Bloated as a TV miniseries two nights too long, Legends of the Fall is stiff and uninteresting.
At first, the picture plays like East of Eden with a bonus brother; it gets sillier as it goes.
It's a big movie that's so small on the inside it's not there.
| Original Score: 2/4
| Original Score: 2/5
The Movie That Will Not Die
| Original Score: 2.5/5
The entire film plays like a commercial for Brad Pitt. You can imagine half the audience wondering, 'Where can I get one of those?'
We see ... misery, betrayal, heartbreak, ridiculous plot twists and, after he sustains a stroke, Hopkins apparently doing a composite impression of Popeye and Quasimodo.
Edward Zwick, the director, and Susan Shilliday and Bill Wittliff, the screenwriters, are under the impression that they are bringing forth a tragic epic, not a silly melodrama...
Under such labored circumstances, James Horner's music must work overtime. It swoops and broods and promises you that something elemental about manliness is being conveyed.
| Original Score: C-
Epic frontier soaper rambles on and on.
It's a man's world, but Pitt's star turn and the melodramatic underpinnings may appeal more to women.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
The actors fit their roles exceptionally well, but Zwick rarely allows them the kinds of crucial, intimate moments that establish how the characters feel about each other.
Unless you are a big fan of seeing hearts cut out of the bodies of animals and people or unless you feel you must see all of Brad Pitt's movies (he is major handsome), I can see no reason to see this film other than as a long travelogue.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
While the production is attractive in a calendar-photo sort of way, there's not a speck of genuine feeling in its glossy images.
As directed by Edward Zwick, the yarn doesn't so much sweep as sprawl across the screen in all its panoramic idiocy.
What needs to be epic often seems petty and small. Perhaps it was in compensation for this narrative inadequacy that the musical score grew to be sweepingly grand and intrusively ever-present.
Zwick seems to have taken Terrence Malick's gorgeous Days of Heaven as his model, but he lacks Malick's sense of geometry, and his aspiration to mythic quality feels more pretentious than heartfelt.
Big and beautiful as it looks, the film doesn't deliver much emotional punch.
Mr. Pitt's diffident mix of acting and attitude works to such heartthrob perfection it's a shame the film's superficiality gets in his way.