8 Best Movies Like Wind River

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movies like wind river

The FBI agent and a wildlife officer investigate the unexplained death of a young Native American woman in the crime film Wind River. The 2017 movie is a melancholy examination of loss, atonement, and the human spirit’s ability to persevere in the face of hardship. These 8 movies like Wind River are worth seeing if you yearn for more stories along these lines.

8 Best Movies Like Wind River

1. Fargo

2. True Grit

3. The Grey

4. Frozen River

5. Into the Wild

6. The Revenant

7. Winter’s Bone

8. The Place Beyond the Pines

Fargo (1996) – Streaming on Max, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Wind River: Fargo IMDb Rating 8.1 English 1h 38m

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Starring: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi

What it’s about: Jerry encountered financial difficulties while working at his father-in-law Wade’s auto company. When raising the necessary funds, nothing worked out for him, even though he attempted to borrow from his affluent father-in-law. Jerry then tracked down Carl and Gaear, requesting that they abduct his wife and demand $1 million from Wade. Once the crisis was over, they would get paid. But things did not turn out as expected. Jerry could not get in touch with the two kidnappers when he decided to scrap the kidnapping scheme. He discovered his wife had been abducted when he got home. Things spiraled out of control after the abductors, Carl and Gaear, killed a police officer and two bystanders in the process of escaping.

Why it’s similar: Both films are set in remote, snow-covered locations—Minnesota/North Dakota in “Fargo” and Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation in “Wind River.” Each revolves around a central crime that drives the plot, with determined law enforcement officers Marge Gunderson in “Fargo” and Jane Banner in “Wind River” working to solve them. In addition, the two films explore themes of justice and morality, highlighting human complexities and the pursuit of justice in harsh environments. If you enjoyed “Wind River” for its gripping investigation and atmospheric setting, you should watch “Fargo,” which offers a similarly compelling crime story and rich character development in a snowy landscape.

Review: This 1996 crime thriller received high praise from critics with its unique black humor and superb narrative skills. Its success is reflected in its box office revenue and redefinition of the crime genre. Frances McDormand won the Oscar for Best Actress, and the film also won multiple awards, including Best Original Screenplay, for its profound portrayal of human weaknesses and social morality, further proving its artistic value and influence.

True Grit (2010) – Streaming on Paramount+, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Wind River: True Grit IMDb Rating 7.6 English 1h 50m

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld

What it’s about: After his father was murdered, 14-year-old Mattie Ross handled the funeral arrangements on behalf of his family. Tom Chaney, the murderer who killed his father, has disappeared. No one cares when the fugitive will be caught in this dull, busy western town. Mattie decided to hire the police to avenge her father. After being introduced, she cooperated with the drunken Sheriff Rooster Cogburn. At the same time, LaBoeuf, a Mountie from Texas, also hopes to capture Tom Chaney to obtain a high reward in Texas. For Chaney to be brought to justice locally, Mattie must catch his father’s killer before LaBoeuf. So, the three trekked long distances into the Indian tribe to find Chaney. The unlikely trio encounters dangers and surprises on their journey, and everyone’s perseverance is tested.

Why it’s similar: “True Grit” and “Wind River” share compelling similarities in their quests for justice. They follow determined protagonists seeking revenge for loved ones’ deaths—the young Mattie Ross in “True Grit” and tracker Cory Lambert in “Wind River.” These characters navigate morally complex journeys against rugged frontiers and isolated reservations, facing realistic violence and grounded storytelling. If you’re drawn to more movies like Wind River, don’t miss out on the equally compelling tale of justice and resilience in “True Grit.”

Review: Directed by the Coen Brothers, this 2010 film captivated viewers with its masterful storytelling, breathtaking cinematography, and powerhouse performances. Its authentic portrayal of the Old West, combined with themes of justice, revenge, and resilience, struck a chord with audiences, resulting in strong box-office success and critical praise. “True Grit” continues to resonate with viewers as a modern classic even until now.

The Grey (2011) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Wind River: The Grey IMDb Rating 6.7 English 1h 57m

Director: Joe Carnahan

Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo

What it’s about: Only seven of a group of oil workers survive after their plane crashes in Alaska during a snowstorm. Although they escaped temporarily, rescue never came, and they had to unite to survive in the cold environment. The plane crashed near the wolves, and the threatened wolves began to chase them. But the difficulties here are not limited to the wolves. The seven survivors with different personalities are about to embark on a seemingly endless road to survival.

Why it’s similar: Both unfold in harsh, remote landscapes—the snowy wilderness of Alaska in “The Grey” and the isolated Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming in “Wind River.” Against these backdrops, characters grapple with themes of survival and resilience, facing physical and emotional challenges. The characters confront nature’s formidable force, highlighting the human condition’s complexities. If you’re captivated by the rugged intensity of Wind River like movies, don’t miss the gripping survival tale and exploration of resilience in “The Grey.”

Review: “The Grey” captivated audiences with its intense portrayal of human resilience in the face of unforgiving wilderness. This survival thriller explores themes of survival instincts and moral dilemmas, resonating strongly with viewers and earning critical acclaim.

Frozen River (2008) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Wind River: Frozen River IMDb Rating 7.1 English 1h 37m

Director: Courtney Hunt

Starring: Melissa Leo, Misty Upham, Charlie McDermott

What it’s about: Left alone to care for her two sons, Ray Eddy, a hard-working, nearly penniless store clerk, is quickly approaching the breaking point after her gambling-addicted husband takes away all her savings and abandons her. Faced with high returns, Eddy decided to participate in local smuggling activities to bring a better life to the children. Eddy once encountered Lila Littlewolf, who shared her circumstances. Lila pleaded with Eddy to let her participate in the action. The lure of money attracted Addie, who decided to join forces with her new colleagues. Their goal is to cross the frozen St. Lawrence River with illegal immigrants in tow. Lila and Eddy swear this will be their last trip.

Why it’s similar: “Frozen River” and “Wind River” are set in the snowy border region of upstate New York and the desolate Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, respectively. Both feature strong female protagonists navigating survival, resilience, and moral ambiguity amidst socioeconomic struggles and systemic injustices. Through their compelling storytelling and exploration of complex dilemmas, the two films also offer poignant reflections on the human condition. For those captivated by the raw intensity of “Wind River,” “Frozen River” offers a similar watching experience.

Review: “Frozen River” has garnered acclaim from industry insiders and audiences alike, emerging as a standout in the realm of independent cinema. Melissa Leo delivers a powerful performance as Ray Eddy, a struggling single mother drawn into the dangerous world of smuggling across the icy St. Lawrence River. The film’s exploration of moral ambiguity, coupled with its poignant depiction of female empowerment and survival, resonates deeply with audiences, earning it critical acclaim and accolades on the festival circuit. “Frozen River” is a testament to indie filmmaking’s enduring power, offering a thought-provoking viewing experience.

Into the Wild (2007) – Streaming on Hoopla, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Wind River: Into the Wild IMDb Rating 8.1 English 2h 28m

more movies like wind river-into the wild-2007

Director: Sean Penn

Starring: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener

What it’s about: Christopher hails from a prosperous family, excels academically at a respected school, and has a promising future. But he made an entirely different decision after graduating from college. His whole savings was given to charity, and he hitched a ride to Alaska to live in the wild. Despite his parents ‘ disapproval, he set out on the arduous journey back to nature and eventually became a true nomad. He made numerous friends along the road and faced the difficulties of wilderness survival multiple times. His life was gradually molded by these experiences, and he at last discovered the meaning and reality he had long sought.

Why it’s similar: The two films immerse viewers in the beauty of nature while exploring isolation, resilience, and the human condition. Both films depict rugged landscapes—the American West and the Wind River Indian Reservation—where characters seek solace and meaning amidst the wilderness. Driven by compelling character arcs, these narratives offer poignant reflections on self-discovery and the power of nature to shape our lives. If you are captured by the raw beauty and emotion in “Wind River,” “Into the Wild” offers a similarly compelling exploration of nature, isolation, and the human spirit’s resilience.

Review: This biographical adventure drama has captured the audience’s attention with its stunning cinematography, vivid emotional depth, and outstanding performances. Emile Hirsch is memorable as Chris McCandless, whose journey of self-discovery and pursuit of freedom deeply touches the audience. The film provokes a reflection on the human condition.

The Revenant (2015) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Wind River: The Revenant IMDb Rating 8.0 English 2h 36m

movies like wind river-the revenant-2015

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter

What it’s about: A bear injured Hugh Glass and fell into a ravine during a trading expedition. The companions of the hunting team tried to take him back with them, but the injured Hugh Glass only slowed down the team. So, the captain had to let two team members kill Hugh Glass and get rid of his pain. But these two men were so greedy that they robbed him of all his belongings and abandoned him in the desolate and cold wilderness to die. However, Hugh Glass miraculously survived and began to search for these two men to seek revenge.

Why it’s similar: “The Revenant” and “Wind River” focus on survival and resilience against unforgiving backdrops. Whether it’s the American frontier in “The Revenant” or the Wind River Indian Reservation in “Wind River,” both films explore the human spirit’s struggle against brutal elements. Driven by complex characters seeking justice or revenge, these narratives offer compelling reflections on the indomitable will to survive amidst nature’s harshest challenges.

Review: Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in the film is breathtaking, and the audience is deeply moved by the story of Hugh Glass’s survival in a harsh environment. The film not only shows the magnificence and cruelty of nature but also deeply explores the complexity of human nature and the desire to survive. The Revenant has become a modern classic through in-depth character analysis and shocking scenes.

Winter’s Bone (2010) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Wind River: Winter’s Bone IMDb Rating 7.1 English 1h 40m

movies like wind river-winter's bone-2010

Director: Debra Granik

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt

What it’s about: Ree Dolly lives in a remote area and takes care of her mentally ill mother and her two younger siblings. Dolly’s father is a drug dealer and is usually absent from their lives. After being arrested, his father mortgaged his house to pay the bail and disappeared after being released from prison. The local Sheriff told her they would lose everything unless he appeared in court within a week. Dolly must find her father; otherwise, she and her family will move to the woods of the Missouri Ozark Mountains. Ree Dolly embarks on a journey to find her father.

Why it’s similar: “Winter’s Bone” and “Wind River” depict life in rural America with gritty realism. Set in isolated environments—the Ozarks of Missouri and the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming—both films feature strong female protagonists navigating harsh landscapes. Themes of survival and resilience permeate both narratives as characters confront poverty, addiction, and violence. If you were drawn in by the gripping intensity of “Wind River,” you won’t miss out on the raw and gritty realism of “Winter’s Bone,” where resilience meets the unforgiving trials of rural life in an unflinching tale of survival and determination.

Review: The film takes the audience into the bleak world of the Ozark Mountains in Missouri, showing the real life of a community full of violence and poverty. Jennifer Lawrence’s outstanding performance gives the protagonist, Ree Dolly, a deep, emotional, and tenacious character, and the film’s exploration of family, responsibility, and survival is even more touching. Winter’s Bone deeply and shockingly reveals the harsh reality of rural life in the United States and the endless struggle and tenacity of people in extreme environments.

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Wind River: The Place Beyond the Pines IMDb Rating 7.3 English 2h 20m

movies like wind river reddit-the place veyond the pines-2012

Director: Derek Cianfrance

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes

What it’s about: Luke is a motorcycle stuntman who masters flying stunts. After learning that his ex-girlfriend gave birth to his child, Luke started robbing banks to make a living to create a better future and a prosperous life for his child. He consistently eluded police pursuit thanks to his exceptional driving abilities. Avery Cross has just arrived at the police station and wants to secure his future by solving a big case. Like Luke, he also just had a baby of his own. It’s all about the next generation and survival. A protracted game of hunt and escape unfolds between two fiery men.

Why it’s similar: “The Place Beyond the Pines” and “Wind River” intertwine in their exploration of complex moral dilemmas and the enduring impact of past actions on present lives. Both films delve into themes of redemption and forgiveness amidst cycles of violence and trauma, while their atmospheric cinematography immerses viewers in the stark beauty and harsh realities of their respective settings. If you enjoy the gripping drama and moral complexity of movies like Wind River, you will find “The Place Beyond the Pines” equally riveting.

Review: Director Derek Cianfrance brings the audience into a complex and fascinating world through carefully constructed multiple storylines. The film shows the cruelty of crime and the blurred boundaries of morality, which makes people think deeply. The outstanding performances of Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper bring the characters to life in front of the audience, and their emotional interpretation and role transformation are impressive. The pictures in the film are also quite beautiful, and every frame is full of deep meaning and emotion.

Conclusion: This is the end of our recommendation. They all capture exciting storylines and profound themes. We hope this list of 8 movies like Wind River will lead you to enjoy a wonderful cinematic journey. If you’d love to discuss more with other movie lovers, you can also turn to movies like Wind River Reddit.

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