Martin Scorsese is a lot of things: an underrated actor, the genius behind the greatest film never made, and a guy who made the terrible mistake of making a thoughtful, well-written critique of Marvel movies, one time. He’s also one of the greatest living American directors, a man of tremendous range, knocking out films from the period romance The Age of Innocence to the Biblical what-if fable The Last Temptation of Christ, along with several concert documentaries and I guess some movies about gangsters. Is he the god-emperor of cinema? I have consulted the ancient texts, and a few new ones — like this new Killers of the Flower Moon trailer — and I’m hard pressed to say anything but Hell yeah he is.
Unlike the movie’s first trailer, which is heavy on vibes and light on story, the latest look at Killers of the Flower Moon lays things out for those unfamiliar with David Grann’s landmark nonfiction book of the same name. What starts as a true crime-esque story about a series of murders in the Osage Nation becomes a larger tragedy about the plundering of the Osage after oil is discovered on their land.
Reported to run an absolutely butt-numbing three hours and 26 minutes, Killers of the Flower Moon looks packed to the brim with things that’ll likely make that time fly by. Forbidden romance, historic tragedy, true crime, and a thematic resonance with Scorsese’s previous examinations of the American lust for power and the havoc it wreaks — few filmmakers have earned that largesse, but Scorsese is one of them.
Killers of the Flower Moon opens in American theaters on Oct. 20.