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Appaloosa (2008)


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 159
Fresh: 121
Rotten: 38

Critics Consensus: A traditional genre western, Appaloosa sets itself apart with smart psychology, an intriguing love triangle, and good chemistry between the leads.

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 31
Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: A traditional genre western, Appaloosa sets itself apart with smart psychology, an intriguing love triangle, and good chemistry between the leads.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 55,121


Movie Info

Upon drifting into a troubled Western outpost and discovering that the helpless locals are being terrorized by a ruthless rancher and his brutish hired hands, two rugged, straight-shooting peacemakers decide to stick around and put things right in this Western adapted from the novel by Robert B. Parker and directed by Ed Harris. Bragg (Jeremy Irons) is a rancher who believes himself to be above the law, a stance that's forever cemented when he guns down the town sheriff and his deputy in cold … More

R (for some violence and language)
Western , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
Ed Harris , Robert Knott
In Theaters:
Jan 13, 2009
Box Office:
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Appaloosa

All Critics (162) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (121) | Rotten (38) | DVD (15)

It was at times incredibly slow and even poorly edited, and I've never understood the appeal of Renee Zelwegger.

Full Review… | November 7, 2008
At the Movies
Top Critic

Ed Harris does it better than anybody.

Full Review… | November 7, 2008
At the Movies
Top Critic

Appaloosa takes the traditional notion of a lone lawman fighting injustice and turns it successfully on its head.

Full Review… | October 10, 2008
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Dialogue, much of it lifted straight from Parker's novel, proves mostly engaging.

Full Review… | October 3, 2008
Top Critic

Harris displays a quiet, unshowy confidence and a genuine fondness for the genre, capturing the horses and guns and saloon glasses in a soft, almost-sundown light.

Full Review… | October 3, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Harris co-wrote, directed and stars in the film, which is filled with humor, action and clever turns.

Full Review… | October 3, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A droll Western with an odd romantic triangle.

Full Review… | January 3, 2011

Old-fashioned Western features great performances.

Full Review… | December 18, 2010
Common Sense Media

old-fashioned but simple and effective entertainment

Full Review… | December 17, 2009

A dusty, old-fashioned Western with a dusty, old-fashioned vibe. You can all but smell the saddle soap as the story unfolds.

Full Review… | July 27, 2009

There's considerable pleasure in Appaloosa's respect for the undramatic. It doesn't go where you'd expect...

Full Review… | June 7, 2009

True, the film is a little long, and it loses momentum at one stage, but generally speaking this is a most enjoyable return to what was once the cinema's most popular genre.

Full Review… | March 13, 2009
At the Movies (Australia)

Viggo Mortensen is a trustworthy ally in the project, an actor whose extraordinary range enables him to move his performance along the scale from 0 to 100 at will.

Full Review… | March 11, 2009
Urban Cinefile

Wearing not only his actor's lawman hat, but also that of director and co-screenwriter, Ed Harris delivers a splendid film, filled with nuances, complexities and substance

Full Review… | March 11, 2009
Urban Cinefile

Brush away the dust and you'll find a sense of nostalgia and romanticism about lost American values and altered social hierarchies.

Full Review… | March 6, 2009
Sydney Morning Herald

Harris has made himself a reputation as a mark of quality...Like Pollack, Appaloosa has the best of both worlds, with Harris both in front of and behind the camera. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | February 15, 2009
Groucho Reviews

I give thanks for westerns. Every time they seem to be about to gasp their last, dusty breath, one comes along to give them a bit of renewed life. Bless it, the western genre will not die. Last year it was the excellent remake 3:10 to Yuma. This ye

Full Review… | February 1, 2009
Fayetteville Free Weekly

It is as though Harris could not decide whether he was making the classic western of his boyhood dreams, or merely a pastiche of it. The result, falling somewhere between the two, ends up being neither here nor there.

Full Review… | January 30, 2009
Little White Lies

Nothing new or groundbreaking here, just a lot of talented people coming together for a well-made and entertaining Western.

Full Review… | January 14, 2009
Aisle Seat

...provides enough variety to keep the heart, mind, and adrenaline on alert.

Full Review… | January 9, 2009
Movie Metropolis

Uma produção correta e que prende a atenção especialmente graças à dinâmica entre Harris e Mortensen, mas que, no fim das contas, não exibe nada que a torne diferente do convencional.

Full Review… | December 5, 2008
Cinema em Cena

A western bromance.

Full Review… | November 20, 2008
Film Snobs

A terrific bread-and-butter Western.

Full Review… | November 18, 2008
Combustible Celluloid

Appaloosa is ideally suited for fans of the genre for whom quiet drama speaks as loud as big guns.

Full Review… | November 15, 2008
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

A better than average western in the Clint Eastwood tradition

Full Review… | November 11, 2008

Ed Harris' howler of a vanity piece.

Full Review… | November 9, 2008
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for Appaloosa

Nice try but ultimately flawed and unsatisfying.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

A friendly little Western film with two great leading men that doesn't seem to dare to scare its audience all that much. There is relatively little tension, a bit of banter and a somewhat anticlimatic ending. At least the road there is somewhat unpredictable and refuses to follow the well known paths of the genre all that closely. Entertaining and satisfying enough. Zellweger is a classic mis-cast, though.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

A great, sensational and old-fashioned entertainment crafted by a superb performer and fine filmmaker. A masterpiece. A skillfully and brilliantly made western laced with wit and adventure. It's packed with explosive action and dazzling suspense. A thunderous and breathtaking classic that will astound you. Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen are magnificent. Harris is magnetic, giving one of his best performances and an excellent approach as the director. Mortenson is outstanding, giving another compelling and fantastic performance. Renee Zellweger is extraordinary, you truly believe this actress can truly play anybody. Jeremy Irons is riveting, giving a knockout performance. A powerful and unforgettable film. An exhilarating film that will move you with it's power, characters and story. A great amount of action, thrills, fast-humor, romance and drama. It's pure excellence with great character development.

Al S

Super Reviewer


We've seen it all before: a small town terrorized by a vile gang of outlaws; having their own way as if nothing could ever break their stride. That is, until a new sheriff and his entourage shows up to challenge their sway - fearless in their attempt to establish some law and order.

In that regard, this isn't exactly what you'd call a groundbreaking picture. Thankfully, however, this routine formula is but employed in the beginning of the film. What follows is something of less predictable nature; taking us on a voyage more variable and unforeseen.

An appealing gunslinger tale, blessed by the presence of formidable actors like Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons. All of them bringing a quality to the screen that more than compensates for the hackneyed first chapter.

Additionally, it deserves to be said that I was entertained throughout. Not spectacular in any way, but solid without question and well worth the view.

Mike S

Super Reviewer

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