Burn Country (2016) Movie Review

Burn Country is a standard small town America crime story

Burn Country POster

Director: Ian Olds

Writer: Ian Olds, Paul Felten (Screenplay)

Starring: Dominic Rains, Melissa Leo, James Franco, Rachel Brosnahan, Thomas Jay Ryan, Tim Kniffin

Plot: A former Afghan journalist seeking asylum discovers the dark underbelly of his new small-town home in Northern California.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Burn Country starts as Afghan journalist Osman (Rains) find a home in America with Gloria (Leo). Who opens up to let him have a chance at an American life, where he will find himself learning about the underbelly of a small town.

As Osman meets Sandra (Brosnahan) he gets offered a chance about the better life. Meanwhile Lindsay (Franco) will give him a darker world, he isn’t ready for. Will Osman make the right decision, with the new life he has been given.

Thoughts on Burn Country

Burn Country is a crime thriller, showing how one man must learn about a new culture. Quickly if he is ever going to be able to start a new life. An American culture that will see him as more of an outside because of his Afghan roots.

The story will show how joining a tight knit community can be difficult, with the pasts of them holding you back from ever having a chance to fit in. Along with a crime that Osman wants to solve, but finds himself learning that certain crimes in the area, tend to solve themselves.

The story doesn’t feel like it gets to connect on the levels it would like to, with only one big mention of the horrors Osman has been through from his life as a journalist in Afghanistan. The performances in the film are fine, with nobody getting to reach any of the major talent they hold, because of a lack of direction behind the story.

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