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The Iron Orchard

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Italy, USA

2018

Rated R • 1h52

Ty Roberts

Director

Lane Garrison, Ali Cobrin, Austin Nichols, Lew Temple

Stars

Drama, History, Romance

Genre

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“The Iron Orchard" is the story of Jim McNeely, a young man thrust into the vibrant and brutal West Texas oilfields in 1939, who works his way through the ranks to ultimately become a formidable wildcatter.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

67

Austin Chronicle by

There’s a degree of mythologization at work here, an attempt to frame the birth of the Texas oil industry as this great drinking game between old money and new money. What it lacks is a distinct perspective; for all its period details and solid acting, the underlying message about this time in Texas oil history – that it was right, that it was wrong, that it was necessary – is lacking. This makes The Iron Orchard a film that is both worse and better than it could have been.
40

The New Yorker by Anthony Lane

The Iron Orchard, though geographically confined, is all over the place. We flit past the patches of Jim’s life that matter (what happened during those two years, as the dollars poured in?) and linger on those that don’t. Random flashbacks alert us to his youth. The musical score is overcooked, the cast underpowered, and the dialogue something of a mishmash.
70

Variety by Joe Leydon

The narrative itself, however, is not without its bumpy stretches. The Iron Orchard is satisfyingly involving and entertaining as a whole — call it “Giant Lite” and you won’t be far off the mark — and the performances are sufficiently compelling to ease a viewer through some abrupt and elliptical transitions.
30

Los Angeles Times by Kimber Myers

Garrison’s McNeely damns the overlong film; he’s neither a good man nor a good character, someone that we can’t care about or care to watch.
75

Film Threat by Nick Rocco Scalia

The film is never less than entertaining, and it’s easy enough to get caught up in its roller-coaster narrative and impressive recreation of mid-century Texas, but its makers occasionally struggle to get a handle on their protagonist and the attendant themes of ambition, failure, and stubborn perseverance that he represents.

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