You can’t go wrong with Willem Dafoe. Even Sam Raimi stuffing him into a plastic green robot suit in Spider-Man couldn’t sap Dafoe of his preternatural watchability. You just want to look at him, and that’s why The Hunter works. In fact, it would be interminable without him. He plays the titular hunter, sent to Tasmania in search of a creature called a Tasmanian tiger (imagine a striped hyena with a pair of ragged needle-nose pliers for a mouth). The tiger has long been considered extinct, but new evidence suggests there may be one left. While hunting the tiger, Dafoe finds himself torn between environmentalists, local loggers who fear losing their jobs, and a beautiful, depressed young widow. The story lopes into cliché a bit too often, but it’s heavy with long stretches wherein Defoe expertly assembles traps in the beautiful Tasmanian countryside. It’s not a good movie, but it’s a very watchable one. recommended

Support The Stranger