Dead Man's BurdenClosed Captioning
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The year is 1870, and a fragmented America still strains to pick up the pieces from a savage Civil War. Martha (exciting newcomer Clare Bowen) and her husband Heck (David Call, Tiny Furniture) are living on a homestead Martha's father purchased on the rural New Mexico frontier and struggle to make ends meet. When a mining company expresses interest in buying their land, Martha and Heck see their ticket to a better life. Their hopeful plans are soon complicated when Martha's oldest brother Wade (Barlow Jacobs, Shotgun Stories)—whom she had thought killed during the war—returns to the family homestead after learning of their father's death. A defector to the Union Army, Wade soon discovers that Martha is hiding secrets of her own. As the two siblings become reacquainted, torn between a desire to reconcile with the only family they have left and their clashing convictions, tension and suspicion continue to mount. Filmed on location in the rugged high desert of northern New Mexico, Dead Man's Burden, shot in the style of a classic western, marks Jared Moshé's directorial debut.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 17
- Fresh: 13
- Rotten: 4
- Average Rating: 6.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Small in scale but with a grand visual ambition, "Dead Man's Burden" draws nourishment from its burned-out desert setting and ambling pace.
Fresh: A slow-burning oater that's not gun-shy when it matters, Dead Man's Burden reps an impressive first feature from producer-turned-helmer Jared Moshe.
Fresh: An intense family drama that plays out as a low-key Western.
Rotten: Despite visual nods to dozens of classic Westerns, the film cannot break through with its own vision.
Utterly Simple but Exceptional
Dead Man's Burden is a low budget independent film that follows the story of a family post Civil War. The film location alone of New Mexico adds intrigue and beauty as well as capturing the tone of a traditional Western. Clare Bowen gives a standout performance as Martha Kirkland. I hold high hopes for her in the future as she continues Nashville and works on future projects. All in all this film is worth viewing at least once and I urge you to give it a chance.
Better western than most!
The story was simple and predictable. I watched it because I love the New Mexico scenery. Acting was good and the characters were interesting. If you're in the mood for action, this isn't the movie you want though it does have about 3 or 4 gun fight scenes. It's more about the story and the choices people make.
Whole lotta killin'
No much talkin' but a whole lotta killin'
Why is it that these indie film so often seem like made for TV movies from the 1970's, just with a little better acting?