Leonardo DiCaprio is on awesome, Oscar-winning form in this ferociously gripping tale of survival and revenge based on the real-life ordeals of 1820s mountain man Hugh Glass.
A guide to a fur-trapping expedition in untamed America, Glass is mauled by a grizzly bear and left for dead by his companions but hauls himself through miles of snowy wilderness in search of revenge, enduring further gruesome trials at every turn.
His role largely wordless (when he does speak it’s usually in subtitled Pawnee), DiCaprio is brilliant at conveying Glass’ psychological turmoil as well as his almost impossible reserves of frontier grit.
Tom Hardy is very good, too, as Glass’ sullen betrayer and there are impressive contributions from Domhnall Gleeson as the expedition’s out-of-his-depth leader and Will Poulter, as a callow young trapper and the story’s wavering moral compass. Shooting in natural light in long sinuous takes, director Alejandro Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, both also Oscar winners, convey this tale with bone-chilling realism.