By the end, it all pays off exactly the way a hundred earlier Westerns did.
| Original Score: 2/5
The quality of the acting, Cave's hellfire score and the heavy atmospherics of the directing merely dress up a cliché: Violence leads to more violence.
| Original Score: 2/4
For audiences accustomed to revisionist Westerns, only the relocation to Down Under will be a novelty since the film follows Sam Peckinpah's blood-soaked template.
...an exercise in frustration...
| Original Score: 2/4
...lots and lots of shots of people staring off into space thinking;... a strange juxtaposition of violence and laggardliness...
| Original Score: 3/10
In this godforsaken land, the good, the bad and the ugly are all pretty much the same.
| Original Score: 1/4
If there remains any doubt that the MPAA's Ratings Board grants screen violence more leeway than sex, The Proposition effectively quashes such uncertainty.
Over the top, Down Under.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
It doesn't offer much that hasn't already been said about lawless frontier towns, bonds between outlaws or the settling of the West.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
It never becomes more than a mood piece. The characters are so overdrawn and exaggerated that I never believed any of them. And, when you don't believe, you don't care.
Had Cave written The Proposition as a song, the vague grotesquerie and simple, primal storytelling might've been an asset.
| Original Score: C-
Hillcoat and Cave clearly have astute ideas to impart, but their passion for gore and grime overwhelms all intellectual activity.
Directed with Sergio Leone sensuality and meager subtlety.
This is the crucial proposition The Proposition misses: To make us truly despair about the face of violence, it must be firmly attached to someone we know, and not merely blown off someone we don't.
With its bleak worldview and brutal violence, The Proposition is, without question, a visceral experience, but it's also a curiously empty one.
When it comes to condemning the ancient Western code of violence, this film should practice what it preaches.
... a movie full of startling and sometimes beautiful moments
| Original Score: 92/100
Have you read Blood Meridian, the novel by Cormac McCarthy? This movie comes close to realizing the vision of that dread and despairing story.
| Original Score: 4/4
The strength of The Proposition is its relentless moral ambiguity.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.