The Proposition (2005)



Critic Consensus: Brutal, unflinching, and violent, but thought-provoking and with excellent performances, this Australian western is the one of the best examples of the genre to come along in recent times.

Movie Info

An outlaw is goaded into taking on justice at its most brutal in this hard-edged Western set in rural Australia in the 1880s. Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) is a criminal living in the outback. He and his two brothers, Arthur (Danny Huston) and Mikey (Richard Wilson), are on the run from the law for rape and murder. Arthur is a violent and dangerous sociopath with a much longer rap sheet than his siblings and a reputation for hiding out in villages so lawless the police are afraid to visit them, … More

Rating: R (for strong grisly violence, and for language.)
Genre: Western, Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Nick Cave
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 19, 2006
Box Office: $1.7M
First Look Pictures - Official Site


as Charlie Burns

as Captain Stanley

as Arthur Burns

as Jellon Lamb

as Eden Fletcher

as Martha Stanley

as Brian O'Leary

as Samuel Stoat

as Queenie

as Officer Davenport

as Mike Burns

as Mad Jack Bradshaw

as Two Bob

as Asian Prostitute

as Asian Prostitute

as John Gordon

as Sergeant Lawrence

as Officer Dunn

as Patrick Hopkins

as Tom Cox

as Henry Clark

as Robert Borland

as Officer Matthews

as Paul Broussard

as Mrs. Broussard

as Dan O'Reilly

as Officer Halloway

as Sergeant Lawrence
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Proposition

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Critic Reviews for The Proposition

All Critics (124) | Top Critics (37)

A beautifully shot tracker's western that brings the Fordian poles of garden and desert to bear on the bushrangers' Outback, this is also a revenge drama of substantial horror.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A visionary tale of a fragile civilizing impulse crushed by family loyalty and a lust for revenge in the vast Outback of the late 19th century.

Full Review… | June 22, 2006
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

John Hillcoat's violence-probing Western feels as uncompromisingly bleak, royally widescreen and graphically violent as any Sam Peckinpah opus - a sunburned, grimy-nailed saga of point-blank executions and blood wrung from a cat o' nine tails.

Full Review… | September 17, 2010

Ferocious yet free of shallow misanthropy

Full Review… | August 30, 2009

What the characters have in common--the only thing they have in common, really--is the desire for community amid the well-founded expectation of imminent, violent death.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009

ustralian-born singer/songwriter Nick Cave pens his second film (after "Ghosts ... Of The Civil Dead") and generates a prescient allegory about imperialism.

Full Review… | April 19, 2009

Audience Reviews for The Proposition


A balanced and compact movie. Not too much information, no unnecessary dialog, no extensive character building. Good soundtrack.
A friend of mine said I should see it because I said I wasn't a fan of Guy Pierce, but he was alright. I sure am itching to see him in Lawless!

Saskia D.

Super Reviewer


Nick Cave writes a unflinchingly brutal tale of the Australian Outback circa 1880 when the British Empire was molding the wilderness into its own likeness. Excellent performances carry the sometimes difficult poetic language of civilisation headbutting savagery.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


I can't say I've seen many westerns, but from what I have seen I can tell I want to see some more. 'The Propsotion' is an Australian western about Charlie Burns' (Guy Pearce) journey to save his brother from being hanged by handing in his other brother Arthur (Danny Houston). Arthur however is a well known cowboy bad man wanted for multiple accounts of rape and murder, who likes to reside on villages the police are scared to enter.

The main part of the film is about Charlie Burn's journey up to the mountains to find his brother, it mainly revolves around walking really slowly on a horse so the camera man can go to town on the scenery, and go to town he does, the film is spectacular to look at. These scenes of gentle horse trotting however are contrated against by strong scenes of violence and general face exploding action, which is nice.

The film picks up once most of the walking is over and turns into an interesting thought provoking film about brotherhood and loyalty. It also has an awesome ending.

Cameron Sherwell
Cameron Sherwell

Super Reviewer

The Proposition Quotes

– Submitted by Nigel M (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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