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Critics Slam Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” as a Tedious Three-Hour Dud, Yet an Unknown Star Shines Bright!

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Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon is branded a ‘dud’ by critics as they lambaste ‘tiresomely long’ three-hour film (but a little-known actress is the saving grace!)

Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated Killers of the Flower Moon has been blasted by critics for being ‘tiresomely long’.

Based on a true story, the film, which has been released today, follows a series of murders carried out against members of the Osage Nation after oil was discovered on their Oklahoma land in the 1920s.

Adapted from David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller, it stretches nearly three and a half hours and cost Apple $200 million to make.

It boasts an A-lister cast – including Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and the highly-praised newcomer Lily Gladstone – and yet Scorsese’s latest offering has failed to impress some critics.

The Times’ Kevin Maher awarded the film a paltry two stars out of five, labelling it a ‘dud’ and ‘just not great’ partly due to its ‘paper-thin characters’.

Based on a true story, Killers of the Flower Moon (pictured), which has been released today, follows a series of murders carried out against members of the Osage Nation after oil was discovered on their Oklahoma land in the 1920s

Based on a true story, Killers of the Flower Moon (pictured), which has been released today, follows a series of murders carried out against members of the Osage Nation after oil was discovered on their Oklahoma land in the 1920s

‘Martin Scorsese’s bloated epic goes on and on and on’, said The i’s Geoffrey Macnab. He added in his two-star review: ‘This story of greed and betrayal is a fine film ruined by its inordinate length.’

The Spectator’s Deborah Ross labelled the movie ‘tiresomely long’, while City A.M. claims that ‘Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t the best bit’ and Lily Gladstone should instead be ‘lining up her awards season outfits for her performance’.

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Though Grann’s book affords many possible inroads to the story, Scorsese and co-writer Eric Roth centred their story on Ernest Burkhart (DiCaprio, in his seventh collaboration with Scorsese), a WWI veteran who falls for Mollie Brown (Gladstone), the member of a wealthy Osage family.

The film sees DiCaprio play alongside Scorsese’s other long-time muse De Niro, and charts a wave of murders among oil-rich Osage Indians in the 1920s and the birth of the FBI.

Many critics were unhappy with the length of the movie, which is Scorsese’s seventh film to reach the three-hour mark, and second longest feature production to date, coming in at a whopping 3 hour and 26-minute show time.

But other reviews claimed the film is ‘well worth its lengthy runtime’, while The New York Times called it a ‘heartbreaking masterpiece’.

It boasts an A-lister cast - including Leonardo DiCaprio , Robert De Niro and the highly-praised newcomer Lily Gladstone - and yet Scorsese's latest offering has failed to impress some critics

It boasts an A-lister cast – including Leonardo DiCaprio , Robert De Niro and the highly-praised newcomer Lily Gladstone – and yet Scorsese’s latest offering has failed to impress some critics

The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey even scored it the full five stars, explaining: ‘[Gladstone] gives one of the most extraordinary performances by a woman in any of Scorsese’s movies.’

Killers of the Flower Moon focuses on a little-publicised chapter of American history involving the Osage Nation.

In the 1920s, the Osage tribe became wealthy almost overnight after oil was discovered beneath their land, earning them more than $30million in annual revenue at the peak of the boom, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Subsurface minerals within the Osage Nation Reservation were tribally owned and held in trust by the government.

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Lily Gladstone, who plays Mollie Burkhart in the film, sits with director Martin Scorsese on set of Killers of the Flower Moon

Lily Gladstone, who plays Mollie Burkhart in the film, sits with director Martin Scorsese on set of Killers of the Flower Moon

Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon'

Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon’

Many critics were unhappy with the length of the movie (pictured), which is Scorsese's seventh film to reach the three-hour mark, and second longest feature production to date, coming in at a whopping 3 hour and 26-minute show time

Many critics were unhappy with the length of the movie (pictured), which is Scorsese’s seventh film to reach the three-hour mark, and second longest feature production to date, coming in at a whopping 3 hour and 26-minute show time

Mineral leases earned royalties that were paid to the tribe as a whole – with each allottee receiving one equal share also known as a headright. But these headrights could only legally be attained by outsiders if they married into the tribe.

It was during this time that rancher William K. Hale, a native of Greenville, Texas, encouraged his subservient nephew Ernest Burkhart to wed Osage member Mollie Kyle (later Mollie Burkhart).

Burkhart became responsible for the murders of a number of his wife’s relatives as part of a plot to inherit their lucrative oil rights in Oklahoma.

The murders, which later became known as the Reign of Terror, were not properly investigated by law enforcement at the time. Eventually, Osage Nation members were forced to lobby the federal government to look into the string of killings.

The federal agency that was the precursor to the FBI investigated the murders and concluded that Ernest and Hale were likely involved.


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