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Killers of the Flower Moon: Film Review

(There will be no plot spoilers in this review)
Killers+of+the+Flower+Moon%3A+Film+Review

Informative. Thrilling. Disturbing. Tragic. All of these words can describe Killers of the Flower Moon, the latest film from legendary filmmaker, Martin Scorsese. Throughout 2023, there has been a growing repertoire of highly anticipated movies, and without hesitation, Killers of the Flower Moon is on that list. 

The three-and-a-half-hour picture that’s based on a true story is about the Osage Native American Murders that occurred in Fairfax, Oklahoma during the 1920s. The film stars the usual Scorsese heavyweights like Leonardo Dicaprio and Robert De Niro, but also brings some new faces to the big screen like Lily Gladstone, who has previously been on television shows like Reservation Dogs

Though this movie is worth watching and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it’s certainly not perfect. Let’s break down the entire film, Killers of the Flower Moon

The Pros

If you’re looking for a film that’s going to educate you on the history of the Osage Tribe and their struggles with defending their land from rich white people in Fairfax, Oklahoma during the 1920s, this is perfect to watch. Scorsese and the film’s writers do a great job breaking down the story itself and explaining the history about the Osage Tribe and why they had the highest per capita wealth in the world during the 1920s. Personally, I didn’t know anything about the Osage Tribe story, so it was really fascinating to learn about the murders that occurred over the span of a few years in Fairfax.

The setting of the story is truly beautiful as well. There are parts of the movie where the scenes are in the town of Fairfax, but a large portion of the movie is out on the ranches that the Osage Natives owned. The scenery is breathtaking in this film and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, does an excellent job at displaying it throughout. 

Just like in every other Scorsese film, the music is excellent and helps to establish a certain vibe for the story. In all of his films, Scorsese uses music from whatever time period the story takes place. Killers of the Flower Moon uses music from the time period as well, but it also features some of the final songs that the late-but-legendary Robbie Robertson, who was a founder of the band, The Band, ever composed.

The Cons

Although I liked this film and I thought the story was excellent, it was also hard to sit through its whole three hours of storytelling. At times, it feels a little drawn out. Some parts of the story are a little unnecessary to explain. There was quite a bit of buildup for the first ninety minutes of the film. About a half-hour of the first ninety minutes of the film could have probably been cut out. The end was also a little dragged out since the resolution to the problem takes quite a while to be fixed. The end probably could’ve been cut about fifteen minutes earlier since the main character (Dicaprio) goes back and forth as to what his decision will be about the resolution. 

Along with how long it is, some of the moments in the movie are a little disturbing. I wouldn’t say that this is Scorsese’s goriest movie, but there were certain moments, such as some of the Osage Native Americans being killed, that made my stomach twist when I watched it. It’s important to note that these scenes were crucial to the story to wholeheartedly illustrate the violent impact  of racism in the United States. But, it still doesn’t change the fact that these moments made me want to turn my head due to how graphic they were.

There you have it. This is my review on Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. It’s definitely worth watching, but if you do end up going to see it in theaters, make sure you have your whole day wide open since it’s so long. Though the date is not certain yet, Killers of the Flower Moon should also be premiering on Apple TV+ sometime soon.

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About the Contributor
Jack Teoli
Jack Teoli, Staff Writer
Jack Teoli is a staff writer for Castaic high school’s newspaper, the Daily Howl. This is his first year with journalism and he is very excited to be a part of the team. With strong interests in current events that revolve around government and economics, his goal is to produce informative articles that will give students at Castaic a better understanding about what’s going on outside of school and what effects it has on them. Though he doesn’t know what he wants to do for a living yet, he knows he’s passionate in areas that involve speaking, law, and writing. In his free time, he likes to surf, listen to music, and play the guitar.
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