MOVIE REVIEWS

Open Range

ADD TO MY FAVORITES
7/10 R 2hrs 15 min

August 29, 2003

Share your thoughts. We appreciate it!

By John Chard July 21, 2017

I ain't going to meet my maker without knowing your real name.

It's purely my own opinion of course, but Open Range is a modern day genre classic that stands up to repeat viewings. It's not a flawless Western the Western historians will tell you, and some will pick out the hats or the impact of a rifle to mark the film down, but really we should be embracing a genre piece in the modern age that is clearly being directed with love and respect by the director.

It's story is of course a simply structured tale of the underdog rising up against the fat cats who want it all in the name of tyranny. But on its side is the fact that its characters are so interestingly engaging. Within a short time frame I feel that Kevin Costner manages to put us in the saddle with the main protagonists, we understand these guys without actually knowing them, and that is quite an achievement I feel. The film does flesh them out to enhance the film without boring the pants off the viewer, and it's only come the final reel that you realise you have been engaged in a very human and honest Western film.

Most of the cast do great here, both Robert Duvall & Kevin Costner bounce of each other with moody and world wise aplomb as the two main leads, while in the sole female role of note, Annette Bening is gusto beautiful personified. Sadly it's hard for me to write that Michael Gambon as the villain of the piece is not only underused, but also something of a let down. Such an accomplished actor should know better than to overdo it in the context of this particular story. Yes we get the need for villainy, but gurning and frothing doesn't quite make the grade here. It's a little surprising that director Costner didn't utilise Gambon more wisely.

Still, I say the film is a wondrous experience because it is, a film to have you cheering and booing in equal measure, and in the main the work on it is top dollar. Some of the shots are gorgeous, the framing that Costner uses in close ups is excellent, and the final reel shoot out ranks as one of the best in Western genre history. So all in all it's a modern day genre piece that actually sits nicely with the best from the golden era. 9/10

By John Chard July 21, 2017

I ain't going to meet my maker without knowing your real name.

It's purely my own opinion of course, but Open Range is a modern day genre classic that stands up to repeat viewings. It's not a flawless Western the Western historians will tell you, and some will pick out the hats or the impact of a rifle to mark the film down, but really we should be embracing a genre piece in the modern age that is clearly being directed with love and respect by the director.

It's story is of course a simply structured tale of the underdog rising up against the fat cats who want it all in the name of tyranny. But on its side is the fact that its characters are so interestingly engaging. Within a short time frame I feel that Kevin Costner manages to put us in the saddle with the main protagonists, we understand these guys without actually knowing them, and that is quite an achievement I feel. The film does flesh them out to enhance the film without boring the pants off the viewer, and it's only come the final reel that you realise you have been engaged in a very human and honest Western film.

Most of the cast do great here, both Robert Duvall & Kevin Costner bounce of each other with moody and world wise aplomb as the two main leads, while in the sole female role of note, Annette Bening is gusto beautiful personified. Sadly it's hard for me to write that Michael Gambon as the villain of the piece is not only underused, but also something of a let down. Such an accomplished actor should know better than to overdo it in the context of this particular story. Yes we get the need for villainy, but gurning and frothing doesn't quite make the grade here. It's a little surprising that director Costner didn't utilise Gambon more wisely.

Still, I say the film is a wondrous experience because it is, a film to have you cheering and booing in equal measure, and in the main the work on it is top dollar. Some of the shots are gorgeous, the framing that Costner uses in close ups is excellent, and the final reel shoot-out ranks as one of the best in Western genre history. So all in all it's a modern day genre piece that actually sits nicely with the best from the golden era. 9/10

What Movie Should I Watch This Weekend?

What Movie Should I Watch This Weekend?

October 16, 2017

Looking for a movie to watch this weekend? Blade Runner 2049, Geostorm, Snowm...

Happy Death Day Review

Happy Death Day Review

October 16, 2017

From Blumhouse Pictures and the minds behind the Paranormal Activity franchis...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) – A Smart Dysfunctional Family Dramedy

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) – A Smart Dysfunctional Family Dramedy

October 14, 2017

Netflix has been hitting it out of the park this year with their original fil...

Happy Death Day – Much More Than Just A Silly Premise

Happy Death Day – Much More Than Just A Silly Premise

October 13, 2017

Don’t let the title fool you and give this a chance. You may be surprised.

Movies Now Playing | Friday October 13th

Movies Now Playing | Friday October 13th

October 13, 2017

Movies coming out Friday October 13 2017 | Happy Death Day, Marshall, The For...

'The Florida Project' - 'Tangerine' director captures the Technicolor magic of childhood in new film

'The Florida Project' - 'Tangerine' director captures the Technicolor magic of childhood in new film

October 12, 2017

Willem Dafoe plays the superintendent of the Magic Castle Hotel, where his du...

MOVIES WERE FILMED BY VIDEO GAMES THAT BECOME LEGENDS

MOVIES WERE FILMED BY VIDEO GAMES THAT BECOME LEGENDS

October 10, 2017

Agreed; filmmakers don't always do a great job when adapting storylines from ...

Halloween Movies | In Theaters October 2017

Halloween Movies | In Theaters October 2017

October 10, 2017

Halloween scary and thriller movies coming out in Ocotober 2017 | Jigsaw, Hap...