THE ROVER (movie)

10 years after a global economic collapse, a hardened, ruthless ex-soldier tracks down the men who stole his only possession. As he travels through the lawless Australian outback, he takes a damaged young man as his unwitting accomplice.

Excellent movie! Australia provides stunning landscapes for menacing plots and this story is gripping from beginning to end with the landscapes contributing to the constant tension.  The cinematography is sometimes tight, focusing in on faces and places, and at other times widens out to set the story in a desolate wasteland that mirrors the collapse of the country – economically, socially, morally. Guy Pearce (who plays Eric) and Robert Pattinson (playing Rey) are brilliant in their roles and their characters develop slowly and surely over the course of the film. Robert Pattinson, in particular, shows tremendous depth and nuance. The mystery at the heart of the story – why Eric is so desperate to recover his stolen car and pay such a high personal cost for it – is stunningly revealed at the end of the movie. The script is tight with minimal dialogue – not one scene and not one word is wasted. The violence, which bursts on screen occasionally, is perfectly timed and just enough to support the shocking story. While the narrative arc may seem derivative and predictable at times, the ending completely reframes the whole story and makes this movie ultimately fresh and original.