Certificate: 15

Running Time: 107 mins

Star Rating: 4/5

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JUSTICE is blind and frost-bitten in Wind River, an impeccably crafted thriller set on a snow-laden Indian reservation, where the murder of a teenager sends a chill through a community riven by bigotry and fear.

Taylor Sheridan, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Hell Or High Water and Sicario, returns to the director's chair for a high-stakes game of cat and mouse in unforgiving terrain.

Working from his own lean script, he vividly brings to life clashes of culture and ideals, punctuated by pulse-quickening scenes of carnage that expose the ugly reality of race relations in present-day America.

As Sheridan makes uncomfortably clear at the end of his film, the Department of Justice does not collate statistics on the number of Native American women who vanish every year.

Horrors depicted on screen with cool, clinical detachment could be based on hundreds, perhaps thousands of unreported true stories.

The writer-director thaws out our emotional response to his material with powerhouse performances from Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as lawmakers from different worlds, united in quivering indignation.

Both actors rise magnificently to the challenge of plucking heartstrings in gruelling conditions, interspersed with the adrenaline-pumping action of two blood-spattered shootouts.

Wind River is a survival thriller of the fittest, photographed against breathtaking backdrops described by one wise character as "the land of You're On Your Own".

The central police investigation unfurls with quiet urgency, reflected in the slow-burning intensity of performances from a superb ensemble cast.