Brute Force

Corruption in California’s gorgeous central coast wine country?  Say it ain’t so!

Actually, when you consider the racism migrant workers face on the daily, the political pressures of powerful people, and the fragile class structures at play, it’s no wonder that the harassment which takes center stage in the cracking Brut Force, a neo-noir thriller from Writer/Director Eve Symington, is the object of so much drama.  Honoring its film noir influences - there’s a lot of Double Indemnity and Chinatown influences buried in here - this new entry in noir cinema works with its conflicted characters and its efforts to present the duplicitous nature of society at large.

"Turns out that wine country, when you scratch the surface of all that sun-soaked beauty, is pretty damn ugly"

Turns out that wine country, when you scratch the surface of all that sun-soaked beauty, is pretty damn ugly.  Don't trust a soul!

Newly fired reporter Sloane Sawyer (Lelia Symington, Street Survivors, The Fight Within) hears that someone has been harassing vineyard workers in her hometown, so she starts investigating.  Her homecoming is a mixed bag.  She’s celebrated back home because of her reporting gig - you know, the one she was fired from - and some old friends unexpectedly come crashing back into her orbit, yet she’s somehow expected to keep her cool while still dealing with her mother's death, her father's unwillingness to stop talking about it, and this new wrinkle she's experiencing in her hometown.  

This production is definitely sun-kissed with interesting characters, a complex mystery, and all sorts of fun as an ugly underbelly is exposed by both characters and the plot.  The character of Sloan Sawyer is a great character and Symington inhabits her well, bringing this complex character to life in many different scenes and situations.  It is a joy to watch her investigate as one small town hides a BIG secret.  Sloan’s just the right woman for uncovering the truth. Brute Force

And things escalate quickly.  When haunting beauty Dulce goes missing and the alluring Tico Reyes shows up looking for her, Sloane is drawn into a twisting trail of violence and crime, determined to help those she’s come to care about in this town... before it’s too late.  Co-starring Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf, Truth or Dare), Vico Escorcia (Texas Rising, Coyote Hills), and Patricia Velásquez (The Mummy), Brut Force is a thrilling look at the dark side of so much beauty . . . and wine.

Written and directed by an obviously talented Eve Symington, Brut Force presents a new visual POP to wine country thanks to the work put in here.  Of special note, is the work of cinematographer Emilie Silvestri, who manages to bring a certain level of ominous vibes to a premier wine-growing region.  With long takes, gripping close-ups, and a staging which is matched only by the gripping soundtrack, her work here is a great juxtaposition which ignites like a wildfire across the screen. 

Uncork the conspiracy!  Brut Force will arrive on video-on-demand on Thursday, April 21st from XYZ Films.

4/5 stars

Film Details

Brute Force

MPAA Rating: Unrated.

: Eve Symington
Eve Symington
Lelia Symington, Tyler Posey, Patricia Velasquez, Sidney Symington
: Thriller

Memorable Movie Quote: "Welcome back to Santa Lucia."
XYZ Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 21, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Newly-fired reporter Sloane Sawyer reluctantly returns to her rural California hometown to investigate the harassment of local vineyard workers and uncorks a tangled web of crime and corruption behind wine country's shiny façade.


Brute Force