Senior Editor Peter Suderman reviews The Hunter, an indie thriller about a mercenary sent to hunt down a species of tiger long though to be extinct, in today's Washington Times:
There's a scene in "The Hunter" when Martin (Willem Dafoe), the titular gunman, helps a family string loudspeakers from a giant tree near their Tasmanian home before letting music blast through the countryside. It's a strangely beautiful moment, and it says plenty about the movie and its interests: "The Hunter" is deeply attuned to the music of the planet, and lush with environmental metaphor.
Long stretches feature little or no dialogue, replaced instead with the crackle and song of the woods. Director Daniel Nettheim frequently frames a tiny Mr. Dafoe against grand natural backdrops. The state of the natural world provides a sort of chorus to the main story, changing with the movie's mood, commenting on the action with heavenly rays of sunshine or foul grey storms. Staged as a brooding, conspiratorial thriller, this quiet, intense, and surprisingly affecting movie is more of a naturalistic tone poem. The scenery isn't merely the background; it's the subject.