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Best Picture Binge - Killers of the Flower Moon

Greed is an animal that hungers for blood.

Killers of the Flower Moon is a 2023 epic historical Western crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Eric Roth and Martin Scorsese, produced by Apple Studios, Imperative Entertainment, Sikelia Productions, and Appian Way Productions, and distributed by Paramount Pictures and Apple Original Films. The film is based off of David Grann's 2017 nonfiction book of the same name, which, in turn, is based off of the Osage murders. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song.

"Can you find the wolves in this picture?" - Ernest Burkhart


In the 1920s, the native Americans of Osage County are the richest people in the country. That is, until a plot begins to unravel to murder members of the Osage and steal their wealth.

The Sweet

Killers of the Flower Moon is an expertly made film. You would expect nothing less from Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. On a technical level, everything is perfect: the cinematography, the acting, the production's all a feast for the eyes. Scorsese's been doing this for fifty years. He knows what he's doing.

One of the most impressive things about this film was actually Lily Gladstone. Before I watched the film, I heard her performance was great and she was obviously nominated for an Oscar, but what I didn't realize was that she outshines Leonardo DiCaprio in this movie. Leo is one of the five best working actors today. But whenever he has a scene with Gladstone, she steals the spotlight. That is impressive. And I hope to see her in more after this.

The period aspect of this film was honestly the strongest element. This movie obviously takes place in the 1920s, and it truly feels like it. The entire production immerses you in America a hundred years prior. From the acting to the dialogue to the costume design, there was not a moment in which I thought that this film felt like a depiction of the 1920s; it just felt like the 20s themselves.

The Sour

One of my strongest opinions when it comes to movies is that no movie needs to be three hours long. Oppenheimer, The Batman, Avengers: Endgame, even The Godfather or Braveheart, all feel too long to me. I love some of those movies, but I do not think they merit their runtimes. Killers of the Flower Moon is three and a half hours long. And it is simply painful to sit through a story of this weight with a length of this size.

And it's not like this movie needed to be three hours long. The most interesting part of the story, which is the FBI's involvement and the trial, is, like, forty-five minutes long. The majority of the runtime is dedicated to watching the Osage get murdered. Every scene feels like it drags on for an extra minute or two. This movie just has so much excess. It is too much.

I also really dislike that they told this story from Ernest Burkhart's perspective. The book is told from Mollie's (Gladstone's character) POV, and I think that that is infinitely more interesting. If you see it from Mollie's perspective, you experience the heartbreak and terror alongside her. It also would make it more of a mystery as to who the perpetrators are. But Ernest is one of the perps. So there's no mystery. No heartbreak. No terror. You have a main protagonist who committed real murders and was an actual evil human being. Yes, he had a sympathetic side, but that works for movie characters, not real people. This guy actually contributed to the Osage murders. And the movie kind of asks you to root for him.

Does This Movie Deserve It's Best Picture Nomination?

I'm going to spoil my final score: I don't really like this film. However, I think it does deserve the Best Picture nomination. I'm not really a fan of how the Academy nominates for Best Picture. I think the best movies are the ones that manage to be entertaining and high quality, and those movies are rarely nominated for Best Picture. However, I do think Killers of the Flower Moon tells an important story about an underrepresented group. It is directed by a master filmmaker and stars one of the best working actors. This movie was basically nominated before it was even released. The cinematography, acting, and dialogue are all stellar. It is made with incredible precision and mastery, and, even though I don't like it, I can't deny that it is well done.

So, yes, Killers of the Flower Moon deserves it's nomination.

Final Thoughts and Score

However, as I just said, I don't particularly like Killers of the Flower Moon. It's too long and I do not like that it is told from the perspective of the perpetrators.

I will go Sour here. Age range is 17+.


Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)

"Killers of the Flower Moon"

Fun Factor: 3.5/10

Acting: 9.5/10

Story: 7.5/10

Characters: 6/10

Quality: 8.5/10

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Rated R for strong bloody violence, frightening themes and images, language, sexual content, thematic elements

Released on October 20, 2023

3 hours and 26 minutes

Leonardo DiCaprio as Ernest Burkhart

Lily Gladstone as Mollie Burkhart

Robert De Niro as William King Hale

Jesse Plemons as Tom White

Tantoo Cardinal as Lizzie Q

Brendan Fraser as W.S. Hamilton

Cara Jade Myers as Anna

JaNae Collins as Reta

Jillian Doin as Minnie

Jason Isbell as Bill Smith

William Belleau as Henry Roan

Louis Cancelmi as Kelsie Morrison

Scott Shepherd as Byron Burkhart

Brent Langdon as Barney McBride

Yancey Red Corn as Chief Bonnicastle

Everett Walker as Paul Red Eagle

Talee Redcorn as Non-Hon-Zhin-Ga

Tommy Schultz as Blackie Thompson

Sturgill Simpson as Henry Grammer

Ty Mitchell as John Ramsey


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