A well-made American Civil War era story of three women forced to protect their home against violent intruders, The Keeping Room sits awkwardly between arthouse introspection and heroic thriller. Every so often it becomes in danger of drowning in its own unevenness – for every thrilling shootout or fight for survival there is a scene of clunky dialogue and atmospherics. Less a siege movie than a feminist western, it benefits from restrained direction and a standout performance from Brit Marling, who carries the film as older sister Augusta. Good without being great, it’s a simple plot strengthened by sympathetic characterization and a solid premise.


3 Stars

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