Brought to us by the incredibly talented and academy award-winning Jane Campion. The Power of the Dog is one of the best movies from 2021 and one of the best movies Netflix has been associated with period! It took me a while to get around to watching this, but it was such an uncomfortable roller-coaster ride to be on that it left one heck of an impression on me.
How to Download The Power of the Dog
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like Western movies, check out also The Call of the Wild, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, or News of the World.
The Movie Review
The setting of the movie is 1920s Montana and we have two brothers George played by Jesse Plemons and Phil played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Phil is a rough and tough cowboy kind of guy that bullies George and looks down on anyone who he sees as unmanly or weak. George on the other hand is smarter, and kinder and wants more from life than just going on cattle drives with his brother.
George just takes his brother’s constant abuse and deals with it, but one day during a cattle drive things change. The brothers come into contact with a widow called, Rose (Kirsten Dunst), and George like her pretty much right away. Phil though does not like her and thinks that she is just after their money. Plus she has a teenage son called Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Phil really has some issues with him.
The love story that blossoms between George and Rose is very sweet and you so want these two to succeed. You also want Peter to be happy and do good with his life, but the family dynamic is very tense as they all live with not just George, but Phil as well. The relationship between Phil and Rose is so icy and hard to watch, it has you on edge the whole time they have to share a scene together.
I will say that The Power of the Dog is a real slow burn of a movie and while I liked that as it keeps you on edge. I do think that they perhaps could have shaved ten to fifteen minutes off the movie and it would have been better for it. Do not get me wrong, what is here is fantastic stuff, but the start of the movie I feel is better-paced than what comes at the end.
A huge reason why this is such a captivating movie is the incredibly talented cast that brings this classic novel to life. Jesse Plemons and Kirstin Dunst are great as George and Rose, you always feel that Rose is on the edge of a breakdown or snapping in some way and I have to say it is one of the best performances I have seen from Dunst!
Benedict Cumberbatch is one of those actors that can do everything so well that I often feel his abilities get taken for granted. Phil is such a hard man to like in any way in this movie, especially with the way he treats Rose and Peter. However, he is very captivating and you cannot take your eyes off him, even when he is being a horrible bully.
The Power of the Dog is a movie that is very easy for me to recommend to you. I am always a sucker for dying days of the West kind of movie and the brutal story that this one tells is one of the better I have experienced in the last few years. I would advise that you just check out the trailer and leave it at that as the less you know the better the movie will be for you.
- All four of the main leads deliver incredible and memorable performances
- It is a movie that can make you feel very uncomfortable
- The setting and the way the movie looks is something that I really liked
- It is one of the best movies that Netflix has put out!
- Some scenes can be quite hard to watch which I liked, but I imagine it may be a tad too uncomfortable for some
- While I liked the slow burn aspect of the story, I do think it could have been shortened just a tad