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The Claim (2000)


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

Critics Consensus: 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

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


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 3,450



Movie Info

An epic love story set against the wintry backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the early days of California. Dillon, a pioneer, defies the harsh surroundings in search of gold. Having struck it rich, he establishes a thriving mining town called Kingdom Come. But blind ambition and greed catch up to him in the form three strangers that arrive in town. A surveyor hoping to extend the Central Pacific Railroad through Kingdom Come, threatens to destroy any future the town has. And, two women … More

R (for sexuality, and some language and violence)
Western , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Frank Cottrell Boyce
In Theaters:
Dec 26, 2001
MGM Distribution Co - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for The Claim

All Critics (95) | 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.

Full Review… | March 22, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 11, 2001
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 8, 2001
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 7, 2001
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 4, 2001
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | April 23, 2001
Top Critic

like a collegiate literature class in Thomas Hardy

Full Review… | May 20, 2012
Old School Reviews

Mature viewers only; kids won't be interested.

Full Review… | January 2, 2011
Common Sense Media

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

Full Review… | February 15, 2010

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

Full Review… | September 12, 2007
Laramie Movie Scope

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

Full Review… | March 4, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

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

Full Review… | April 29, 2003

One of the year's most visually stylistic films.

Full Review… | December 8, 2002
Film Threat

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

Full Review… | July 8, 2002
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

Full Review… | February 28, 2002
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.

Full Review… | July 6, 2001
Ottawa Citizen

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

Full Review… | June 26, 2001
Matinee Magazine

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

Full Review… | June 16, 2001
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.

Full Review… | June 14, 2001
Orlando Weekly

Feels even more remote than its location.

Full Review… | June 8, 2001
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.

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.

Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

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