'The Revenant' is a beautiful, brutal survival tale

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as legendary explorer Hugh Glass. (20th Century Fox)

The Revenant
4 out of 5 Stars
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Rated: R for strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity
Recommended To: Those looking for a bleak but intelligent survival story with moments of intense brutality.

(KUTV) -- Synopsis: When the majority of a group of fur trappers are slaughtered by Arikara Native Americans, explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) attempts to lead the remaining men safely out of the wilderness.

Review: "The Revenant" is much more than a traditional man versus nature survival story as the film includes ample amounts of man versus self and man versus man elements that make the film a far more complex experience than you might expect.

The action opens with a scene that recalls the violent mayhem of "Saving Private Ryan." The tension rarely lets up from there as director Alejandro González Iñárritu ("Birdman") takes the audience on a beautifully brutal survival story. The film follows multiple individuals as they attempt to make their way to a fort at the edge of the wilds while chased by Native Americans, the beasts of the frontier and other desperate (and often despicable) men.

Leonardo DiCaprio has stolen most of the attention and while his performance (which required him to learn two Native American languages and eat raw meat) is quite good, it is equaled by the strong supporting cast that includes a domineering performance from Tom Hardy.

Throw in beautiful cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki ("Gravity"), an effectively sparse score from a team led by Ryûichi Sakamoto ("The Last Emperor") and seamless visual effects and you have the trappings of one of the best, albeit brutal, films of 2015.

Follow Ryan on Twitter for entertainment and movie news: @ryanMpainter

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