Movie Review: “Big Sky”

You’re gut shot, left alone to bleed out and die in the desert.
And the only person who can save you is your teenage daughter, who suffers from agoraphobia so crippling she’s barely been out of doors in her entire life.
That’s the killer set-up for “Big Sky,” a well-cast but alternately loopy and overly-predictable thriller starring Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) as the mother and Bella Thorne (“The DUFF,””Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”) is the daughter in Jorge Michel Grau’s film.
They’re on their way to a sanitarium when two hijackers/hit-men dressed as cops (Frank Grillo and Aaron Tveit) ambush them.
Hazel (Thorne) was cowering, covered up in the enclosed luggage bay of the van, only hearing the violence that errupts when her fierce mama almost gets the drop on the weak link in the bad guy chain. That would be “Pru” (Tveit), who seems as mentally off as Hazel. Others in the van are killed.
The mayhem ends, Mom is left to die, and Hazel must hold back the crazy long enough to hike out and get help, to separate those who can really help them from other loons in the desert.
Grau, working from a seemingly compartmentalized script by Evan M. Wiener, skips back and forth in time and in points of view, half-explaining why Hazel and mother Dee were on their way into the desert and why the murderous brothers were lying in wait for them.
The direction is flashier than the writing, something you might expect from a filmmaker most famous for doing a sequence from the omnibus horror film “The ABCs of Death.”
Thorne plays the difficult, fearful and over-ripe teen with ease, and Sedgwick does what she can with her few decent scenes.
But thanks in part to that very promising set-up, “Big Sky” ends up going pretty much where you expect. That’s very B-movie, and somewhat satisfying in its own way. But this thing is one rewrite away from being something we’d remember.

MPAA Rating: unrated, violence

Cast: Bella Thorne, Kyra Sedgwick, Frank Grillo, Aaron Tveit
Credits: Directed by Jorge Michel Grau, script by Evan M. Wiener.

An eOne release.

Running time: 1:30

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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1 Response to Movie Review: “Big Sky”

  1. Rachel says:

    Hi Roger, can you please get in touch with me regarding a quote from a review of yours that we’d like to use in publicity and marketing materials? I can be reached at

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