At one point there was Oscar buzz surrounding the hydrofracking-inspired big-screen drama, Promised Land.

However, now that critics have gotten a first look at the movie written by and starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski, that buzz appears to be fading.

promised land

From the NJ Star-Ledger: “Matt Damon’s new film “Promised Land” starts off on the right foot — and then shoots itself in it.”

From New York Magazine’s Vulture: “It collapses on all fronts, delivering hot-button platitudes and just-add-water character development.”

From the New York Times: “While the film nicely conveys the textures of small-town life in gas regions, its main characters too often border on caricature.”

I’m not one to judge a movie based solely on critic’s opinions and not all the reviews for this flick are unflattering. Given the topic hits so close to home as New York grapples with the idea of approving high-volume hydraulic natural gas drilling it may still be worth a watch. It opens for widespread release on January 4th.