‘God’s Country’ | Sundance 2022 Review

Directed By:

Julian Higgins

Written By:

Shaye Ogbonna, Julian Higgins


Thandiwe Newton, Jeremy Bobb, Joris Jarsky, Jefferson White, Kai Lennox, Tanaya Beatty


Drama, Thriller

Sandra (Thandiwe Newton) is grieving the loss of her mother in a cabin in Montana. She’s trying to find comfort in nature and in herself but is confronted with two hunters trespassing on her property. After first asking them to leave, which fails into her needing to go through law enforcement and the proper channels to stop this trespassing, she realizes the system will do nothing to help her. This is HER land, and she’s going to do something to keep it hers and safe. God’s Country examines one woman’s grieving process and determination to be taken seriously amid her refusal to surrender to the confines of society.

Thandiwe Newton is a star and gives a terrific performance her. Her character is the representation of The American Dream broken. Society cannot help her when all she hears is that this country is fair and just. Sandra is purely just looking for peace and safety, and seeing the slow burn of people invading her space builds the unease and validates her actions (somewhat).

Have you ever had to deal with a bad roommate, connecting apartment, or anything related to your quality of life being infringed on by an outside source? Try dealing with it the proper way through your complex or renter and realize that there isn’t anything that can be done? That feeling of helplessness is portrayed in a very strong way in this film.

The villains in this story are fairly surface-level. There’s not much to them other than they just don’t care about trespassing… if anything they enjoy annoying Sandra as she continues to seek justice. Once you find out more of her backstory and where Sandra is coming from the film reveals itself as a commentary of freedom for some but lack of accountability for others. It’s a nuanced story that with make you think and one I definitely recommend when it’s released.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
Patrick Beatty
Patrick Beatty

Patrick Beatty is a film critic and creator of PatrickBeattyReviews.com and the Gaggle of Geeks Podcast network. Watch him Friday’s on ABC4 Good Things Utah talk about movies and follow all his work in the link below.

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