Wind River

Out Now On-Demand

This is the land of you're on your own.

The feature directorial debut from Taylor Sheridan, writer of Hell or High Water and Sicario, is a murder investigation thriller starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.

An FBI agent teams with the town's veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.



Winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize for Best Direction, 2017 Cannes Film Festival

Directed by

Written by



Rating: R16 Violence, sexual violence, offensive language & content that may disturb

USA, UK, Canada

Taylor Sheridan, the screenwriter behind Oscar nominees Sicario and Hell or High Water, sits in the director's chair and shows a concrete command over his third feature script. As an ice-cold western posing as a procedural murder mystery, Wind River is a great sombre thriller that circles you like a pack of wolves before it pounces.

Jeremy Renner brings his A-game as a man who knows two things: how to track game and how deadly this frosted environment can be. When the body of a young Native America woman is discovered - frozen, barefoot, far from township - he shows a strong layer of emotional sensitivity towards the deceased's parents while still maintaining that traditionally tough cowboy swagger. He's like a modernised John Wayne, in a way.

Elizabeth Olsen is as great as ever as the one officer of the law the FBI flew over, learning very quickly she needs to either adapt or die in this middle-of-nowhere environment that plays by its own rulebook. It takes an absolute pro to juggle vulnerability and confidence of this calibre, which is what Olsen is.

The plot is as pointed and straightforward as a fired bullet, but Wind River speaks far more about the vast and vapid surroundings that echo the gunshot. Being a constant witness to this dangerous, desolate place adds volumes of depth to these characters and how they came to be.

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis match this feeling with their signature sorrowful sounds while Beasts of the Southern Wild cinematographer Ben Richardson visually capturing the blanket of white wilderness that can hide a person in plain sight. This is how the Native American locals feel on their own reservation. You'll come to feel this too, which is the film's ultimate crowning achievement.

Variety (USA)


Sheridan wants us to know these people, this terrain, to feel the bite of the cold and the lonely sting of their lives.

Hollywood Reporter


A strong directorial debut.

Screen International


Combustible, masculine and tense, it demonstrates both that Sheridan can direct with ease and that his written work is eminently filmable.

TimeOut (US)


You learn to look for tracks and clues; it's a film that makes you a better viewer.

The Australian (David Stratton)


The set-up in which an outside investigator is sent to an inhospitable location to solve a murder isn't new, but Sheridan brings a welcome freshness to the concept.

Los Angeles Times


This tense, convincing independent film is the most accomplished violent thriller in quite some time.

New York Times


An actor before he was a screenwriter, Mr. Sheridan clearly spent a lot of his time learning about filmmaking on movie sets; his direction is assured throughout.

Sydney Morning Herald


At first I thought the resolution to the movie was bereft of logic, but that just may be the point. (James Croot)


While Wind River doesn't reach the high water mark of those two superb tales it's still a terrifically atmospheric drama.



Brooding at subzero.

Dark heart at the centre of a poignant movie. Incredible action sequence too which i was not expecting. Unique.

Very excellent

Slow moving initially but builds brilliantly. Very impressed with Mr Sheridan (Secario, Hell or High Water). Lookin forward to more from the man.

You are not in call-for-backup country now, FBI girl

A dangerous and unforgiving landscape breeds dangerous men. Women beware. This is the unspoken assumption behind most Westerns, and also behind this film. In winter, on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, a dead barefoot girl has been found miles from the nearest building. The local police, an FBI agent and a hunter investigate.

While the investigation starts slowly, it climaxes in a great set piece gun fight. The tone is one of slow despair at the future for Native Americans especially teenagers and young people.

'Wind River' is frustrating, but worthwhile.

In 2017 it’s unfortunate that the ostensible chief concern of 'Wind River' (namely the ongoing, and often ignored, abuse of Native American women) has been realized in the form of an overtly masculine story of a white man in crisis. It’s doubly unfortunate that, having decided that this is the story he wants to tell, writer/director Taylor Sheridan continually undercuts himself with screeds of on-the-nose dialogue, one major character that belongs in a completely different movie, and a bizarrely-located, extended flashback scene that slices through the middle of the best suspense set-piece in the film, leeching away the tension to redundantly drum up the audience’s blood-lust against the villains. Frustrating is the only word to describe it.

Still, despite these issues, 'Wind River' remains fairly compelling throughout, with an evocative sense of place and a handful of excellent performances, chiefly from Gil Birmingham as a grieving father. Birmingham almost single-handedly gives the final scene an emotional weight that, for a handful of precious moments, lifts the film to the level of profundity that it has clearly been striving for throughout. Despite the missteps he makes throughout, Sheridan at least has the good sense to save his best material till last.

Grim As Can Be

Wind River deals with a common crime-mystery trope but still manages to be fresh, steady and scary-as-hell. Some debut for a director to make but isn't unexpected considering Taylor Sheridan's body of work. Things that stand out are the pacing, the music (Nick Cave and co.) and the bleakness of the setting which screams misery and isolation as did the desert road of Nocturnal Animals. A Jon Bernthal cameo is also pleasing but ultimately it's the story that will leave you affected