The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog

A domineering but charismatic rancher wages a war of intimidation on his brother's new wife and her teen son, until long-hidden secrets come to light.

  • Released: 2021-11-17
  • Runtime: 127 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, Romance, Western
  • Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Keith Carradine, Thomasin McKenzie, Geneviève Lemon, Adam Beach, Peter Carroll, Frances Conroy, Sean Keenan, Ken Radley, George Mason, Ramontay McConnell, David Denis, Cohen Holloway, Max Mata, Josh Owen, Alistair Sewell, Eddie Campbell, Alice Englert, Jacque Drew, Yvette Parsons, Bryony Skillington, Aislinn Furlong, Daniel Cleary, Richard Falkner, Tatum Warren-Ngata, Yvette Reid, Alice May Connolly, Stephen Lovatt, Stephen Bain, Ella Hope-Higginson, Piimio Mei, Edith Poor, Vadim Ledogorov, Julie Forsyth, Alison Bruce, Karl Willetts, David T. Lim, Maeson Stone Skuggedal, Ian Harcourt, Kenneth Radley, Sean Keenan, George Mason, Ramontay McConnell, David Denis, Cohen Holloway, Max Mata, Josh Owen, Alistair Sewell, Eddie Campbell, Alice Englert, Bryony Skillington, Jacque Drew, Yvette Parsons, Aislinn Furlong, Daniel Cleary, Richard Falkner, Tatum Warren-Ngata, Yvette Reid, Alice May Connolly, Stephen Lovatt, Stephen Bain, Ella Hope-Higginson, Piimio Mei, Edith Poor, Vadim Ledogorov, Julie Forsyth, Peter Carroll, Alison Bruce, Karl Willetts, David T. Lim, Adam Beach, Maeson Stone Skuggedal, Ian Harcourt
  • Director: Jane Campion
  • jromanbaker - 13 April 2024
    Killing Off The Homosexual
    Some may question the ending of this art house Western ( set in the wrong country, and it shows ) but I do not. The repressed homosexual who was once in a possible sexual relationship with a man who has died must be killed off. It happens so often in mainstream or high profiled art house films this death of the homosexual that some brave critic of note should write about it, but they don't. But back to the film in question; it is a bleak tale of mother love worthy of Norman Bates in ' Psycho ' and the whole cast acts equally bleakly, and in my opinion pretentiously. Cumberbatch is an anguished man who takes it out on everyone, and no doubt in grief for his dead could have been lover. Dunst plays a widow who falls in love with his spruced up brother and somehow she descends into alcoholism, and she does it very well being the best actor in the dreary scenario. She has a son who is truly nasty, but no one seems to notice his methodical cruelty. He cuts up animals and hugs a rabbit before killing it. Quite a boy!! But as he loves his mother he will do anything to save her. From himself ? Cumberbatch tries to get his act together, and has male physique magazines stashed away ,and we certainly cannot tolerate that, and inevitably there is an exit door for him. The scenery which acts better than the humans is a Montana set in 1925 and we all know it is filmed in New Zealand. To sum up I felt numb with depression watching it and longed for Rory Calhoun to rush in and yell at them all for faking Western mythology. But sadly he is dead. To sum up I think most of the actors were miscast ( except Dunst ) and I did not like the tease of male nudity in such a basically heteronormative film. Naked cowboys splashing in water did not make up for the inevitable killing off and a return to so-called normality. The film has been acclaimed heavily as a masterpiece. Perhaps I have looked at it through the wrong end of the telescope.
  • dc_follies - 1 January 2024
    No original ideas
    This is an art house pic without an intriguing story and no original ideas to be found. The acting is very good. The story is slow and uninteresting. This is a movie where you see a difference in opinion between the critics and the masses and it should make you wonder why. The issue of gay man as a cowboy has been told before. It's not interesting enough to carry another movie, such as this. Cinematography is nice, but it doesn't look like Montana (as others have noted). That's all ok, it's just that this isn't interesting or entertaining enough to motivate a 2+ hour movie that's rather boring.
  • pixrox1 - 12 January 2023
    Montana generally is considered the most . . .
    . . . forsaken place on Earth. Notable only for Badlands, grizzly bears and glaciers, what few drivers there are often travel hundreds of miles without passing another vehicle. The landscape in Montana is so depressing that the insurers of THE POWER OF THE DOG insisted that it be filmed in that Hell on Middle Earth known as M-o-r-d-o-r, aka New Zealand, to prevent the lawsuits sure to result from the inevitable mass suicides of film goers which would result IF this DOG had been filmed in the Real Life Montana. The title of this Montana-based novel, and consequently the motion picture, is taken from Psalm 22, a prophesy of Golgotha generally considered the most downbeat passage in the Good Book. It's quite possible the outcome of Holy Week would have been different if the Passion had taken place in torturous Montana.
  • BeneCumb - 17 December 2022
    Well directed and well played cumbersome story
    I had not the read the book, thus many scenes and twists remained incomprehensible to me and I had to read the plot afterwards... Well, the story was there, present, but it could have been shown far less than in almost 2 hours, and in spite of several intrigues and beautiful views, I can´t say it is too catchy.

    The main reason I finally found time for this movie was the participation of Benedict Cumberbatch, whom I really admire; here, as well, he was great, excelling the others, even in dialogues with otherwise good performers as well.

    I am really surprised that the movie got 12 Academy Award nominations - and not too surprised that it got 1 Award only (although, the nomination list already was not too impressive either and none of them earned more money in box office than production costs).
  • tubereverb - 16 September 2022
    Good acting, self indulgent writing.
    This is not a Western so don't get your hopes up. It has some cows and horses and a place that very slightly resembles Montana, but nope, not a Western or even close. Western=nothing for this movie. Did I mentiion that this is not a Western?

    Anyway, the writer thinks he/she is smarter than the audience and throws in a twist near the end of the film where skinny boy Peter infects Phil with Anthrax. The circumstances surrounding this murder of sorts isn't well written. Did Peter conspire with his mother to murder Phil? Peters mother gave Phil's hides to the Indians, so we might assume that action created the opportunity for Peter to offer the Anthrax hides to Phil, but we don't know. If we go by the beginning of the film then we can assume that it was only Peter who conspired to murder Phil to protect his mother. But if his mother did not give the hides away, Peter would have no opportunity to offer Phil the Anthrax contaminated hides.

    But in all honesty, who cares? I don't care, do you care? Nope. We don't care, we really don't . Because this isn't even a Western. It's marketed as a Western, but its just a short story made into a 2 hour boring no-action mumbo jumbo hodgepodge of gumbo soup.

    I enjoyed the acting, which is the case with a lot of poorly written films lately. Actors need work and they don't care if the writing is flawed. And they were probably told that they were going to be in a Western! But nope, sorry good actors, your in a student short film with a big budget, nice locations, and great film equipment, all stretched out into a 2 hour film.

    I couldn't careless about any of the characters in this film, no emotional content whatsoever. There was good character development, but that does no good when we don't care about the characters.

    I didin't enjoy this film, but I watched it anyway because it was supposed to be a Western, and I like Westerns, however, this isn't a Western. Get along little power doggies and don't come back.
  • kghfvvgkn - 11 August 2022
    Good cinematography
    Possibly one of the most boring slow burn film I have ever watched. The plot is just boring and not engaging at all. With shades of really good acting it is overpowered by the completely pointless plot.