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The Claim (2000)



Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 84
Fresh: 52 | Rotten: 32

Though it sometimes feels cold and detached, The Claim is evocative, beautifully shot, and full of understated performances.


Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 11

Though it sometimes feels cold and detached, The Claim is evocative, beautifully shot, and full of understated performances.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 3,436

My Rating

Movie Info

One man's small empire threatens to collapse under the weight of his greed and deceit in this drama that transplants the story of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge to 19th century America. In 1867, Dillon (Peter Mullan) is an Irish immigrant who settled in California during the Gold Rush of '49 and has done quite well for himself. Dillon owns nearly every business of consequence in the town of Kingdom Come; if someone wants to dig for gold, rent a room, open a bank account, or even order


Western, Drama, Romance

Frank Cottrell Boyce

Dec 26, 2001

MGM Distribution Co - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (94) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (32) | DVD (10)

The audience is simply left with the task of fitting together the allegory's easy pieces.

March 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Easily the most compelling Western to hit our screens since Unforgiven.

June 11, 2001 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A mournful, poetic, epic movie that lodges in the memory.

June 8, 2001 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Takes place against a frigid canvas gorgeously captured by Alwin Kuchler.

June 7, 2001 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A rich emotional experience, ranging in degree from fire to ice.

May 4, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

True to its source, finding the seed of all great epics in the divisions of the heart.

April 23, 2001 Full Review Source: Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

like a collegiate literature class in Thomas Hardy

May 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

Mature viewers only; kids won't be interested.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The emotions of the piece are as palpable as the neverending snowfall.

February 15, 2010 Full Review Source:

If the story was as crisp as the snow, and the plot advanced faster than a glacier, this might have been a better film.

September 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

While we wait, characters tromp through the snow a lot.

March 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Broody and beautiful, The Claim is guaranteed to give you the chills.

April 29, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

One of the year's most visually stylistic films.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The Claim works best as an antitraditional Western epic that presents an allegorical drama of fate, retribution and redemption.

July 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

At the center are the impeccable performances of all five leads.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

If you enjoy character studies, personalities over action, The Claim may be a sure bet.

July 24, 2001
Movie Metropolis

The emotional possibilities pretty well freeze to death in the snowbound landscapes.

July 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa Citizen

Invites comparison to the structural denseness and poetic leanings of Altman's all-time masterpiece McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

June 26, 2001 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

A haunting thinking-person's Western and a powerful reminder of the true price of greed.

June 16, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

With its elegance and brutality, The Claim perfectly captures that tenuous state when wildness is being tamed and much is lost in the process.

June 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Feels even more remote than its location.

June 8, 2001 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Winterbottom vividly captures a pioneer-era world of immigrants struggling to create new lives.

May 31, 2001
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Audience Reviews for The Claim

What's more fun that a wagon of nitro blowing up a horse? If you like gold, snow and'll love the claim.
May 16, 2008
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

Dillon: I don't drink anymore. I want you to know that.

Between this movie and another overlooked film, Ravenous, I seem to enjoy movies set in the Sierra Nevadas during the 1860s.

This movie takes place in said setting, and involves a town built on the finding of gold in the area, known as Kingdom Come. A town named Kingdom Come is very cool to me, I just feel I need to point that out.

This town is run by Mr. Dillon, a man who has some bad history involving those he arrived in the area with.

At the beginning of the film, a man (Wes Bentley) from the Railroad company arrives, looking at the town as a prospect for where the Railroad may come through. This will make or break the town. If it comes through, good for them. If it is set up somewhere nearby, a new town will be built and this one will decline.

Also entering the town is a woman sick with Tuberculosis, and her daughter (Sarah Polley) with histories of their own involving this area. These secrets are not secret for long in the film, but its better to describe it this way.

Also in town is a brothel, run by Mr. Dillon's mistress Lucia, played pretty well by Milla Jovovich, proving she doesn't always need to be in bad sci-fi action films.

These five main characters all interact in various way, forming a number of love triangles, and other obstacles they must face.

As interesting as the story is, this film is also very good visually and combined with a very good score, it makes this a very good film.

Lucia: No guns, there are no guns allowed in my town.
December 3, 2007

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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