Beyond the Reach

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Beyond the Reach
Beyond the Reach poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJean-Baptiste Léonetti
Produced by
Screenplay byStephen Susco
Based onDeathwatch
by Robb White
Music byDickon Hinchliffe
CinematographyRussell Carpenter
Edited byAdam Wolfe
Distributed byRoadside Attractions
Release date
  • September 6, 2014 (2014-09-06) (TIFF)
  • April 17, 2015 (2015-04-17) (United States)
Running time
91 minutes[1][2]
CountryUnited States
Box office$281,865[3]

Beyond the Reach is a 2014 American adventure thriller film directed by Jean-Baptiste Léonetti and written by Stephen Susco. It is based on the 1972 novel Deathwatch by Robb White; the film, starring Michael Douglas, Jeremy Irvine, and Ronny Cox, was released on April 17, 2015, by Roadside Attractions.


Ruthless tycoon and trophy collector John Madec flaunts his $500,000 all-terrain vehicle in a small New Mexico town, buying off the local sheriff to bag an endangered desert bighorn sheep; the sheriff solicits the young but experienced tracker Ben to guide the malevolent Madec an hour outside of town into the canyon country of Shiprock. Madec taunts Ben over his love interest, who has gone away to Colorado on a college swimming scholarship after gifted a gun that Ben taught her to shoot; when Ben asks to see the permit to hunt the endangered bighorn, Madec offers a wad of cash, which the stunned Ben begrudgingly accepts after Madec supplements his initial offer even further.

Later, when Madec — with a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later philosophy — accidentally shoots an old prospector, Ben insists that they must report it as an accident. Madec on the other hand puts another bullet from Ben's gun into the corpse, and after explaining how he can now blackmail Ben with questions of who was the actual killer, offers Ben a deal: Madec will put him through college with a finance major and give him a $300,000 dollar-a-year job in return for his complicity in covering up the crime.

When Ben picks up his emergency transponder, Madec destroys it and berates Ben for breaking the deal. Madec then threatens Ben with his high-powered rifle and orders him to strip all of his clothes and shoes, forcing him to wander out in the desert to die of dehydration and exposure.

Madec plans to report that Ben went mad, shot the prospector, and wandered off into the barren horizon alone. Madec is certain Ben cannot survive, as they are in the hot desert 45 miles from the nearest town. To ensure this, Madec watches Ben from a distance, using the scope from his rifle. Ben finds enough water inside of a barrel to survive until Madec shoots the barrel. Ben then hides in the dead prospector's subterranean lair, but Madec blows it up with the prospector's dynamite stash, with Ben managing to escape before it explodes with a 'treasure map' of Charlies, whom Ben vows will not die without justice.

By sunset, Ben uses the map to find a wrist-brace slingshot and some marbles amongst a buried box of Charlie's personal effects. Ben heads for a hidden grotto of water that he and his girlfriend had swam in, only to find it dried up as his sun-burnt body now freezes in the desert night. Madec keeps watch with his vehicle's high-powered floodlights as Ben eventually outsmarts Madec to overcome him with the slingshot.

Back in town, Madec escapes from police custody during a bathroom break to board a helicopter that he solicited using his one phone call. Ben goes to his girlfriend and promises not to leave her side again. An armed Madec then sneaks into their house as Ben and his girlfriend sleep and confronts them, but Ben's girlfriend shoots Madec using the same gun Ben gave to her. Still alive, Madec is then killed by Ben as the screen fades to black.



On September 7, 2013, Michael Douglas and Jeremy Irvine joined the cast.[4] Principal photography and production began on September 13, 2013, in Farmington, New Mexico.[5]


Beyond the Reach premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, 2014.[6] On September 7, 2014, Roadside Attractions picked up the distribution rights to the film for $2 million;[7] the film was released on April 17, 2015, by Roadside Attractions.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 36%, based on 64 reviews, with a rating of 4.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Beyond the Reach promises goofy genre pleasures, but fails to deliver, losing the viewer — and a villainous turn from Michael Douglas — in a misguided story that stumbles to the finish."[9] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 33 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[10]

Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave the film a half a star out of four, saying "Beyond the Reach fails to achieve the Southwestern-noir potency of No Country for Old Men, but there's no denying it brings to mind another Southwestern classic about malicious pursuit: the Road Runner cartoons."[11] Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic gave the film two out of five stars, saying "Beyond the Reach is a misfire, one of those movies that never quite rises to the level of guilty pleasure.[12] Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "There are goofy, primal pleasures to be had in the first two-thirds of the film, but Beyond the Reach exceeds even its humble grasp in the final act, collapsing in a clatter of blockheaded manhunter-movie cliches."[13] Tirdad Derakhshani of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film two out of four stars, saying "There's not much here: The characters are paper-thin, and the action is slow, at times agonizingly so."[14]

Linda Barnard of the Toronto Star gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Douglas is in his element and the throwback, stylized look of the production makes Beyond the Reach an entertaining hit of escapist fun."[15] Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a negative review, saying "Beyond the Reach is a grueling, unsatisfying thriller that fails the logic test in spectacular ways.[16] Joe Neumaier of New York Daily News gave the film one out of five stars, saying "This film, though, lacks any spine. Director Jean-Baptiste Léonetti isn’t sure if he’s making a Hemingway-lite faceoff or a hemmed-in horror flick."[17]


  1. ^ "Beyond The Reach (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. June 10, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "Beyond The Reach". AMC Theatres. October 8, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  3. ^ "Beyond the Reach (2015)". Box Office Mojo. April 17, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  4. ^ "Toronto: Jeremy Irvine to Star Opposite Michael Douglas in 'The Reach'". The Hollywood Reporter. September 7, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  5. ^ "Michael Douglas movie starts filming Saturday". Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  6. ^ "Toronto Film Festival: Michael Douglas continues to reach". September 6, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  7. ^ "Toronto: Lionsgate/Roadside Land Michael Douglas Thriller 'The Reach' For $2 Million - Deadline". Deadline. September 8, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  8. ^ Stephen Susco. "Beyond the Reach". Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  9. ^ "Beyond The Reach". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  10. ^ "Beyond the Reach Reviews". Metacritic. April 12, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  11. ^ Smith, Kyle (April 15, 2015). "Michael Douglas' ludicrous 'Beyond the Reach' falls way short". Retrieved April 21, 2015.0.5/4 stars
  12. ^ "Review: 'Beyond the Reach' a drama beyond comprehension". April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.2/5 stars
  13. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (April 16, 2015). "'Beyond the Reach': Michael Douglas as a deranged Gordon Gekko with gun". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 21, 2015.1.5/4 stars
  14. ^ Tirdad Derakhshani (April 17, 2015). "Sensible, sensitive tracker vs. entitled, immoral hunter". Retrieved April 21, 2015.2/4 stars
  15. ^ "Desert Dancer, Beyond the Reach, The Dead Lands, Dior & I, Monkey Kingdom". April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.3/4 stars
  16. ^ Goldstein, Gary (April 16, 2015). "Review: 'Beyond the Reach' plot stretches beyond the pale". LA Times. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  17. ^ "'Beyond the Reach' review: Tedious chase set in the desert". New York: NY Daily News. April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.1/5 stars

External links[edit]