The first critics to lay eyes on it mistook the emphasis on the personal and painterly for self-indulgence - static naval gazing. This confuses incident with the incidental.
I will leave others to pick nits off this epic panorama.
It is a demanding film, without a doubt - but a passionate one.
| Original Score: 5/5
Cimino endows the visuals with a Zola-esque texture and realism. But the characterisation and dramatic reach go beyond even that.
Emotionally stings like few other westerns.
Its status as a true wonder-work of American cinema is now surely beyond doubt.
The set-pieces are majestic and its disenchanted view of the american frontier myth still rings ominously true.
On a purely sensory level, Heaven's Gate is overpowering.
If anything, Michael Cimino's inert disaster of a Western has gotten worse over the years ...
| Original Score: 1/5
Michael Cimino's film represented a slight return to classicism--to larger-than-life Panavision spectacle and crane shot-managed majesty, however contradicted by narrative bleakness.
| Original Score: 3/4
I like Heaven's Gate just fine, but I don't love it. I wish I did. It's fun to participate in the redemption of a film maudit.
| Original Score: 7/10
[VIDEO ESSAY] "Heaven's Gate" is an unforgettable film full of heartfelt sincerity and pointed commentary about America's bloody history of hypocrisy, greed, and racism.
| Original Score: A-
Flawed but interesting piece of art in the form of an anti-Western.
| Original Score: 3/5
Beneath the hype and the excess is a beautiful, moving, at times surprisingly subtle film that hovers precariously somewhere between greatness and folly.
The longer version is impressive as long as the characters and settings remain in long shot; only when the camera gets closer do the problems start.
It really is a stinker.
This beautiful but notoriously disappointing film is one of the most overblown epic Westerns of any decade.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A second look at Cimino's 1981 epic Western suggests that it has major problems but is not a total catastrophe.
| Original Score: C+
The balance of director Michael Cimino's film is so confusing, so overlong at three-and-a-half hours and so ponderous that it fails to work at almost every level.
If you can get past its self-indulgences, somewhat ineffectual action scenes and other structural flaws in its filmmaking, it's really quite a remarkable film.