The Stolen Valley Movie Review

Writer/director Jesse Edwards comes to film from the world of commercials. The Stolen Valley is his debut feature film and he makes sure it has something to say. The importance of those messages dovetails nicely with what is in essence an adventure ride of a movie. It revolves around the exploits of Lupe (Briza Covarrubias) and Maddy (Allee Sutton Hethcoat).

These two women are complete strangers at first but by stories end they will have become besties. The film’s lower budget has a few knock-on positive effects. It’s always easier to believe in an actor’s character when you haven’t been overexposed to them or seen them in a career-defining role. One of the other positives is reducing the special effects to a minimum, less bombast, more story.



When conflicts arrive they are not resolved with huge explosions or extended gun fights. The characters are left to use their wits. You get so used to the overabundance of those actions in most movies of this genre that reducing them makes things feel refreshingly personal. Zeroing in on the message becomes more clear and less fuzzy due to overstatement.

At first, when Lupe and Maddy meet (during a pawn shop robbery) they are more than cautious around each other but when these two gal pals hit their stride it becomes a boisterous journey. One that has some important underlying messages, the first of which is to respect the indigenous peoples and their land. Fortunately, the message never overtakes the story and enjoyment Is at its heart.

The Stolen Valley (2022) will be available to own or rent from April 17th via Apple TV, Prime Video and Google Play!
Rob Hudson