Still, as compelling as Promised Land has the potential to be, it’s often weighed down by a heavy-handed agenda. While it’s clear the writers wanted to make Steve’s character at least semi-sympathetic (his own hometown suffered from economic strife, and he genuinely seems to believe that drilling will help ease the sting in McKinley), almost everything about Promised Land lacks some much-needed shades of gray.

Perhaps, underscoring the film’s sheer lack of subtlety is the simple choice of a last name for Dustin’s character—Noble. While Krasinski’s charisma is undeniable and lights up the screen, his character’s arrival signals the end of anything resembling a surprise factor. If anything, the storytelling is as conventional as it comes, which doesn’t exactly help the cause they’re hoping to drill home.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Social drinking, scenes that take place in a bar
  • Language/Profanity: While not nearly as many as, say, This is 40, there are several uses of the “f” word. Other profanity sprinkled throughout, including instances where God’s name is misused.
  • Sex/Nudity: A couple of innuendos but no actual sex or nudity.
  • Violence: A character gets punched in a bar.

Publication date: December 28, 2012

Christa Banister is an author and full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the MeddlersBased in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog.