Meek's Cutoff (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Meek's Cutoff
Meeks cutoff poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKelly Reichardt
Produced byElizabeth Cuthrell
Neil Kopp
Anish Savjani
David Urrutia
Written byJonathan Raymond
StarringMichelle Williams
Paul Dano
Bruce Greenwood
Shirley Henderson
Neal Huff
Zoe Kazan
Tommy Nelson
Will Patton
Rod Rondeaux
Music byJeff Grace
CinematographyChris Blauvelt
Edited byKelly Reichardt
Evenstar Films
Film Science
Harmony Productions
Primitive Nerd
Distributed byOscilloscope Laboratories
Release date
  • September 4, 2010 (2010-09-04) (Venice)
  • April 8, 2011 (2011-04-08) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2 million
Box office$1.2 million[1]

Meek's Cutoff is a 2010 American western film directed by Kelly Reichardt. The film was shown in competition at the 67th Venice International Film Festival.[2] The story is loosely based on a historical incident on the Oregon Trail in 1845, in which frontier guide Stephen Meek led a wagon train on an ill-fated journey through the Oregon desert along the route later known as the Meek Cutoff in the western United States.


In 1845, a small band of settlers traveling across the Oregon High Desert suspect their guide, Stephen Meek, may not actually know where he is going. What was supposed to be a two-week journey, via what became known as the Meek Cutoff, stretches into five. With no relief in sight, tensions rise as water becomes increasingly scarce and supplies run low. The wives look on as the husbands discuss what to do, unable to participate in the decision making. The dynamics of power begin to shift when they capture a lone native and hold him captive in the hopes he will lead them to water. Meek argues the native can't be trusted, though doesn't present a more trustworthy leader himself. When he steps up to shoot the native, Mrs. Tetherow intervenes. In the end, when Mr. Tetherow succumbs to hardship, Meek submits to Mrs. Tetherow, who pins her hopes on the native.


Critical reception[edit]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 85% based on reviews from 108 critics and reports a rating average of 7.5 out of 10, a generally positive reception. It reported the consensus, "Moving at a contemplative speed unseen in most westerns, Meek's Cutoff is an effective, intense journey of terror and survival in the untamed frontier."[3] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 85 based on 36 reviews.[4]

See also[edit]

  • Survival film, about the film genre, with a list of related films


  1. ^ "Meek's Cutoff (2011) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
  2. ^ "Venezia 67". 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  3. ^ "Meek's Cutoff". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  4. ^ "Meek's Cutoff". Metacritic. Retrieved July 5, 2011.

External links[edit]