Much like the previous collaboration of director Alejandro González Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, last year’s Best Picture winner Birdman, the gruesome adventure The Revenant is heavy on visual gimmickry and pulses with an aggravating energy, but also feels strangely empty and unnecessary. Leonardo DiCaprio clearly suffers for his art here, whether submerging himself in ice cold water or climbing inside of a horse carcass for warmth, but although the film works as a visceral experience, on the whole it’s a frustrating mess. There are is a change jar of messages regarding the pitiless beauty of nature and the savagery of man, but Iñárritu only knows how to lay it on thick, so it amounts to a lot of puffed-up finger-wagging. More than anything, Iñárritu excels at hectoring and exhausting his audience, and The Revenant is no exception—he’s good at grinding you to a nub, and not much else. D.B.