CINEMA

MURDER AT YELLOWSTONE CITY (2022)

MPAA: NR
Release Date: 06/24/22 [Cinemas / VOD]

Genre: Western

Studio: RLJE Films

"A former slave arrives in Yellowstone City, Montana, a desolate former boomtown now on the decline, looking for a place to call home. On that same day, a local prospector discovers gold - and is murdered."

OUR MOVIE REVIEW:

Cinema after COVID-19 had changed significantly, and release strategies have certainly had an impact on how movies are viewed, or how they’re interpreted. Murder at Yellowstone City has certainly fallen victim to those changes, and I’m confident that a viewing experience can severely make or break how a viewer can interpret this film. For my experience, watching this film in my home during the day without subtitles did not do me any favors. Murder at Yellowstone City could have a benfit to some people who view the film in a theater, or are immersed in the story that it’s trying to tell, but my experience found the film a bit too slow for the plot that it’s trying to follow, and the characters too uniniteresting to keep myself invested.

 

A former slave enters a town in the west that’s slowly dying, and finds himself accused of murdering a man who had recently struck gold. New information slowly begins to unravel as it’s revealed that he’s in fact innocent, but the killer is still on the loose. The plot wants to frame itself as a “whodunnit” kind of story, but presents itself more as a drama. There’s little thrill to keep a viewer invested, or on the edge of their seat to stay interested in the plot. While the pacing of the film is incredibly appropriate as well, there’s hardly any tension to keep a viewer engaged, resulting in a feeling that’s more slow paced and difficult to keep attention.

 

To try to compensate for this, the film boasts an ensemble style cast each with different storylines that all interconnect with each other. It’s incredibly realistic to what an actual small town feeling is like, but there’s nothing actually interesting about the characters, and it only manages to clutter the film more. By the halfway point of the film, I couldn’t really find myself to care at all about these characters or what happens to them, which should be integral as everyone’s life is potentially at stake with a killer in town. 

 

The large cast each give fine enough performances for the roles they’re given, with a few disappointments among them. Each actor is trying their best with what they’re given, but it ultimately just feels uninspired and unexciting. Most of the reason to reach the end of this film is simply to find out who the killer was and what happens to them, otherwise there’s not really any reason to keep pushing and pursuing this story.


While there’s definitely some potential for interest with some audiences, Murder at Yellowstone City just felt like a difficult venture to keep my interest or attention. I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that’s because of my personal viewing experience, but that still doesn’t leave me recommending it much to others.

image0 (4)_edited.jpg

OUR VERDICT: