A.V. Club - 05/02/2013
"DEAD MAN'S BURDEN runs a trim 93 minutes...and wastes very little energy, confidently escalating the tension notch by notch." -- Grade: B+
Struggling frontier couple Martha (Clare Bowen) and Heck (David Call) find their promise of a better life in jeopardy in this independent western from director Jared Moshé. In the bloody aftermath of the Civil War, Martha and Heck face an uncertain future after Martha's father dies, leaving his homestead to his daughter and her husband. Subsequently approached by a mining-company representative with designs on their land, they intend to accept the company's lucrative offer when Martha's older brother Wade (Barlow Jacobs), a Union Army defector, returns to pay his final respects to his father. Having thought her sibling was killed on the battlefield, Martha welcomes him home even as it becomes increasingly obvious to Wade that his sister is hiding something. Later, as Wade begins to grow even more suspicious of Martha, mounting tensions in the homestead lead to a confrontation that threatens to destroy what's left of this fractured family.