Thursday 10 August 2023

Review: The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval is a powerful film that explores the aftermath of the American Civil War, and the psychological impact of slavery on both the enslaved and the slave owners. It is a sobering reminder of the struggles and sacrifices endured by African Americans during this tumultuous period in American history.

The film is set in 1864, and follows the journey of a young African American boy named Will, who is forced to work for a bounty hunter in Texas, looking for runaway slaves. Will's character is portrayed brilliantly by Ashton Sanders, who brings depth and vulnerability to his performance.

Will's journey takes us through the beautiful Texan countryside, filled with breathtaking landscapes and stunning cinematography. Director, Chris Eska's visual style is poetic and visually stunning, which makes the journey all the more memorable.

The characters in The Retrieval are all complex and fully-realized. Will's interactions with his employer, bounty hunter Burrell, played by the talented Bill Oberst Jr., are particularly poignant and demonstrate the complex power dynamics between Blacks and Whites at the time. In addition, Tishuan Scott as Marcus, Will's father figure, also delivers an outstanding performance.

The Retrieval is a gripping and emotional film that doesn't rely on violence or action to capture its audience's attention. Instead, it relies on authenticity, heart, and beauty to convey a message that is both moving and thought-provoking. It's a must-see film that offers a unique perspective on the Civil War, and on the struggle for freedom and justice that continues to this day.

Introduction Review of The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval (2013) Movie Review Image

The Retrieval is a period drama movie released in 2013 directed by Chris Eska. The film is set during the American Civil War and tells the story of a young boy named Will who is forced to help a bounty hunter in search of a wanted man. The Retrieval has received a lot of praise for its unique take on the war genre, as well as its realistic portrayal of the time period.

The film features outstanding performances by its cast, particularly Ashton Sanders who plays the role of Will. The young actor delivers an emotional and nuanced performance that captures the innocence and vulnerability of his character. Tishuan Scott also gives a standout performance as the bounty hunter, portraying his complex character with depth and authenticity.

Apart from the performances, the movie also excels in its visual and technical aspects. The cinematography, for instance, is breathtaking, with its stunning landscapes and use of natural light. The musical score also enhances the atmosphere of the film, adding depth to the emotions and themes presented.

Overall, The Retrieval is a thought-provoking film that explores the themes of family, loyalty, and morality. It is a must-see for those who appreciate great storytelling, powerful acting, and cinematic excellence. If you are a fan of period dramas and war films, this movie is definitely worth checking out.

Plot Summary Review: The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval poster

The Retrieval, directed by Chris Eska, is an American period drama set during the American Civil War era. It tells the story of Will, a young African American boy, and Nate, a man of mixed race, who work as bounty hunters for the Union Army. Their job is to retrieve runaway slaves and bring them back to their owners. When they learn of a large bounty on a runaway slave named Nate’s brother, they embark on a dangerous journey to find him.

The movie is suspenseful and thought-provoking, exploring themes of trust, loyalty, and race relations during the Civil War. As the two bounty hunters, Will and Nate, make their way to the South, Will begins to question the morality of their job. Along the way, they meet others who have been affected by the war, including a family of freed slaves who must make a difficult decision about their own future.

The Retrieval is a powerful film that delves into a dark corner of American history. The movie is well-acted, with standout performances by Tishuan Scott as Nate, Ashton Sanders as Will, and Keston John as Marcus, a member of the freed slave family. The cinematography is beautiful and captures the landscape of the American South during the Civil War era.

In conclusion, The Retrieval is a must-see film that offers a unique perspective on the American Civil War and its legacy. It is a well-made movie that features strong acting, beautiful cinematography, and a thought-provoking story.

Characters and their backgrounds Review The Retrieval (2013) Movie

Movie Review

The Retrieval is a gripping movie that explores the lives of characters with rich backgrounds. The film very carefully builds every character, and their stories are slow-cooked and layered with the right amount of suspense. The lead character, Will, a young boy, is an orphan in the war-torn South, sent on a dangerous mission by his handlers. He is accompanied by a veteran bounty hunter, and together they journey into the heart of the war-torn country, seeking a wanted man.

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The bounty hunter, who takes Will under his wing, is Gabriel, a man with a past of his own and no easy answers to his life's questions. He is a fully fleshed-out character, with a complex backstory that informs his decisions and makes him more than just a supporting cast member. The portrayal of the characters in this movie is quite impressive. All actors involved make the audience feel like they know them or like they are right there with them.

The film's storyline is fully realized, with a deep sense of love for the area where it's set. It accurately portrays the South during the Civil War, and the vibe of the era is well-captured, as are the dialogue and accents. The tension and anxieties experienced by the characters are expertly brought to life, and the ending is as satisfying as it is harrowing.

Overall, The Retrieval is a movie that is worth watching because it takes its time with the characters and examines their lives and backgrounds in detail. Many movies in this genre tend to gloss over the characters, and their stories feel incomplete or rushed. However, this film is different, and audiences who enjoy period dramas with depth and suspense will find it a satisfying watch.

Setting and Location Review: The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval movie poster

The Retrieval is a historical drama film directed by Chris Eska, set in the United States during the Civil War. The film follows a young boy named Will, who is sent to retrieve a wanted fugitive named Nate. The story takes place in the southern states, specifically in Texas and Louisiana.

Location and Setting

The Retrieval showcases the stunning landscapes of the southern region of the United States. The film was shot in various locations throughout Texas, including Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth. The director also utilized the beautiful landscapes of Louisiana, specifically filming scenes in St. Francisville and New Orleans.

The setting of the film is vital to the plot as it accurately portrays the realities of the Civil War era in the southern states. The costumes, props, and scenery accurately represent the time period, highlighting the hardships and struggles faced by the people of that era.


The decision to film The Retrieval in the southern states adds an element of authenticity to the film as it showcases the landscapes that many people of that time would have seen and experienced. The use of these locations also adds depth to the characters as their surroundings shape their actions and decisions throughout the film.

Overall, the location and setting of The Retrieval contribute significantly to the overall impact and success of the film. The stunning scenery and accurate portrayal of the time period add to the overall authenticity and emotional depth of the story.

In conclusion, The Retrieval does an excellent job of utilizing the location and setting to create a compelling and emotionally engaging film. The stunning visuals and accurate portrayal of the time period add to the overall impact, making it a must-watch for any history buff or fan of the genre.

Cinematography and Visual Effects Review: The Retrieval (2013) Movie

Cinematography and Visual Effects of The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Cinematography

The Retrieval is a stunning film that grabs the attention of the audience from the get-go. Director Chris Eska is able to immerse the viewers into the narrative through the captivating cinematography. We can see this through the artistically framed shots and the clever angles. The use of natural light brings authenticity to the film, adding to the aesthetic beauty of its surroundings. The outdoor scenes are particularly breathtaking, as the lush greenery and the beautiful landscape of rural Texas are captured with skillful perfection. The cinematography in The Retrieval is worth applauding as it contributes significantly to the film's realism and emotional intensity.

The Visual Effects

When it comes to this genre, one must be careful not to get carried away with overuse of visual effects. Luckily, The Retrieval avoids this common pitfall that many films in this genre stumble upon. Instead, the special effects used are subtle but effective. The visual effects were able to bring out the emotions of the characters in the story. The fireworks scene, for instance, is awe-inspiring. The visual effects added a layer of depth to the film, without taking away from the authenticity of the storyline. Overall, the visual effects in The Retrieval were tastefully done.

In conclusion, The Retrieval (2013) is a film worth watching for its powerful cinematography and tasteful use of visual effects. The film is grounded in reality and delivers an immersive story through its stunning cinematography. The natural setting, coupled with expertly crafted angles, makes this film a visual splendor. Moreover, the subtle but effective use of visual effects adds emotion and depth to the story of the movie. The Retrieval is a film that should not be missed by anyone who appreciates cinema.

Sound and Music Review of The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval Movie Sound and Music Review

Soulful Soundtrack Immerses Viewers into the Civil War Era

The Retrieval (2013) movie is set during the Civil War, a period that shaped American history. The sound design and music composition of the film help create an immersive experience for viewers. The soulful soundtrack complements the film's leisurely pace and brings viewers into the heart of the film.

Emotional Power and Authenticity of the Score

The Retrieval's music score delivers an emotional punch, employing traditional instruments like the banjo and violin to convey a sense of authenticity to the sound. In some scenes, the music is hauntingly beautiful, accompanying the intense and poignant story of a young boy's journey through the war-devastated South.

A Fusion of Folk and Contemporary Music

Composer Kathryn Bostic is behind The Retrieval’s authentic score, which is a fusion of folk and contemporary music. The banjo and harmonica give the score a traditional feel, while electronic sounds and percussion add a contemporary twist. The combination works perfectly and creates an excellent balance between the old and new.

An Unforgettable Sound and Music Experience

The sound design in The Retrieval is equally impressive, with realistic sound effects that amplify a sense of tension and drama. The sound of gunshots and horses galloping sounds authentic, adding to the film's immersive experience. Overall, the sound and music of The Retrieval make it an unforgettable cinematic experience.

In conclusion, the sound and music of The Retrieval (2013) movie deliver a powerful and authentic experience for viewers. The soulful soundtrack, fusion of folk and contemporary music, and realistic sound effects, all work together to create an immersive experience that captures the complexities of the Civil War era.

Themes and Messages Conveyed in Review of The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval Movie

The Retrieval (2013) is a well-crafted movie that explores the themes of loyalty, betrayal, and redemption during the Civil War era. The story revolves around a young boy named Will, who is sent along with his uncle Marcus to retrieve a wanted man. As the story unfolds, we see Will questioning his mission's morality as he forms an unexpected bond with the fugitive.

One of the significant themes in the movie is loyalty. The characters' sense of loyalty is tested throughout the movie, and we see how it impacts their decisions. Will's loyalty towards his uncle is challenged as he starts to see things from a different perspective. Similarly, Marcus' sense of loyalty towards his employer is tested when he realizes the mission's implications.

The Retrieval also explores the theme of betrayal. The characters betray each other in different ways, leading to unexpected consequences. The film highlights how betrayal can lead to a downward spiral and the impact it can have on the characters' lives.

Redemption is another theme explored in the movie. Will's character goes through a transformation as he confronts his past actions and starts to question his mission's morality. The movie emphasizes the importance of self-forgiveness and redemption.

In conclusion, The Retrieval is a thought-provoking movie that delves deep into complex themes of loyalty, betrayal, and redemption. The movie effectively portrays the Civil War period's challenges and the impact it had on people's lives. It's a must-watch for anyone interested in historical dramas.

Critical Reception and Reviews of The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval (2013) Movie Review

The Retrieval is a 2013 period film that tells the story of a young boy named Will, who is sent to retrieve a wanted man named Nate during the Civil War. The film received critical acclaim for its storytelling, performances, and cinematography.

One of the greatest strengths of The Retrieval is the storytelling. The film's director and writer, Chris Eska, uses dialogue sparingly, allowing the audience to see the depth of the characters through their actions and expressions. This approach creates tension and intimacy between the audience and the characters, making the film more engaging.

The performances in The Retrieval are also noteworthy. Ashton Sanders gives a remarkable portrayal of Will, conveying his innocence and vulnerability as he becomes exposed to the realities of the war. Tishuan Scott's performance as Nate is equally impressive, capturing the complexity and turmoil of a man on the run.

Cinematographer Yasu Tanida's use of natural light and angles captures the beauty and brutality of the film's setting. The cinematography enhances the film's tension and emotional impact, adding to the overall excellence of The Retrieval.

Overall, The Retrieval is a well-crafted film that deserves recognition for its attention to detail and thought-provoking storytelling. It's a must-see for movie enthusiasts who appreciate films that challenge their perceptions and leave a lasting impression.

Box Office Performance and Awards Won Review: The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval is a period drama film directed by Chris Eska. Set during the American Civil War, the film premiered at South By Southwest Film Festival in 2013. The movie follows a young boy named Will who is sent by a gang of bounty hunters to lure a freed slave into the hands of the Confederate army.

In terms of Box Office, The Retrieval grossed a total of $77,138 domestically. Though it did not obtain commercial success, the film had an impressive run in the festival circuit which led to several awards.

The film won the Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature at the Ashland Independent Film Festival in 2013. The film also nabbed the Best Director award at the San Francisco Black Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature Film at the New Orleans Film Festival.

What makes The Retrieval one of the most remarkable films is the fact that it tackles pressing issues about the Civil War. Its storyline, coupled with the artistic cinematography, has been very well-received by critics and audiences alike.

Overall, The Retrieval may not be the biggest blockbuster hit, but its performance in various film festivals and its several awards demonstrates the caliber of the film. If you enjoy period dramas with a deep and thought-provoking storyline, The Retrieval is worth a watch.

Conclusion Review: The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval (2013) Movie

The Retrieval is a historical drama movie directed by Chris Eska, which portrays the life of a young boy and a bounty hunter during the Civil War. The movie exhibits a unique storyline that beautifully merges personal emotions with historical events. In this review, we will discuss the concluding thoughts on the movie.

The movie successfully depicts the horrors and brutality of the Civil War without glorifying it. The characters are well-developed, and their interactions are genuine and thought-provoking. The storyline keeps you engaged until the end, and the climax of the movie does not disappoint.

The cinematography is masterful, and the direction of Chris Eska deserves praise. The use of lighting and camera angles effectively conveys the mood of each scene. The performances of Ashton Sanders and Tishuan Scott are worth mentioning as they bring life to the complex characters they portray.

Despite the movie's dark themes, it leaves a lasting impact on the viewers, which is a testament to its emotional depth and sincerity. The Retrieval is a movie that is both entertaining and informative, and the message it conveys is still relevant today.

In conclusion, The Retrieval is an excellent movie that deserves recognition. It is a must-watch for history enthusiasts and movie lovers alike. The movie's ability to merge personal emotions with historical events is commendable, and the overall execution is brilliant.

The Retrieval (2013): A Must-Watch Movie for Historical Drama Lovers

If you're a fan of historical dramas, The Retrieval is definitely a movie that you must watch. Directed by Chris Eska and released in 2013, the movie takes place during the Civil War in the United States and tells the story of a young boy named Will who is sent north by his uncle and bounty hunter Marcus to retrieve a wanted man.

The Retrieval is a slow-paced movie that beautifully captures the era in which it takes place. The director pays great attention to detail, and the characters are well-written and portrayed. Ashton Sanders, who plays the role of Will, gives a breathtaking performance that captivates the audience from start to finish.

The movie explores themes of family, loyalty, and survival and provides a unique perspective on the Civil War that is not often seen in other historical dramas. It also highlights the experiences of African Americans during the war and sheds light on the struggles they faced in a society that discriminated against them.

If you're looking for a movie that is action-packed and full of suspense, The Retrieval may not be the movie for you. However, if you appreciate a well-written and engaging story, the movie is a must-watch.

Overall, The Retrieval is a beautifully-crafted movie that deserves more recognition. It's a hidden gem that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who watches it. So, if you haven't already, go give it a watch!

Until next time, happy watching!

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Review The Retrieval (2013) Movie