Red Rock West - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Red Rock West Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 22, 2011
Entertaining pastiche of noir and western. Notoriously flawed by lack of verisimilitude. The always menacing presence of Dennis Hopper is a plus. A clear inspiration for Oliver Stone's U-Turn.
Super Reviewer
½ December 4, 2006
Lyle: Don't piss on the seat, even if they did. It's bad luck.

A neo-noir set in Wyoming that follows all the standards. Nic Cage is the unlucky hero, in over his head. Lara Flynn Boyle is the femme fatale. J.T. Walsh and Dennis Hopper are the ones up to no good. The film is made well enough and manages to be entertaining for the most part.

Cage stars as Michael, a man trying to find a job, but do to a dodgy knee that was injured during his time spent in the military, its quite hard for him. Michael stumbles into a bar only to be mistaken for a hitman by the bartender, played by J.T. Walsh, who hires him to kill his wife, played by Boyle. Michael accepts, only to plan on ditching with the half up front paid money. Things go awry as Michael can't seem to get out of town, only to have even more problems once the real hitman, played by Dennis Hopper, shows up.

This film is just fine. It plays with the genre by having it set in the midwest, but really doesn't offer much in the way of surprise. So that leaves the filmmaking and the actors involved. Cage does just fine, Hopper is always interesting to watch, and I do miss the standard type of character that Walsh used to play before he died.

Director John Dahl also manages to do a good enough job at throwing in some tension and action our way, which certainly keeps the film's pace moving.

A fine thriller.

Michael Williams: Adios, Red Rock.
Super Reviewer
March 8, 2007
Mistaken for a hired killer, drifter Nicolas Cage is offered $5,000 to murder a local bar owner's wife, who in turn offers him $10,000 to return the favour. Planning to just keep the money and skip town, he finds leaving Red Rock is a lot harder than he figured. This heavily Tarantino influenced noir-western hybrid has so many twists and turns, double crosses and double bluffs that by the end you're not sure you're coming or going. It's also a little dated as Lara Flynn Boyle must surely be the worst dressed femme fatale in cinema history. On the plus side, it looks good, has a nice soundtrack and is short and efficient enough to not outstay its welcome. Cage is doing his put-upon "this can't be happening to me!" persona rather than the usual bellowed sarcasm so he's quite bearable and J. T. Walsh and Dennis Hopper make a couple of colourful bad guys. Undemanding yet unpretentious, its very silly, but enjoyably so.
Super Reviewer
August 25, 2008
A pretty decent thriller with a lot of well known faces. It's about a drifter making out to be a hitman, but things go from strange to worse when he finds out who the client is and and the real hitman shows up. Worth a look next time it comes on TV.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2011
Red Rock West has all the depth of a fine crime novel, and John Dahl is a good storyteller, but the movie is bogged down by stiff acting and predictable dialogue. This is the kind of movie that is designed to please the critics and, unfortunately, Dahl has forgotten about the audience.
Super Reviewer
½ April 26, 2013
The plot comes together in a fashion that's a bit too neat and tidy for my taste and Cage's performance is kinda dull, but its still a solid blend of the neo-noir and western genres. I also like that as the plot progresses things get worse for the central character each time he makes the "moral" decision.
Super Reviewer
February 11, 2007
Modest noir has solid performances, pacing in its favor.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2011
Red Rock West has all the depth of a fine crime novel, and John Dahl is a good storyteller, but the movie is bogged down by stiff acting and predictable dialogue.
Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2009
Like i said in previous reviews, recently i have been going through Nic Cage's IMDB list of projects he has done to see if there was anything i hadnt seen that he's been in. And low and behold i found a bunch of em. So far out of three watched i liked 2 of em . 2-1 not a bad ratio so far. Just goes to show to show Nic Cage although one of the busiest actors is also careful of the scripts he chooses to work on. Red Rock West is another gem of his that mustve slipped under my radar in 93. Great storyline however i found the ending a little on the cheesy side that being said it was a pretty good thriller. This time round Nic portrays Michael Williams a down and out Texan who resides in his car and tries to get jobs but fails to an injury he took while serving in the marines. Apon driving into a little town of red rock he enters the red rock tavern to see aboiut a job and in a serious judgmrent error ends up taking a job that belonged to a professional hitman (Dennis Hopper) needloess to say all hell breaks loose and the moral of the story is number one money is never easy and number who's life you try to impersonate as the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Good casting featuring the late great Jt Walsh who was always a pleasure to watch work and a very underated actor to say the least. Another great and recently passed Dennis Hopper portrays the hitman that was originally intended for the hit but was a little later then mike at arriving to the bar. Dennis hopper in my books was awesome in portraying villians. Lara Flynn Boyle rounds off the cast with a less then believable performance as the sheriffs wife who the hit is to be delivered upon. Nic Cage's charector in this spends the rest of the movie digging the hole he has made himself further and further. To get out is the question.
Super Reviewer
February 21, 2010
It has the Coen brothers' main elements written all over it: Money, betrayal, violence, and plot twists, yet they're not the ones who made it, but yet it's also as clever and involving, oh, the mysteries of the world. "Red Rock West's" main plot revolved around a simple money-related murder scheme, but one wrong move, and everyone stumbles down in a domino effect of greed. Nicolas Cage, being the only character with sheds of sanity and moral fiber, being down-on-his-luck, bumped into unexpected trouble, meeting the likes of a scheming sheriff, his wife, and a black-clad hitman. Even telling the plot summary of the film is impossible without revealing even one hint of important detail, so go watch it yourself, it is indeed a stylish neo-western-noir, but it is not as atmospheric as the Coens' "Blood Simple"
Super Reviewer
January 16, 2009
Taut, twisting thriller/mystery is like a lost 1990s Coen Brothers movie. 'Blood Simple' seems to be a definite inspiration, from the stark, beautifully photographed smalltown atmosphere to the setup of one man hiring another to kill his wife. And much like that film, nothing goes as planned in 'Red Rock West' either, as Nicolas Cage finds himself sucked into deeper and deeper consequences. Couldn't predict what would happen next except that Dennis Hopper would eventually come unhinged - who does it any better? Looking at director John Dahl's resume, no surprise that he was behind the camera for another great indie thriller 'The Last Seduction.' In fact, femme fatale Lara Flynn-Boyle is very Linda Fiorentino-like; Dahl certainly has a type. If you enjoyed that movie, you'll like this one too and vice-versa.
Super Reviewer
½ June 12, 2009
I really enjoyed this well constructed modern western noir. Nicolas Cage was very good, staying away from some of his more over the top tendencies and the supporting cast was very solid. It doesn't matter how many crazy villains Dennis Hopper plays, I always seem to like him. The story was elaborate and complex, but never messy and every little piece ended up fitting perfectly well together. Good little thriller.
Super Reviewer
October 5, 2008
Bloody impressive for a medium-budget mystery story.Cage is awful as most of the times but Dahl has studied the early samples of neo-noir and stylistically fuses his picture with unearthly tones and old-fashioned editing to show that Hollywood's ideas can prove alternative at times.
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2007
Good old fashion Film Noir.
April 26, 2016
Film noir classic in this modern day tale of a drifter who is mistaken for a hitman. Beautifully directed, dark and memorable performances make this sleeper into a cult status classic.
½ April 8, 2015
Little known but very well made mystery that grabs you and doesn't let go till the end.....what a pleasant ride.
April 11, 2013
Really entertaining, with a great, twisty plot. Feels like U-Turn without the perverted stuff, and with a better plot. This and Leaving Las Vegas are Cage's best performances.
April 9, 2013
'You want it?'
'Go get it.'

One of those rare moments where Cage is a likable character, and a decent actor. Neither has happened very often.
½ February 12, 2012
A good story but it could have been much better. A young Nicolas Cages does OK as the down on his luck drifter Michael but it could have had more depth to the character. Dennis Hopper is crazy so he was great as the crazy hitman Lyle from Dallas. However, J.T. Walsh is underrated and this film was no exception as his role of the scheming husband Wayne stole every scene. Lara Flynn Boyle is lucky she is good looking because she was less than stellar as Suzanne. Still, a solid film with good pacing, a modern Western noir feel to it.
February 9, 2012
An entertaining neo-noir thriller with good performances. Dennis Hopper was just doing his thing and Nic Cage plays a bad ass quite well.

There are many contrived moments when you need to suspend your disbelief, but the story is interesting enough for you not to care. The soundtrack is also pretty cool and always comes up at just the right time

I liked the ending a lot as well because as i was looking at the final shot of the train leaving I looked back at all the crazy shit that went on that wouldn't have even happened if it hadn't been for the misunderstanding at the beginning.

A fun time. I recommend it.
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