In the tradition of Arbitrage and Thank You for Smoking, where the people who contribute to making life miserable are seen as just regular guys, Gus Van Sant, along with screenwriters Matt Damon and John Krasinski, collaborate in this ambiguous homily about the energy crisis and environmental pollution. Damon plays Steve Butler, an earnest agent for a corporation seeking the fracking rights for a big gas reserve underneath a rural community. He's just about to convince the residents that they'll make a killing and they don't have to worry about their drinking water catching fire or their children becoming mutants, when a smug environmentalist (Krasinski) shows up and barnstorms the neighborhood with tales of horror. So why is Butler nicer than the tree hugger? A twist clarifies nothing, and Van Sant's direction is as subtle as the fracking process itself. Frances McDormand evokes Thelma Ritter as Butler's irascible partner, and Rosemarie DeWitt plays the disputed love interest/metaphor.