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The Revenant is not simply a grandiose story of human will and survival, but a cinematic achievement that captures a stark and beautiful depiction of human nature. The story of fur trapper Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his revenge mission against Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), the man who killed his son, is a grin and haunting thriller that is both spiritual and incredibly aesthetic. The direction by Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu elevates the story into a spectacle of vengeance and survival.

Though he’s already been established as one of the best actors working, Leonardo DiCaprio continues to impress with one of his best performances. It’s very unflashy and DiCaprio never overcooks the more dramatic scenes, giving a subtle performance that’s rightly placed in the center of the spectacle. To match him, Tom Hardy is a villainous, and very human antagonist, and the scenes between the two actors are among the films best. However, it’s a strong ensemble and supporting roles from Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter are also excellent.

Among its performances, The Revenant is a technical achievement with one of the greatest opening scene in motion picture history and an ending that is both emotionally and mentally stimulating. All of this falls back on the genius of Inarritu; his film is made with such realism that it’s completely engaging, yet possesses a dreamlike quality that gives the film it’s spiritual side. It’s a beautiful, essential film, and destined to be a classic for generations hence. Grade: A+