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Blackthorn Reviews

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May 16, 2014
If you enjoy westerns, this one is well worth the watch.
April 25, 2014
Solid overall flick with some good character development and portrails that aren't common in most westerns. Kind of slow at times, but a decent ending sequence helps finish it off.
April 13, 2014
a lil bit of revisionist history in another butch cassidy western
January 5, 2014
They had me at Sam Shepard. I enjoyed this well-told story very much.
December 23, 2013
este é um filme despretensioso, em alguns aspectos, mas em última análise é western decente e por vezes impressionantemente bonito.
November 2, 2011
What a film! First of all what really stands out in this movie is the landscapes.... absolutely breathtaking & completely part of the story , the Bolivian countryside is maybe the first hero of this beautiful picture. The story is very well written, the characters are rough, fearless, nicely acted by a really great bunch of talented people Sam Sheppard ahead of the crew. I think it's visually one the best film i have ever seen in my life and believe me i have seen a lot! This film has a very special vibe, a moody feeling, time is running for us all but it seems the earth is unchanged, the desert remain the same, the great salty plain will go on while human stories passes by and print their little marks on this eternal places.... What a film guys, what a film!
August 30, 2011
Un excellent western. Trčs beau et avec de superbes paysages boliviens.
August 18, 2013
Sam Shepard levert met weinig zeggen de beste rol uit zijn carričre af waarin hij de vertolking van Butch Cassidy tot zijn eigen weet te maken. Het is een Western die je tot het einde geďnteresseerd houdt met uitstekende dialogen en beeldschoon camerawerk.
(Oorspronkelijk uitgebracht in 2011, maar dankzij vertraging in 2013 uitgebracht in NL)
August 12, 2013
Beautiful cinematography, but otherwise not that interesting--no Silverado or oiriginal Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
filmlover1994
August 6, 2013
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
J W.
July 27, 2013
One of the best westerns ever made. I never heard of this movie when it was in theaters. Watched it the other day, and loved it! Everything about it was great. I particularly admired the change of scenery. First western I've seen shot in Bolivia. Beautiful country...!
July 15, 2013
I liked this movie - it was slow for the middle - but the story was good
July 4, 2013
Beautifully shot western set in South America. Quiet and smart.
May 2, 2013
Great performance by Sam Shepard. Enjoyable western story.
Jerry R.
April 16, 2013
Blackthorn is one of the cleanest westerns that I have ever seen. I don't mean the content, like the language or the violence; I mean the sets, the actors, and even the dirt look polished and cleaned-up as it were prepared for a commercial. That might work for a John Wayne picture, but modern westerns need a little grime. Having recently seen the down-in-the-dirt reality of Kelly Reichart's frontier adventure Meek's Cutoff, this movie comes off a little phony. Even the gunshot wounds have a little too much preparedness to them

Blackthorn presents a "what-if" scenario that might be potentially interesting. What if the notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy wasn't gunned down in Bolivia in 1908, but survived his wounds and lived incognito under the assumed name James Blackthorne? That's the idea here, the movie is set 20 years after his legendary death and finds the elder Cassidy, played by the ever-reliable Sam Shepard, to be a man who, after all these years, still has the pep and cleverness that made him famous. This is not a follow-up, by the way, to George Roy Hill's 1968 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but one might be tempted to think so. Fans of that film wouldn't find this a worth follow-up anyway.

We first meet the legendary outlaw still living in Bolivia in a kind-of blissful retirement under his assumed name, living (and sleeping) with his Mexican housekeeper Yana (Magaly Solier) and frequently checking out the town's wanted posters just in case his own mug turns up. But something is nagging at the old man and he longs to return to the United States, to a son that he frequently writes letters to. Why he needs to return to the states isn't very clear. He seems to have an okay life there in Bolivia, why did he need to pull up stakes? I suppose, if he stayed in Bolivia, the movie wouldn't set out of the dusty trail for gunfights and pretty horses.

On the road, Butch's plan of traveling back to America is undone by a wet-behind-the-ears mining engineer named Eduardo who scares off Butch's horse whose saddlebags contained his retirement. Butch knows that the kid has robbed a rich man and leads him down a mine shaft where he has hidden it. Eduardo needs protection from the millionaire's head hunters who want the money back. Butch doesn't need this kind of heat especially when the pursuit gets the attention of McKinley, an agent of the old Pinkerton Gang, who has been tracking him these past 20 years.

All of this sounds more interesting than it plays out. There's nothing in this movie that is really distinctive. It is your garden-variety, standard shoot-em-up, nothing that suggests that this is Butch's story. Throughout the picture we get flashbacks to the good old days, to Butch and his outlaw buddy The Sundance Kid. Those scenes are propped up to show up the glory years, but they don't seem to have a point.Shepard does an okay job at playing the lead, but there's something too polished and relaxed about this Butch Cassidy. One might think that a notorious outlaw who has spent two decades looking over his shoulder might seem a little tense or a little more cautious. Plus, someone with his past might have eyes that would suggest a little more regret. This whole movie comes off at that level. It never presents a western landscape that feels like a real place. Everything is cleaned-up and propped up to be a movie.
March 24, 2013
Sam Shepard gives a stellar go here an Old Butch Cassidy but other that that much of this Western is slow paced and much of the same old same old
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

March 19, 2013
With the world having thought him dead for twenty years, Butch Cassidy(Sam Shepard), aka James Blackthorn, can afford to relax on his ranch in Bolivia and spend some quality time with Yana(Magaly Solier). Still, he is restless and has gotten tired of waiting for Che Guevara to show up, so he sells his horses in order to return to his home country. But an altercation with Eduardo(Eduardo Noriega), a Spanish national, separates him from his horse and his money. To make it up to him and save his own life, Eduardo mentions the mine he just robbed. All of which gets Butch thinking of the old days when he used to ride with the Sundance Kid(Padraic Delaney) and Etta Place(Dominique McElligott, of "Hell on Wheels").

The best part of "Blackthorn" is the beautiful Bolivian scenery, especially the salt flats sequence. At the same time, that along with an extended cameo overshadow the lived-in and low-key performance from Sam Shepard which also fits in well with Butch Cassidy being more of a passive anti-hero this time around. But if you are going to the trouble to take a legendary outlaw like Cassidy out of cultural retirement, shouldn't one at least think of a better story that can stand on its own? For example, nothing against Bolivia of which we get some valuable history here, I think it would have worked out significantly better if this had been about Butch Cassidy already living in the United States as something of a living ghost.
February 9, 2013
Let me start the review by saying that if there was the option I would have given the film 2.75 stars, but since there isn't I'm rounding down to 2.5 which I will explain. Let me say what the best parts are of this film. The best thing in the film is the set design and the costuming. Right below that is Sam Shepard's performance in the film. Now let me break down the rest of the film for you. The first half of the film I really didn't like. I didn't like how the language would change back and forth, which I know sounds stupid of me but I think the director should have either picked entirely Spanish or entirely English, instead you get the second problem which is the acting of Eduardo Noriega. Now really his acting was fine and I'm sure that he is a good actor in his home country, but in this film I just didn't like him. I feel like his English was not great at the time and it is something that distracted me from the film. The first half of the film I really didn't like, I found most of it quite boring and uninteresting. At that point I thought I was going to give the film 2.5 stars out of five. Then I got to that half way mark, at that point the film picked up and it got really interesting and pretty good as well, the characters started to get pretty fleshed out and some development started to happen. At that point I thought that I would give it 3 stars because there were still problems with the beginning but if it continued like this I would give it three stars. Unfortunately the ending I was not happy with. First of all the film ends of a low and depressing note, which kind of came out of no where I thought it was going to end on a happy high note after the scene previous. And also the villain, who I won't reveal, I honestly didn't hate, which as a member of the audience I was suppose to. Now the villain wasn't a good person, but I still felt some sympathy for the character. These are the two main problems in the ending and because of this I have to give the film 2.5 stars. I would have loved to give it more, and the concept is really interesting and has a lot of potential, but the film just ends up falling flat.
February 1, 2013
Beautiful (especially in HD) and with lots of gravitas, but in the end it just fails to convince me. What remains are the landscapes of Bolivia and some good acting....
May 1, 2011
A western, directed by a Spaniard and set in Bolivia? Yes and, indeed, one of the best of the last years. Here Mateo Gil (the usual script writer for Amenabar) takes the end of the mythical "Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid" movie and asks: "what if...?". The result is a very good crepuscular western with the classical elements of it (but with a more modern perspective that creates a neither quick nor slow rhythm, and doesn't abuse of stereotypes), which employs the spectacular views of Bolivian high plain to bring new possibilities to the genre. A pleasure to meet with the mythical characters of Cassidy and Sundance Kid again.
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