On the surface a tense investigative piece with Renner as a regular Sherlock of the snow, it also slips in cogent and damning points about the limitations and dead ends virtually forced on many residents of Native American reservations.
Sheridan pares his story and characters down to their barest essentials, making a movie that comes off sometimes as slight, but which ultimately delivers the goods for those who like smart takes on life-or-death macho adventure.
The Hollywood Reporter
The film yanks the viewer to attention with its keen sensitivity to the rough winter conditions and limited prospects faced by the locals. It also features one of Jeremy Renner’s best recent performances, but does fall into some traps when it ventures into Tarantino and Peckinpah territory.
Wind River can be thrilling and it owns the ability to surprise and shock throughout.
Wind River confirms the director as a rising talent who can be trusted to beat his own enticing path through inhospitable ground.
Wind River may not blow you away, but this bitter, visceral, and almost parodically intense thriller knows what it takes to survive.
Wind River adds up, and skillfully, but in the end it’s not all that exciting. It’s a vision of the new American despair — not an inner-city movie, but an inner-wilderness movie — and it could have used another twist or two.
Though it can't bear too much comparison with Sicario, Wind River is far better than its title suggests and a promising directorial debut.
The Film Stage
Let down by muddy characterization and a choppy directorial style, the drama finally coheres in its final act to deliver the uncompromising thrills that have been Sheridan’s trademark.
The crime story, involving the hunt for the men who murdered this girl, is strictly by-the-numbers (and there are a few clue that still don’t fit together in my mind) but Sheridan proves himself a surprisingly effective director of action.