A to Z Challenge: “O” Out of the Furnace “Release Me” #OutOfTheFurnace #PearlJam #ReleaseMe #AtoZChallenge

I’ve joined in for the A to Z challenge this year which runs from April 1st to the 30th. My choice of theme is Music from Favorite Films. I’ll be sharing the songs in order of film title and will write a little about my thoughts on the movie as well.


My movie choice for “O” is Out of the Furnace starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, and Sam Shepherd.

The film is about two brothers who are both struggling to re-enter society due to different circumstances. Russell (Bale) has just been released from jail after serving time for driving while intoxicated which caused a horrific accident resulting in deaths. He returns home to his girlfriend, who has moved on with another man; his brother , who struggles  with demons from multiple tours he endured in Iraq; a dead-end job as a mill worker; and  a deceased father. Rodney (Affleck), Russell’s brother, is bare-fist boxing for money to help pay for his gambling debts to John (Dafoe), a bar owner/bookie he’s involved with. Russell tries to steer him in the right direction.


Russell: “Come work at the mill. There’s nothing wrong with working for a living.”

Rodney: “Working for a living? I gave my life for this country and what’s it done for me? Huh? What’s it done for me?!!”

Because of the large amount of money Rodney owes, he can’t seem to get caught up and begs for a big-money fight. John reluctantly gets him a fight with some shady criminals in the backwoods. Rodney’s fearless and out-of-control behavior doesn’t mesh well with them, he shows up missing after the fight, and the cops can’t seem to solve anything.

Chief Wesley Barnes: “Russell, they haven’t been able to find your brother.”

Russell: “They aren’t going to look for Rodney?”

Chief Wesley Barnes: “No, it’s a whole ‘nother world up in there. The people in those hills got their own breed of justice and it does not include us.”

Rather than sit hopelessly, Russell takes everything in his own hands and heads out on a  dangerous mission to find his brother.

This movie has a strong family theme which is something I love about it. Russell is dealing with so much pain, but he remains loyal to his brother even though he knows he’s heading down a dark path. His love for Rodney is unconditional. The story highlights the drama in the relationships we have with one another, how much a person is willing to put up with, and makes you question just what you’re willing to stand up for. It also exposes the difficulties veterans deal with when re-entering civilian life after the traumatic experiences of war.

The acting is brilliant; along with the setting, it’s what makes this movie feel so real. Every actor in the movie exhibits pure skill. I’m fascinated with how Woody Harrelson can perform every character thrown at him, and the abusive-hillbilly-ruthless-drug dealer type he acts in this film is no exception. What powerful performances.

This movie is dark, gritty, violent, and very emotional. My mediocre review doesn’t do it justice. You just have to watch it for yourself and see what you think.

Most of the soundtrack is instrumental, but this song stands out for me because of its meaning, and because it’s my favorite Pearl Jam song of all. “Release Me” is from Ten, their first (my favorite) album. I feel like pairing this song with this movie is genius; it fits like a glove.

If the video is unavailable, you can click here to be directed to it.


I see the world
Feel the chill
Which way to go
I see the words
On a rocking horse of time
I see the birds in the rain

Oh dear dad
Can you see me now
I am myself
Like you somehow
I’ll ride the wave
Where it takes me
I’ll hold the pain
Release me

Oh dear dad
Can you see me now
I am myself
Like you somehow
I’ll wait up in the dark
For you to speak to me
I’ll open up
Release me
Release me
Release me
Release me

Thanks for checking out the A to Z challenge. Have you seen this movie? What are some of your favorite movie soundtracks? Feel free to leave your thoughts below.

💜 Mischenko

9 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: “O” Out of the Furnace “Release Me” #OutOfTheFurnace #PearlJam #ReleaseMe #AtoZChallenge

  1. I do love Pearl Jam. I seem to recall seeing this movie, but don’t remember a lot about it. I think I am going to see if I can find it and watch it again. Great share Jen.


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