Killers of the Flower Moon first reactions from Cannes

lily gladstone, leonardo dicaprio, killers of the flower moon
Killers of the Flower Moon receives first reviewsAppleTv+

Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this evening (May 20).

Based on David Grann's true-crime book, this dark and lengthy (we're talking over 3 hours) drama boasts Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro as two relatives of 1920s Oklahoma intent on getting their hands on the colossal oil fortune of the Osage Nation.

Following the screening, reviews were soon posted online, and it looks like Scorsese might've pulled off another cracker.

lily gladstone and leonardo dicaprio
Apple TV+/Melinda Sue Gordon

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"Whatever the reported $200 budget, it is all on the screen in the kind of big-screen epic tale Hollywood has been shying away from. Apple stepped up to ensure Scorsese's vision and this could be a game-changer in terms of theatrical distribution and streaming coming together."

Little White Lies

"Of course, every actor gives the director their all, with DiCaprio making for a charmingly tragic presence as squirming Ne'er-do-well, Ernest Burkhart. [Lily] Gladstone, meanwhile radiates stoic indigence, while De Niro delivers some of his most committed and detailed screen work in years."

The Hollywood Reporter

"To some degree, this is a classic Scorsese crime narrative transposed to prairie territory in the script co-authored by the director and Eric Roth. And there are darkly amusing moments of anger in which De Niro's colourful performance recalls his hall-of-fame wise guys.

"But the shift into historical Americana breathes a soulfulness into the material that feels distinct from most of the director's output. This is a film as richly atmospheric as it is character-driven, heightened by the somber colours of Rodrigo Prieto's cinematography and the evocative details of Jack Fisk's customarily scrupulous period production design."

robert de niro, leonardo dicaprio, killers of the flower moon

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The Guardian

"With co-writer Eric Roth, Scorsese crafts an epic of creeping, existential horror about the birth of the American century, a macabre tale of quasi-genocidal serial killings which mimic the larger erasure of Native Americans from the US.

"It places in the drama's foreground a gaslit marriage of lies and poisoned love. It echoes Scorsese's earlier work about mob violence, mob loyalty and the final, inevitable sellout to the federal authorities, whose own bad faith gradually emerges."


"The best performance of Leonardo DiCaprio's entire career. The former matinee idol has never been shy about playing low-lifes and scum-bums, but his nuanced and uncompromising turn as the cretinous Ernest Burkhart mines new wonders from the actor’s long-standing lack of vanity.

"It's a difficult balancing act for a filmmaker as gifted and operatic as Scorsese, whose ability to tell any story rubs up against his ultimate admission that this might not be his story to tell.

"And so, for better or worse, Scorsese turns Killers of the Flower Moon into the kind of story that he can still tell better than anyone else: A story about greed, corruption, and the mottled soul of a country that was born from the belief that it belonged to anyone callous enough to take it."

Killers of the Flower Moon comes to cinemas October 20.

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