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Screener Squad: The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog Movie Review


Jane Campion (“The Piano,” “Top of the Lake”) returns to filmmaking after a twelve year hiatus with her newest poetic epic “The Power of the Dog.” Adapted from the book by Thomas Savage, the story focuses on the Burbank brothers Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George (Jesse Plemons). They run one of the largest cattle empires in 1920’s Montana, with George managing the financial affairs while Phil continues to work down and dirty with the other ranchers. While resting at a town during a fateful cattle drive, George is smitten by a woman named Rose (Kirsten Dunst), a recently widowed innkeeper. George marries Rose shortly after, a none-too-happy Phil makes it his life’s mission to not only torment her, but to also torment her effeminate son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Is there a way to satiate the hotheaded Phil to help everyone get along? Is it even worth trying to help such a toxic individual? It’s not the most complicated plot in the world, but, in the hands of a master filmmaker like Campion, it lays the foundation for a story dripping with subtext and thematic discussion about the nature of masculinity. Justin, Beau, and Marcos discuss one Netflix biggest Oscar candidates and whether it truly lives up to the ecstatic hype it has received so far.


DIRECTED BY: Jane Campion

STARRING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Thomasin McKenzie, Genevieve Lemon, Keith Carradine, Frances Conroy, Peter Carroll, Alison Bruce, Sean Keenan, Adam Beach, Maeson Stone Skuccedal, Alice Englert




Justin Zarian (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub, Assistant Site Manager)

Justin’s fate as a movie fanatic was written in the stars when his birth forced his parents to cancel their planned Oscar viewing party. While growing up in California, he was often seen in front of the television watching and re-watching Star WarsJurassic Park, classic Disney movies and a steady stream of animated shows. This eventually led to a B.A. in Film at Brigham Young University and an Outstanding Student Teacher Award for displaying a level of film knowledge so insane that even his fellow film students couldn’t compete. He received his M.A. from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing a teaching certificate, but still volunteers at One of Us every so often for the fun of it. His hobbies include non-stop film conversations, wondering how Mass Effect 3’s ending went so wrong, espousing the joys of shooting guns (but not hunting, as he’s quick to note), writing the next great American television show in his head, and anything else entertainment related. You can find him on Facebook once in a blue moon.



Beau Paul (Highly Suspect Reviews, The Original Gentlemen, Screener Squad)

Beau Paul is an Austin native, an actor, and a writer. Sometimes all at once! Previously he has attempted to be an internet entertainer (the funny ha-ha kind, not the naked moneymaking kind) at, and now here on You can read his pithy witticisms and the retweeted material of funnier, cleverer people on Twitter or Facebook, and can buy him stuff on Amazon.




Marcos Lira (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)

Me? I come from the South, Out there, beyond the horizon by the big river. Out there where the bandits formed cities, and the gambling is legal. I got into movies like most nerds by watching Tarantino but fell in love with movies through Chinese Cinema for some reason. A few of my favorite things would probably be live music, new experiences, and belt-fed ammunition. You can catch this occasional podcaster, occasional other Marco and full-time human on any form of social media by typing jlmarcos62. Hit me up for music suggestions and bad jokes.




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