Deep in the harsh backwoods of the Ozarks, 17-year old Ree Dolly has a hard life; she's raising her siblings, caring for her mentally-ill mother, and running the house all by herself. Her father, a meth cooker, has jumped bail and the family will lose their home if he can't be brought in to the law so Ree must go to all of her kinfolk for help, even though she knows their code of silence is enforced by beatings - and worse.
This low-budget film is excellent, reminiscent of "Coal Miner's Daughter" without the music and happy ending. The grim and utterly hopeless lives of the mountain poor are presented unflinchingly; I never felt anyone was acting. Many of the smaller roles are, in fact, played by non-professional locals and they are all convincing. Ree's courage in seeking out her father amid her brutal relatives is admirable and frightening.
The top-notch script, direction, and acting make for a scary, depressing, but always riveting movie, a glimpse into a rarely-seen world. Recommended.