonna serve this one well. Place Beyond the Pines' twisted cousin. We probably aren't ready to talk about the foundations of America, in all it's perverted, bloodlust fueled, degradation of humanity. We pretend like we are, but we aren't; I mean, look at this movie's reception. Not that this is the core text or anything, but it's all right there (blatantly pointed to in it's final moments (a good thing in my opinion)), and the universal dismissal, while relatively easier to swallow things of a similar ilk are praised, is silly to me. I suppose it's easier to take this sort of thing when you add in money, a struggle we all understand, instead of facing the truth that most things aren't born out of rhyme or reason, but fear, faith, and susceptibility.
By trying to right the past, you doom the future, and like all things, it's built on mountains of pain, suffering, sorrow, and ignorance. Buying into built in systems explicitly designed to manipulate, and abuse, good people become anything but that. The strongest glimmer of hope is still in the wake of destruction. Because when we try to say the world is anything but meaningless, and chaotic, we just lie to ourselves to further into a pit you can't be pulled out of. We get confused because we still know we're all connected, but taking that beyond a literal fact is what hurts us.
Handled like a story told on a hot summer day in the backyard by your grandad, with the evocative flair of McCarthy, simmering in the Coen Brother's acerbic tone, and Campos' specific brand of modern detachment. It flew by for me, sucking me down it's rabbit hole storytelling, as I found myself surprised to only be more invested as it went on. It's novelistic tendencies just enrichened the world that was communicated filmically, with sharp cuts (only thing I didn't like was the direct cuts back to allude connection) to create a moment in time. The acting is astounding from everyone, feeling all like they live inside this world, as these people, and not just performers.
A takedown of those who stand on pulpits, literal or otherwise. To pretend one person has any better understanding of the world than another is the greatest fools errand. Maybe that's how we keep coming back to the ideas of God, yet, in the ways we handle that notion in our world, it's actually not giving into the nothing, but making it more about yourself. Thus the movie somewhat critiques it's own existence, and this reviewer knows the hypocrisy in writing the review. So maybe I should leave it at this: It's horrificly effective for deranged loons like myself.
Gonna let it sit, but could see myself adjusting this to 5 stars, and calling it a favorite. Can't imagine it's gonna leave me anytime soon.