Hollywood Reporter - 12/05/2012
"A social-issue drama handled in a very human way, PROMISED LAND presents its environmental concerns in a clear, upfront manner."
Rolling Stone - 12/27/2012 3 stars out of 4 -- "PROMISED LAND is actually a potent and powerful look at how the stressed economy is stressing farm communities across America."
USA Today - 01/11/2013 3 stars out of 4 -- "[T]his gentle tale is modest in its ambitions, with a cast of sympathetic characters and an unpredictable arc. That blend of elements is the key to its appeal..."
Empire - 04/12/2013 3 stars out of 5 -- "The story walks an intriguing ethical line between two wrongs: the pillage of the land by energy companies and the pillage of the people by recession."
Total Film - 04/16/2013
"Finding a John Sayles-ian rhythm between Danny Elfman?s dreamy score and DoP Linus Sandgren?s expansive vistas, Van Sant shows a gentle touch..."
A small-town teacher stands up to a pair of drilling representatives who are determined to exploit the local resources, and receives some unexpected support as the community rallies to drive away the persistent interlopers in this drama from director Gus Van Sant. Steve Butler (Matt Damon) is a corporate salesman with a reputation for getting results. When the company he works for draws up plans to drill for natural gas in an economically depressed farming community, Steve and his partner (Frances McDormand) attempt to convince the locals that they have an opportunity to profit from the project. At first the locals are welcoming, but when venerable teacher Frank Yates (Hal Holbrook) voices objection, concerned locals Dustin (John Krasinski) and Alice (Rosemarie DeWitt) help to launch an effective grassroots campaign against the drilling. In addition to co-producing and co-starring in PROMISED LAND, Damon and Krasinski also collaborated on the screenplay for the film, adapted from a story by Dave Eggers (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, AWAY WE GO).