Recommended. Director/screenwriter Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) newest effort is a movie one can severely beat on. Yes, this is an outstanding cast (Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Willam Dafoe, Casey Afflack, Sam Shepard, Forest Whitaker and Zoe Saldana) inconsistently used and the story is weak. But Bale is superb and Woody may get the Oscar that eluded him in The Messanger. This is the year Harrelson said bye-bye to Cheers and joined the seriously bad-ass Bergen County hillbillies. Dafoe is also good as a minor crime boss, Whitaker and Shepard are wasted and Casey Afflick mumbles through another shapeless performance. The photography (Masanobu Takayanagi, Silver Linings Playbook) and music (Dickon Hinchliffe, Winter's Bone) join forces very nicely to set the desolate, western PA scene. Out Of The Furnace begins life as social commentary but lurches off into a revenge drama. Overall, it’s an enjoyable 116 minutes but it could have been much better.