Purgatory (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Purgatory (1999)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this fantasy set in the Old West, Blackjack Britton (Eric Roberts) is an outlaw on the run from police after a bank robbery. Britton and his gang wind up in a small town called Refuge, where things are rather unusual -- outlaws are warmly welcomed and offered free food and lodging but warned not to swear, and none of the residents carry guns, including Sheriff Forrest (Sam Shepard). Britton and his gang notice that Sheriff Forrest bears a striking resemblance to the famous gunfighter Wild Bill Hickock, who died some years ago. Elsewhere in Refuge, Britton's gang meets dead ringers for such late, great outlaws as Doc Holliday (Randy Quaid), Billy the Kid (Donnie Wahlberg), and Jesse James (J.D. Souther). Britton learns that Refuge is actually Purgatory, where the gunfighters are stranded between Heaven and Hell, hoping to hoping to find a redemptive grace that will bring them salvation as they struggle not to backslide into final damnation. Soon Britton's gang becomes restless, and the men of Refuge may have to return to their guns if they are to protect the town. Produced for the TNT cable network, Purgatory also features Peter Stormare, Brad Rowe, and Richard Edson. The film is also available on home video in a Spanish subtitled edition.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Western, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Gordon Dawson
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 17, 2005
Warner Home Video - Official Site


Sam Shepard
as Sheriff Forrest
Eric Roberts
as Blackjack
Randy Quaid
as Doc Woods
Brad Rowe
as Sonny
J.D. Souther
as Jesse James
Richard Edson
as Euripides
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Purgatory

Critic Reviews for Purgatory

All Critics (3)

Finds a fairly novel way in which to mix some of the classic old-school characters with just a dose of otherworldly weirdness. I dug it.

Full Review… | May 25, 2005

...the story manages to inject a much-needed shot of adrenaline into a dying carcass.

Full Review… | May 22, 2005
Movie Metropolis

August 7, 2005

Audience Reviews for Purgatory

Uli Edel drops some fantasy into a western atmosphere in Purgatory.This isn't a 90 minute sprint around the track by any means, but for a film that does harness a slower pace, the cloudiness and sense of mystery stirs up enough intrigue to keep the story afloat.The film may kick off with a bang; however, there isn't much in the way of bullets flying around, which leaves the feeling that this is lesser than an action picture. Fortunately, the final act makes up for it all.The cast is strong and it shows. Sam Shepard was born for his role and Eric Roberts proves to be an excellent adversary. Peter Stormare, Randy Quaid, J.D. Souther, and Donnie Wahlberg fill up the supporting cast nicely. Amelia Heinle is a sight for sore eyes in a film full of gun-slinging cowboys.Purgatory fits the bill as a western with a unique flavor, thus making it a recommendable film.

JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

I really enjoyed this movie! I love the twist it has. I love the boy's innocence while he is surrounded by murders and drinkers... Great Movie with great shooting scenes!

Jessica Jackson

Purgatory is a down-and-dirty Western with a twist The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling would have loved. A band of 19th-century desperadoes, led by the monstrous Blackjack Britton (Eric Roberts), takes a wrong turn while fleeing a posse and rides into an otherworldly, off-the-map town called Refuge. Sedate, almost repressed, and guarded by an unarmed sheriff (Sam Shepard), Refuge is a weird haven of hospitality with no jail, a literate shopkeeper (J.D. Souther), an erudite dandy of a doctor (Randy Quaid), a restless deputy (Donnie Wahlberg), and a beautiful young woman (Amelia Heinle) with no apparent family. In short order, Blackjack figures Refuge is his for the plundering. But the youngest of his gang, the innocent Sonny (Brad Rowe), slowly realizes the town's residents are, in fact, dead legends of the American West--Wild Bill Hickok (Shepard), Doc Holliday (Quaid), Jesse James (Souther), among others--spending a violence-free interim before being taken to Heaven (or Hell if they fail). A purely fun if slightly hokey piece of fanciful adventure, Purgatory's colorful cast plays the whole thing straight and gives this made-for-cable film some exciting, six-gun grit and emotional authenticity.

Katie S

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