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Arkansas Movie Review: A Really Good Crime Drama Film

Arkansas is a thriller crime drama movie with the right amount of Tarantino feel. It is sure to have you hooked from the beginning and wondering what’s next.

arkansas movie review

Arkansas completely took me by surprise. I was not expecting a Tarantino-esque movie, but I am so glad that is what I got. With humor, action, and of course, more than a handful of murders, this perfectly cast movie exceeded all expectations. Sure, there are some slow moments here and there, but nothing that takes away from the film as a whole. Work through the discombobulated parts, and it all pays off in the end.

Arkansas is about a couple of low-level drug dealers, played by Liam Hemsworth and Clark Duke. We watch them as they go about their day to day lives, just trying to get by. When some unforeseen circumstances change things, the movie gets so much better. Not that it was bad before this turn of events, but it was a little slow at parts.

arkansas movie review

The chemistry between Hemsworth and Duke is apparent every time they are on the screen together. I knew they were both good actors but they really solidified my thoughts in Arkansas. Hemsworth is a solid lead with a hard exterior, while Duke brings some comic relief. This is Duke’s directorial debut as well, and I admit, it has me looking forward to more from him. If this is where he starts off, I know he will go places.

Arkansas has a good mix of action, drama, and comedy. Sometimes it can get a bit gory though, so be prepared for that. None of that bothered me because it just felt right in this film. It all seemed to make sense. While I loved how it ended, I also was left wanting more.

arkansas movie vince vaughn

The last ten minutes or so tried to tie everything together but left it feeling a bit disjointed. The ending felt a bit rushed, and I wish certain things had been drawn out more or explained better. But overall, Arkansas is movie that is more than worth a watch.

Overall Thoughts

Arkansas might come off as broken up for the first three quarters of the movie, but then it all comes to together to form one story. The movie itself if broken up into chapters, which gives it a real Tarantino feel. As it goes on, it makes more and more sense. There are some shocks and surprises, and some predictable “twists” and he music really helps to propel scenes to the next level. 

arkansas movie review

Is this movie perfect? No, not by any means. But it is entertaining. Yup, it sure is. Arkansas was so much better than I ever expected it to be, and it is a film I was looking forward to after seeing the trailer. The movie seems to be perfectly cast, and all of the actors played their parts well. I believed them. Never once did they anyone seem out of place.

Since we are all stuck inside right now, just looking for entertainment, we could do a lot worse that Arkansas. What starts out as something you decide to watch to pass the time, just might end up surprising you. This movie is more than worth the cost to rent. Go ahead and purchase it because you are likely to want to watch it again and again.

arkansas movie poster

About Arkansas

In Clark Duke’s directorial debut, Kyle (Liam Hemsworth) and Swin (Clark Duke) live by the orders of an Arkansas-based drug kingpin named Frog (Vince Vaughn), whom they’ve never met. Posing as junior park rangers by day, they operate as low-level drug couriers by night under the watchful eye of Frog’s proxies (John Malkovich and Vivica A. Fox). Swin then settles into his day job by taking up a relationship with Johnna (Eden Brolin) against orders to blend in while Kyle continues to question his night job by trying to figure out who Frog really is.

Their world is then upended after one too many inept decisions, and Kyle, Swin, and Johnna find themselves directly in Frog’s crosshairs, who mistakenly sees them as a threat to his empire. Based on John Brandon’s best-selling book of the same name, ARKANSAS weaves together three decades of Deep South drug trafficking to explore the cycle of violence that turns young men into criminals, and old men into legends.

Arkansas is available on Apple, Amazon, On Demand platforms, Blu-ray™ and DVD.