there will be blood is gorgeously filmed. its a good tight story. it is however very very slow and the reward is a view into one man's despair. his inability to trust anyone and the foils of greed.
you should know immediately what you're getting into with this film; the first 15 maybe 20 minutes are without dialog...one man digging, building, sweating, etc. until he finally uncovers a little reward for his excavating/mining. he takes that bit of money and the knowledge he gained figuring out how to dig effectively and puts it back into his venture. ultimately establishing himself as an "oilman".
much of the movie evolves around his dealings with property owners. he buys up lands where he knows oil is, offering his knowledge to the townsfolk, to make them all wealthy for their land.
of course, to set up a plot for a movie you need some drama, and that comes in multiple parts here. which is somewhat nice, but also leaves the film overly long in order to reel in all the stories. one part is about the danger and the men who help him getting hurt and dieing. an early accident leaves him with a baby to take care of. he raises the baby, and the son becomes his ticket into the hearts of the townsfolk. another part of the story is hard to establish; where the man is not actually successful as it may seem and other 'big business' men try to buy him out and/or circumvent him. and then the main part of the story, or so you're lead to believe by the box description, is about a religious "prophet" who he has a running in with. this story takes up much of the movie, however there are long patches of the movie where it would seemingly have been abandoned as a storyline, until it pops up again.
its ambitious as a story, ambitious as a film, and ultimately has been meet with high regard. while i'll agree there is much to like about the film, it also seems to be unfocused occasionally, overly long, and the moral story ending leaves one full of pity and disgust rather than feeling enlightened or inspired. ok, i'll admit there is place for this in movie making, i just felt at the end like i was let down. you have to invest a lot into these characters over the length of the film, and then they simply fall and fall into a pit of greed, suspicion, violence, hatred, and despair. i can't really enjoy that.