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The Wild Bunch Reviews

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Josh Larsen

In Peckinpah's world, the law and the lawless are one and the same - destructive agents of chaos.

Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 23, 2014

Total Film

It's the melancholy, the desolation. It's one of the saddest Westerns ever made.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 5/5

April 29, 2013
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Arguably the strongest Hollywood movie of the 1960s -- a western that galvanizes the clichés of its dying genre with a shocking jolt of delirious carnage.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

April 29, 2013
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In an era when body-count films mirror the mounting body count offscreen, The Wild Bunch dissects death rather than glorifying it.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 29, 2013
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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The Wild Bunch is an American masterpiece, one of the greatest films ever produced in the Hollywood system.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

April 29, 2013
Stephen Hunter
Baltimore Sun

It's one of the great, arrogant take-it-or-leave-it jobs in history, and by this point it is so beyond either defense or attack that I come neither to praise nor to bury it but merely to describe it.

Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun | Original Score: 4/4

April 29, 2013
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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It is certainly one of the best westerns ever made, and the best film of any kind to come out in 1969.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel

April 29, 2013
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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It's a towering achievement that grows more riveting and resonant with the years.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone

April 29, 2013

TIME Magazine
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The Wild Bunch is Peckinpah's most complex inquiry into the metamorphosis of man into myth. Not incidentally, it is also a raucous, violent, powerful feat of American film making.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

April 29, 2013


One of the great artistic achievements of the 20th century. And a bloody awesome western to boot!

Full Review Source: Film4

April 29, 2013
Cole Smithey

[VIDEO ESSAY] Famous for its breathtaking bridge explosion sequence, "The Wild Bunch" is a western layered with social commentary about war, codes of honor among men, and humanity's childish nature that bends equally between violence and pleasure.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: A

August 7, 2012
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

a work of art, and revives love for pure cinema

Full Review Source: Old School Reviews | Original Score: A-

March 3, 2011
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

one of the absolute best movies in the short history of the medium

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 4/4

January 6, 2010
Sean Axmaker

... a spurting blast of pulp and poetry choreographed into a ballet of violence.

Full Review Source:

October 26, 2008
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

Sam Peckinpah's great, bloody Western shocked most people with its extreme violence upon its original release, but now it's firmly nestled in the American canon.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid

July 4, 2008
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

...a landmark Western and a good, thoughtful, rousing adventure besides.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 9/10

October 11, 2007
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
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The on-screen carnage established a new level in American movies, but few of the films that followed in its wake could duplicate Peckinpah's depth of feeling.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

June 26, 2007
Emanuel Levy

Peckinpah's masterpiece, which is replete with poetic and violent imagery, demystifies the Old American West where no group (outlaws, railroaders, businessmen) is spared critical scrutiny. A highlight of the Western genre, it's one of 1969's best films.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: A

December 20, 2006

Time Out
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In purely cinematic terms, the film is a savagely beautiful spectacle, Lucien Ballard's superb cinematography complementing Peckinpah's darkly elegiac vision.

Full Review Source: Time Out

January 26, 2006
Chris Cabin

The sign of change in the old formula, the advancement of technology and time in a genre that brutally snuffed both.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4.5/5

October 23, 2005
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